26 (Or More) Facts About The Final 26 Players In The 2018 WSOP Main Event

Martin Derbyshire July 11, 2018 2389 Reads
Aram Zobian

The 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event was supposed to play down to 27 players remaining on Tuesday, July 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, they did one better, getting down to the 2018 WSOP Main Event final 26.

Each of the remaining players is now guaranteed at least $282,630 in prize money. However, each also has his eye firmly on the $8.8 million that awaits the winner. Or, at the very least, the $1 million guaranteed to anyone who makes the final nine.

Plans are to play down to the final table on Wednesday, July 11.

In the meantime, it would be nice to know a little something about these 26 poker players. After all, nine of them will soon become 2018 WSOP Main Event final table participants. Plus, one will undoubtedly etch is name in history by capturing the 2018 WSOP Main Event title.

To that end, here are US Poker‘s 26 (or more) facts about the 2018 WSOP Main Event’s final 26:

The chip leaders

Aram Zobian (pictured) is from the smallest state in the US: Rhode Island. Zobian has a little over $100,000 in career tournament earnings, almost half of which came when he finished runner-up in the $1,650 MegaStack Challenge Championship event at Foxwoods Resort Casino just prior to this year’s WSOP.

Artem Metalidi is the last Ukranian player left in the Main Event from the 19 who entered. He’s also a six-max stud with more than $2 million in live tournament earnings, including a fourth-place finish in the 2017 WSOP $10,000 No Limit Hold’em – 6 Handed Championship for $204,128. Plus, a runner-up finish in the 2012 WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold’em – Six Handed event for $350,806.

Antoine Labat is from the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. Although he’s been cashing in major European poker events since 2009, his biggest career score prior to this one is a runner up finish in the €2,000 Evian Poker Open Main Event in Rhone-Alps back in 2010. It was worth a little over $50,000.

Michael Dyer is from Houston, Texas. He led the final 109 players at the end of the 2018 WSOP Main Event’s fifth day. Prior to this event, Dyer’s claim to poker fame was an eighth-place finish in the 2009 WSOP $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $65,905.

Alexander Lynskey is the lone Aussie left in the 2018 WSOP Main Event. Lynskey boasted close to $1.8 million in career tournament earnings coming into this year’s Main Event, including a career-best $426,663 score booked finishing runner-up in the 2017 WSOP Marathon event last summer. He’s also twice made the final table of the Aussie Millions Main Event.

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The rest of the top ten

Yueqi Zhu is a Chinese-American poker player who had an amazing 71 career WSOP cashes before winning his first WSOP bracelet in the Mixed $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; Big O event this year. Zhu’s 2018 WSOP Main Event run will mark his 77th WSOP cash.

Kao Saechao is a Portland, Oregon player who also ran relatively deep in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, finishing 353rd for $28,356. Saechao does have almost $600,000 in career live tournament earnings. However, he booked his largest career score just before the 2018 WSOP Main Event, finishing runner-up for $78,440 in the 2018 Goliath Phamous Poker Series $600 Ultimate GOLIATH Stack event at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on June 11.

Martijn Gerrits is the final Dutch player in the Main Event after 30 players from the Netherlands entered. Gerrits marked a career-best $73,179 score finishing third in the $10,000 WSOP Heads Up Championship event earlier this summer.

Nicolas Manion from Muskegon, Michigan mostly played mid-stakes poker tournaments like Mid-States Poker Tour events prior to this year’s WSOP Main Event. Manion also has a couple of small Chicago-area cashes on his poker resume.

Eric Froehlich is more than just a professional poker player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with two WSOP bracelet wins. Froehlich is a professional Magic: The Gathering player and member of the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame.

Read: Eric Froehlich’s New Lifestyle, Mindset Are Boosting His WSOP Main Event Run

The tech guy and a serial final table bubble boy

Paulo Goncalves is the last Brazilian player standing from whopping 97 that entered the 2018 WSOP Main Event. Goncalves has a pair of cashes on his poker resume, both from the Brazilian Series of Poker, including a win back in 2016 that paid about as much as it costs to get in the WSOP Main Event.

Tony Miles is another Jacksonville, Florida player. It appears he won his buy in for the 2018 WSOP Main Event finishing 10th in the 2018 Grand Poker Series $570 No Limit Hold’em event for $10,724 at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Downtown Las Vegas on June 28.

