Hossein Ensan is the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion thanks to a dominant display on the final table.
After 13 total sessions of action, the WSOP’s marquee tournament came to a close on July 17. When just three players from a starting field of 8,569 were left, all eyes were on one man.
Leading the start of the final table, Germany’s Ensan was described as a “sure bet” before the action got underway. Holding almost 63 percent of the chips in play, only a blow-up or the poker gods could have rewritten the script.
Ensan Starts WSOP Finale Fast
When the cards were in the air and chips started to fly, Ensan picked up where he left off. Putting Italy’s Dario Sammartino to the test, the chip leader needed his sixes to hold one time.
But despite his previous post-flop prowess, it was Sammartino who caught a break. Risking it all with A♠J♠, the Italian jumped for joy as the Q♠ on the river gave him a straight.
Now back in contention, it was time for Sammartino to go on the offensive and Ensan to recoil. In fact, that backwards step also appeared to give the other finalist, Alex Livingston, a lift.
Sensing his shot at a WSOP title wasn’t over, the Canadian started to push the pace. With two players now taking aim at Ensan, the sure bet was starting to look a little shaky.
However, as the finale wore on, Ensan’s previous run of cards and form soon returned. Watching Livingston move all-in from the button with A♣J♦, the Iranian who now calls Germany home made the quick call.
Showing A♠Q♦, Ensan needed to avoid an upset to retain the chip lead. As the board ran out 6♦J♥Q♠2♠9♦, Livingston exited stage-left as the dealer pushed the pot to Ensan.
No Backtracking for Ensan
Heads-up, both players had opportunities to win. Unfortunately, for Sammartino, a victory for Ensan seemed inevitable.
Applying pressure from the start, the 55-year-old finally got it done with pocket kings. Just over nine hours into the final session, Ensan slow-played his pair until Sammartino made a mistake.
Moving all-in on the turn with 8♠4♠, the young Italian needed help to survive. As the river card was dealt, the T♠6♠2♦9♣Q♣ board left Sammartino without any hope and Ensan with all the chips.
2019 WSOP Main Event Result
1 – Hossein Ensan – $10,000,000
2 – Dario Sammartino – $6,000,000
3 – Alex Livingston – $4,000,000
4 – Garry Gates – $3,000,000
5 – Kevin Maahs – $2,200,000
6 – Zhen Cai – $1,850,000
7 – Nick Marchington – $1,525,000
8 – Timothy Su – $1,250,000
9 – Milos Skrbic – $1,000,000
Speaking to the WSOP live reporting team after his victory, the new champion could hardly contain his joy. Although his poker résumé includes an EPT title, Ensan said it was the best feeling of his life.