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Jul 17, 2019

Coming to an end: The Final Table and the end of the 2019 WSOP

From 8,569 players to three, the poker world is waiting to see who will hold the winning set of cards for the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, otherwise known as the Main Event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

The remaining three players representing three countries will took a seat at the final table one last time on Tuesday evening signifying the end for the 50th Annual World Series of Poker.


Players from Germany, Italy, and Canada competed for their share of the Main Event’s $80,548,600 prize pool, with the winner taking home $10 million along with the gold and diamond bracelet.

Throughout the WSOP, players left the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino with new experiences, prize money and for some, a WSOP bracelet.

A look back with familiar faces

Jeremy Hilsercop, the man whose journey to the Big 50 went viral after his wife surprised him with a ticket to Las Vegas and a seat at the tournament checked off his dream to play in the WSOP from his bucket list. The Hilsercops certainly captured the attention of many, but Femi Fashakin was the one who won the Big 50, the largest live tournament in poker history with 28,371 entrants, becoming the first Nigerian-born WSOP champion ever, claiming $1,147,449 in prize money.

A survivor of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history ended up finishing fourth in the Main Event, winning $3,000,000. Garry Gates, of Henderson, Nevada had a very supportive group of fans come out and support his efforts throughout the tournament.

“Jeopardy James,” known legally as James Holzhauer attempted to take his winning streak from the game show to the green felt table. Unfortunately, he fell just short of prize money.

Celebrities never seem to shy away from the coveted event, Jacksonville Jaguars Defensive End Calais Campbell made his first-ever WSOP cash from Event 37, Pittsburgh Penguins, now Arizona Coyotes Right Winger Phil Kessel made his sixth career WSOP cash during Event 40, German soccer star Max Kruse amassed 10 cashes at the WSOP, and three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour became the major professional athlete with the best finish ever in the Main Event’s 50-year history by finishing in 131st place.

For the first time ever, the WSOP partnered with Caesars Entertainment’s Business Impact Group SALUTE for a tournament benefiting service members through the USO.

A record year

The 50th annual WSOP has proved to be a record year.

Through the 90 events this year a new all-time record for entries was marked at 187,298. $293,183,345 was awarded in prize money, and 28,017 places were paid, which was also an all-time record.

The Main Event

The final nine accounted for the last of 8,569 entrants on Sunday. With a total entry fee of $10,000, the men will play for the remaining prize pool with first place taking the bulk.

On Sunday, leading the way with 177,000,000 chips was Hossein Ensan, a 55-year-old Iranian-German poker pro who still considers himself a “poker amateur.”

Coming in second with 99,300,000 chips is Gates, 37, the Nevada local who began his career in poker as a live reporter, advancing to a live-reporting manager and most recently, an events manager and senior consultant for player affairs for an online poker site. He has participated in the Main Event for the past decade and made the money in 2011 and 2017.

Zhen Cai entered the final table third with 60,600,000 chips. Cai is a former casino employee who now resides in Florida.

Kevin Maahs, of Chicago, enters the final table with 43,000,000 chips. He is followed by poker pros Alex Livingston with 37,800,000 chips and Dario Sammartino with 33,400,000 chips. The final table rounds out with Milos Skrbic with 23,400,000 chips, Timothy Su with 20,200,000 chips, and Nick Marchinton with 20,100,00 chips.

The final three players: Ensan, Livingston, and Sammartino entered the final stretch of the event. They met again Tuesday and played until the new WSOP champion was crowned. 

Ensan outlasted the remaining player taking home the grand prize 1:24 a.m. Wednesday. 

He did not have any previous cashes at the WSOP in Las Vegas heading into the Main Event and was playing this event for the first time ever.