John Cynn from Indianapolis, Indiana practically bubbled the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table when he finished 11th for $650,000 that year. He also practically bubbled the final table of the 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, finishing 10th for $80,280. Guess what Cynn is hoping not to do in his latest WSOP Main Event run.

Alexander Haro is a consumer technology developer from Claremont, California. He co-founded the Life360 venture-backed family locator, messaging tool and communication mobile app, helping him make Forbes’ 2015 30 Under 30 Consumer Technology list. He also plays a little poker, having won a $2,500 Deep Stack Extravaganza IV event at The Venetian in Las Vegas for $142,503 back in 2012.

Hari Bercovici is the only Israeli player left in the 2018 WSOP Main Event from the 53 who entered. Bercovici appears to have been a regular figure at the annual WSOP since 2014 when he cashed in a number of Rio Daily Deepstacks side events. He also most notably finished 34th in the 2016 WSOP Main Event for $216,211.

Two Main Event finalists and a current high roller

Frederik Jensen asked the TV crew to start calling him Frederik Brink on Day 6. The Danish player has close $4 million in live tournament earnings playing under the name Jensen, including a runner-up finish in the 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event, and a third-place finish in the EPT Season 12 Barcelona Main Event in 2015.

Sylvain Loosli is a French pro who finished fourth in the 2013 WSOP Main Event for close to $2.8 million. He’s also got more than $6.6 million in career earnings total, and counting.

Ryan Phan is a poker player from Omaha, Nebraska with close to half a million dollars in career earnings. Up until now, his career-best score was the $47,988 he earned finishing 11th on a $5,000 Deepstack Extravaganza III event at The Venetian in Las Vegas last summer.

Joe Cada is easily the most recognizable player left in the 2018 WSOP Main Event. Mostly because he won the 2009 WSOP Main Event. But also because he’s won two other bracelets since, including the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event this year.

Ivan Luca is an Argentinian pro who regularly plays high roller events around the world. Luca had over $5.7 million in live tournament earnings coming into the 2018 WSOP Main Event and he’s also the proud owner of a WSOP bracelet.

The PLO guy and a ring for every finger

Konstantin Beylin is a St. Louis, Missouri Pot Limit Omaha specialist who just booked his career-best cash, finishing 17th the 2018 WSOP $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller for $46,190 last month. He also made 24th in the 2017 WSOP $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller for $42,393 and 32nd in the 2016 WSOP $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $21,456.

Ming Xi is a Chinese player. His previous claim to poker fame was a final table finish in the 2016 WPT National China event in Sanya. Xi made eighth in that one for ¥207,260, or around $30,000.

Jeff Trudeau is a four-time WSOP Circuit ring winner with more than $875,000 in career tournament earnings. The Orlando, Florida player has earned an average of more than $160,000 a year playing poker since 2014. However, he’s been on a hot streak of late. Trudeau had a banner year in 2017 with $394,176 in earnings. Plus, he has matched his annual earnings average already this year, prior to the start of the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

Short stack heroes with high hopes and decent results

Rean Nirath is from Jacksonville, Florida. Nirath had career live tournament earnings of more than $170,000 coming into the 2018 WSOP Main Event. Before now, his biggest career score came when the Card Player Poker Tour visited his hometown in 2015.  He finished runner up in the Main Event for $82,826.

Bart Lybaert is a Belgian poker pro with more than $2 million in career tournament earnings. Lybaert finished third in the 2018 WSOP The Marathon event for $290,315 this summer. He also narrowly missed a WSOP bracelet win, finishing second in the 2016 WSOP $1,000 Top Up Turbo event. However, Lybaert’s biggest career score came after the 2017 WSOP. That’s when he finished third in the €1,100 PokerStars National Championship event at PokerStars Championship Barcelona for around $430,000.

Barry Hutter is a WSOP Bracelet winner from Bradenton, Florida with over $4.3 million in career tournament earnings. Hutter actually booked his best ever live cash in the 2018 WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event on June 26. He finished runner-up for $323,019.

Keep your browsers locked to USPoker through the end of the WSOP Main Event for more player profiles, interviews, and features straight from the floor of the Rio!