The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table is nearing a glittering conclusion as nine players became five on Sunday.
After whittling down the second largest Main Event field in history, WSOP organizers gave the green light for play to resume on July 14.
Leading the way was Hossein Ensan and that’s a position he maintained throughout the session. With play set to continue until just five remained, the German used a measured but assertive approach.
Gates Goes Hard During Early Stages
However, as the cards flew in the early rounds, it was Garry Gates who pushed the pace. Starting in second place, the American was responsible for the first elimination of the day.
Moving all-in from the small blind with A♣Q♥, Gates’ hand held its advantage against the A♠J♥ of Milos Skrbic. With the tension broken and a player watching from the rail, Timothy Su was the next to fall.
Unable to stay ahead with pocket threes, the young player collected $1.25 million as he handed over his chips to Ensan.
As the two biggest stacks showed their strength, it became a case of the richer getting richer. Nick Marchington fell at the hands of Ensan before Kevin Maahs got in on the action by eliminating Zhen Cai in sixth.
With four players down and five remaining, the $10,000 tournament was paused for the day. Over the course of 56 hands, fans saw Ensan and Gates scoop approximately 75 percent of the chips in play.
WSOP Title Could be Bound for Germany
Although nothing is certain in the WSOP Main Event, the level of domination shown by the chip leaders will be hard to overcome.
“It’s a crazy dynamic. I’m staring at the chip counts now and to think Hossein and I have what we have, the bottom three guys are kind of strapped in that way,” Gates told the WSOP live reporting team.
When play resumes on July 15, Dario Sammartino will start as the short stack. However, with three final tables under his belt already this summer, the Italian could be a dark horse.
Maahs and Canada’s Alex Livingston may have something to say about that though. Although they face an uphill battle, each one comfortably has more than 35 big blinds to work with.
The man to beat, however, will be Ensan. As well as 207 million chips, the German has strong support from the rail.
If he can use Germany’s noted network of world-class players to get some reads, the WSOP Main Event bracelet may just be heading to Europe this week.