2017 World Series of Poker

Michael Dyer Dominates First Day of WSOP Main Event Final Table, Joe Cada Still Alive

After the first of three nights of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, just six players remain from the original 7,874. Nicolas Manion used a fictional movie hand to overtake Michael Dyer for the chip lead on the final hand of the previous night, but Thursday night was all Michael Dyer, who ended with 156.500 million chips, a whopping 40 percent of the total chips in play. He has more chips than the next two players combined.

Going into the final table, the chip counts looked like this:

1. Nicolas Manion – 112,775,000
2. Michael Dyer – 109,175,000
3. Tony Miles – 42,750,000
4. John Cynn – 37,075,000
5. Alex Lynskey – 25,925,000
6. Joe Cada – 23,675,000
7. Aram Zobian – 18,875,000
8. Artem Metalidi – 15,475,00
9. Antoine Labat – 8,050,000

Michael Dyer
Photo credit: WSOP.com/Joe Giron

As you may remember – and you definitely should remember it forever and ever – Manion leapt into the chip lead when he won a hand in which he was all in pre-flop with A-A and both Antoine Labat and Yeuqi Zhu were all in with K-K. That hand is also why Labat was sitting there as the tiny stack, hoping he could find cards to get him back in it.

Labat was actually quite patient, taking a while to make a move. After seeing his stack dwindle to near 6 million, he was able to get everyone to fold to his all-in with Q-Q to get back to around 8 million. Shortly thereafter, he found another spot to get his chips in, this time with K-K.

And Antoine Labat is going to hate pocket kings from now on.

Artem Metalidi, who had not advanced from his position as the second shortest stack, called him with Q-Q. He flopped a set of Queens and that was that for Labat, who bowed out in ninth place. Hopefully winning a cool $1 million will be of some consolation to him.

In the meantime, Manion had lost a chunk of chips, primarily because he dared butt heads with Dyer. There was nothing particularly wrong with Manion’s play, it’s just that sometimes you get involved in hands and lose chips. Dyer, for his part, played a lot of hands yesterday, as one with a monster stack is able to do, though he never really got out of line. He did hit a lot of flops, but he played his hands well and read his opponents equally well.

The next elimination happened close to 8:30 pm Vegas time. Metalidi moved all in pre-flop for 6.23 million with 5-5 and Aram Zobian, who had just survived an all-in versus Dyer when he found his card on river, called with K♦-Q♦ from the small blind. It was a race. The flop would’ve been quite the action flop had the players not been all-in: 6♦-5♥-2♦. Metalidi flopped a set, but Zobian had a flush draw. The turn paired Zobian’s king, which meant nothing, and the river was the 4♦, giving Zobian a flush and eliminating Metalidi in eighth place.

Just after 9:00 pm was the final elimination of the day. Dyer raised to 1.2 million with J♥-8♥, John Cynn called with K♠-Q♠, and then Alex Lynskey shoved with 6♦-6♣. Dyer folded and Cynn pondered his decision, doing the math. He seemed to indicate that he didn’t really want to call with his hole cards, but the price was too good, so he called. Another race.

The flop was 3♠-T♣-9♣, nothing for either man, but it added the jacks as outs for Cynn to make a straight. The T♦ gave Cynn ever more outs, as now if another nine came, Lynskey’s pair of sixes would be counterfeited and Cynn would win with two pair and a better kicker. The river was the J♣, finishing the straight for Cynn and eliminating Lynskey in seventh place.

At that point, the night should have ended, but tournament officials decided to finish off the level, which took close to another hour. Nobody was knocked out in that time.

Dyer continued to add chips, again using his stack to his advantage, requiring his opponents to really have something if they wanted to tussle.

As for the man everyone was watching, former WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada, it was an up and down night. He had elevated his stack to more than 40 million early on, but after Metalidi’s elimination, he couldn’t find any traction, getting stuck in hands that kept eating away at his stack. He was down around 20 million at one point, but was able to regain a few chips to end up over 29 million.

Day 9 will begin at 5:30 pm local time with blinds at 500,000/1,000,000 with a 150,000 ante. The telecast will start a half hour later on ESPN and will go until just three players remain.

2018 World Series of Poker Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

1. Michael Dyer – 156,500,000
2. Nicolas Manion – 72,250,000
3. John Cynn – 61,550,000
4. Tony Miles – 57,500,000
5. Joe Cada – 29,275,000
6. Aram Zobian – 16,700,000

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