Well here we are. After 90 events spread across 48 days, we’ve reached the last day of the 2019 World Series of Poker–and there’s the small matter of the Main Event winner to be decided. By close of play tonight, one of Hossein Ensan, Alex Livingston or Dario Sammartino will be the latest champion, immortalised among the greats, and $10 million richer.
Things we know for sure include the fact that the champion will come from somewhere other than the United States. Although home players comprised the majority of the field here in Las Vegas, we have a German, a Canadian and an Italian in the final three. No Italian has ever won this event, so we could be on the brink of breaking that particular duck.
We also know that today’s winner will earn the equal second highest prize of any player in the Main Event, second only to Jamie Gold’s $12 million in 2006. It’s because this year’s field of Today’s champion will match the haul of Martin Jacobson in 2014, who was coincidentally the last non-American winner too.
Final day stack sizes:
🇩🇪Hossein Ensan: 326.8 million
🇨🇦Alex Livingston: 120.4 million
🇮🇹Dario Sammartino: 67.6 million
Not much else is certain, even though we have a very short-priced favourite to win the whole thing. Ensan, a former EPT champion who has impressed everyone in Europe after breaking on to the scene six years ago, was the dominant chip leader coming to the final table and has never been anywhere other than first. He is most fancied for good reason. However, both Sammartino and Livingston have been short-stacked at this final and managed to recover, so they’re far from out of this yet.
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Last year, John Cynn managed to overcome Tony Miles’s final-day chip lead to close it out (they were 149 BBs to 80 BBs at the start of the last day) so it is far from impossible. What also might happen again is an epic heads-up duel. If one of the two short stacks ends up knocking out the other, we could be set for a full 10 or 12 hours, or more.
There’s a lot of fidgeting going on in and around the Amazon Room right now, with players and supporters hovering in the halls or in the corridors, waiting to be let in. As we wait for action to commence, head over to our WSOP Coverage Hub, where you’ll find all the details of what’s been going on here these past weeks.
Cards are in the air again at 5.30pm local time.
WSOP photography by PokerPhotoArchive