John Cynn Wins 2018 WSOP Main Event
All I was doing Saturday night and Sunday morning was sitting on my couch watching the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event final table on television. And it was exhausting. I couldn’t make it through the whole thing. I fell asleep right there on the family room couch and woke up a few hours later just in time to catch the final hand. So I don’t know how in the world John Cynn and Tony Miles – the ones who were actually playing poker on my Vizio – made it all the way without collapsing in a quivering heap of jelly. But they did and it was John Cynn who emerged as the champion of the 2018 WSOP Main Event, winning $8.8 million.
Going into the last day of the final table, Miles had a hell of a chip lead, 238.9 million chips compared to Cynn’s 128.7 million and Michael Dyer’s 26.2 million. Dyer looked like he was going to run away with it the previous day, but he got stuck in a rut from which he was never able to escape. It didn’t take long for Miles to do him in on Saturday with A-J versus A-T.
In the meantime, Cynn had been playing quite well and hitting cards, so he was only behind 203.5 million to 190.3 million going into heads-up.
Cynn took control during the early portions of the heads-up match, building up a 2-to-1 chip lead. It is fortunate he won, too, because there was one hand in particular that would have haunted him had he lost.
With 6-4 in the hole, Cynn raised to 5 million pre-flop. Miles had 7-5 and called, bringing along a flop of J♦-4♦-3♥. Cynn middle pair, a very nice hand heads-up. Miles checked, Cynn bet 4.5 million, and Miles called. Miles checked the 3♣ on the turn, Cynn bet 6.5 million, and then Miles raised to 20 million. Cynn called, producing the K♦. Cynn had the best hand, but there were two overcards and a possible flush on the board. Miles had been setting him up and shoved for 95.3 million. Cynn tanked for quite some time and looked like he had an inkling that something was fishy, but with such a weak hand, he couldn’t pull the trigger. I actually wanted him to, both because it would have ended the final table at a reasonable hour and because it would have been amazing to witness such a call, but he didn’t and the match went on.
And on and on and on and on. The entire day, which started with only three players, lasted almost 12 hours. Heads-up went for a record 199 hands and Miles and Cynn competed against each other one-on-one for more than 10 hours.
The lead went back and forth a number of times during the seemingly never-ending match, both players building a 100 million chip lead at some point. On the final hand, Cynn had a 213.8 million to 180 million chip lead. With K♣-J♣, Cynn raised to 9 million pre-flop and Miles re-raised to 34 million with Q♣-8♥. Cynn called and the dealer laid out the K♥-K♦-5♥. Bingo for Cynn.
Miles led out with a 32 million bet, likely lighting Cynn’s heart on fire (is that a saying?). Cynn just called. The turn was the 8♦, giving Miles a deadly pair. Just seconds after seeing that, he moved all-in for 114 million.
Cynn knew he was about to win the WSOP Main Event, but fatigue and the enormity of the hand caused him to actually think about it for a minute. He looked agonized, though that seemed to be mostly because he knew it was going to look like a slowroll when he flipped over trips. He even told Miles that he wasn’t slowrolling, that he just need to make sure of his move.
Of course, Cynn did finally call, Miles was drawing dead, and the tournament was over. John Cynn is the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.
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