With the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event down to just 10 players from the original 7,874, it looked like Michael Dyer would be the overwhelming chip leader going into the nine-handed final table. Dyer held more than 109 million in chips, while his next closest competitor, Antoine Labat, was sitting behind a stack of 51 million.
Then one hand changed everything.
In a matter of seconds, Nicolas Manion, who is playing in his first WSOP event, went from middle stack to chip leader going into the final table. Labat and Yueqi Zhu were the victims of one of the wildest coolers we’ve seen on the big stage in years. We’ll let you watch for yourselves.
Labat wasn’t even afforded the usual feeling of joy taken in by players who reach poker’s most elusive final table. He was left as the short stack going into Thursday when the tournament plays down from nine players to six. Zhu, meanwhile exited in 10th place.
Manion will take more than 112 million in chips to a final table that includes 2009 Main Event champ Joe Cada. The 30-year-old Michigan native is looking to join legends Stu Ungar, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Johnny Moss as the only multiple winners of poker’s world championship event. When Cada won in 2009 he earned $8,546,435. A victory in the 2018 version would net him more than $8.8 million.
“It feels unreal,” Cada told PokerNews after play ended Thursday morning. “What other feelings are there?”
Also among the final nine is John Cynn, who has already bested his 11th-place finish in this event from only two years ago. Cynn told US Poker’s Matt Clark on Wednesday that he’s used his experience and the “best stretch of cards” in his life to get a second chance at poker glory.
2018 WSOP Main Event final table lineup
The final table will be aired on ESPN beginning Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. in Las Vegas. After the field is trimmed to six, players will return on Friday to play down to three. A champion will be crowned Saturday evening.
Stay tuned to US Poker as we bring you more interviews and features straight from the World Series of Poker floor in Las Vegas!