Canadian Players Strong in Final 100 of WSOP Main Event

As the 2019 WSOP Main Event plays down, the excitement grows to see which poker players will run deep and make the final table. Within the next week, the winner will be crowned at the Rio Casino and that person will walk away with $10 million.

Poker fans in Canada are watching with interest, too, especially as the final 100 players in that tournament include several Canadian poker players. And the historic nature of the tournament – the second largest Main Event in its 50-year history – makes it all the more special to the poker community.

Celebrating 50 Years

The 2019 WSOP offered 90 tournaments in total. It started during the last week of May, with players from over 100 nations trekking around the globe to compete in the series.

More events were on the schedule this year to celebrate the 50th Annual World Series of Poker. That subsequently prompted WSOP executives to add tournaments like the Big Fifty ($500 buy-in that drew 28,371 entries) at the start of the series and the Final Fifty ($50K buy-in high roller event) near the end. There was a gala to celebrate poker’s biggest moments and players, and a tournament for bracelet winners only.

It has been a very full schedule, with cash games and different tournament series taking place at other Las Vegas poker rooms also adding to the excitement. Players had nearly every option they could’ve wanted.

Big Numbers in the 2019 WSOP Main Event

No matter the tournament variety or the big winners throughout the series, there is still one tournament that every player wants to win. It is the one they call the “big dance” and “THE” tournament of the year. That is the WSOP World Championship Main Event.

The 2019 WSOP Main Event kicked off with three starting days on July 3, 4, and 5. And when the dust settled from the thousands of players all pitching in their $10K buy-ins, the final numbers added up to put the tournament in the history books. It is the second largest Main Event ever, with fewer players than only the 2006 Main Event at the height of the poker boom.

Let’s look at the numbers:

Players: 8,569 (8,773 played in 2006)
Prize pool: $80,548,600
Paid players: 1,286
Value of chips in play: 514,140,000 (new record)
Number of chips in play: 222,794
Participating countries: 87
Average player age: 41.46

The minimum payout for players in the event was $15,000, but the final table payouts will guarantee that each of the final nine will be a millionaire.

1st place: $10 million
2nd place: $6 million
3rd place: $4 million
4th place: $3 million
5th place: $2.2 million
6th place: $1.85 million
7th place: $1.525 million
8th place: $1.25 million
9th place: $1 million

2019 WSOP Main Event Final Table Nears

The tournament burst the money bubble late on Day 3. That meant every player who started Day 4 was guaranteed amin-cash. Day 5 brought back only 354 players, and Day 6 (on July 11) started with only 106 remaining.

Of those 106 players starting the sixth full day of play, there were 10 Canadians among them.

The person listed second in the chip counts was Sam Greenwood, a popular poker pro from Toronto, Ontario. Down a bit further on the leaderboard, in 11th place, was David Guay of St-Hubert, Quebec. In 18th place in the chip counts was Atlee Jones of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The others still in contention were John Hashem of Regina, SK; Michael Niwinski of Burnaby, BC; Ryan Yu of Vancouver, BC; Alex Livingston of Halifax, NS; Paul Dhaliwal of Langley, BC; Kaniel Kirsch of Toronto, ON; and Eric Cloutier of Mont-Laurier, QB.

There has only been just one Canadian champion in the decades of Main Event winners, namely Jonathan Duhamel in 2010. Needless to say, many Canadians will be cheering for one of their compatriots to make the WSOP final table.

Two Canadian Bracelets Thus Far

Several events continue to play out in Las Vegas in addition to the 2019 WSOP Main Event. Up to this point, however, there have been two big Canadian names to win gold bracelets at this year’s series.

Greg Mueller, hockey pro and poker player, grabbed his third career WSOP win in mid-June when he took down the $10K HORSE Championship event for more than $425K. Since then, he made the final table of the $1,500 Limit Hold’em tournament and cashed in the $3K LHE 6-Handed event.

Longtime poker pro Ari Engel captured his first WSOP victory this year, winning a $2,500 NLHE event for more than $427K. It was his first bracelet, but he continued playing in the hopes of repeating that success. He did finish 10th in a $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha 8-or-Better event just days after his win, and he cashed in another two events after that.

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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