Garry Gates was the star of Day 8 of the WSOP Main Event. The final table began on Sunday evening with nine of the remaining poker players seated from the second-largest pool of over 8,000 hopeful players trying their hands at the top prize. Hossein Ensan was in a comfortable lead considering his chips, while Gates was the runner-up.
After playing for three hours, Ensan was still the frontrunner with Gates still in second when Gates made the most impactful move of the day. With 11 out of 56 hands won, he became tied with Ensan. He increased his chips by 73% to 72.4 million, while Ensan only increased his stack by around 31 million. Between these two players, they held 75% of the chips that were in circulation.
During the evening’s game, the first player to step away from the game was Milos Skrbic. This was during the sixth round of the evening, and Skrbic was sitting in eighth when he was in the big blind. Gates then set him all-in from the small blind, and he called all-in for 17 big ones with ace-jack. This would typically push him ahead; however, Gates dominated him with his ace-queen. From here, he was in ninth for $1 million.
A few rounds after this, Timothy Su was knocked out in eighth place for $1.25 million by Ensan. While he was slightly in the lead with pocket threes, Ensan gave jacks and fives that ended Su’s hand.
The next round that resulted in elimination was also by Ensan. During hand 32 of the evening, he stood against Nick Marchington and came out on top after Marchinton tried to make a play for his leftover 12 big blinds using ace-seven. All the while, Ensan had pocket kings that held up. Marchington’s game ended in seventh place for over $1.5 million.
The game would have ended here with six players remaining, but operators came to a decision to keep the game going for longer.
Zhen Cai, who was in third place when the last table began, tried and failed while attempting to increase his chips and was knocked out of the game in sixth place for over $1.8 million. Between Ensan’s fold and Kevin Maah’s pocket nines, he didn’t stand a chance.
Many interesting hands came out of the 56 rounds that evening, the most interesting being hand No. 45. This is when Alex Livingston opened with a raise, and Dario Sammartino spoke from the cutoff. At this time, Gates was in a big blind and placed a large three-bet with pocket tens. Two of the three folded beside Livingston, who threw in two queens, surprising everyone.
Five players remain in the fight for the $10 million. The next game will be Monday evening with slightly more than 28 minutes left. The plan is to play down to the top three, but as seen this previous round, that could change.
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