Canadian Livingston Finishes Third in WSOP Main Event

The 2019 WSOP Main Event is in the bag, with Germany’s Hossein Ensan taking down the coveted title for a massive $10 million payday. Meanwhile, Alex Livingston finished the tournament in 3rd place for $4 million, topping off yet another fine performance for Canadian poker players at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas.

WSOP Main Event Glory

There were 90 tournaments that awarded gold bracelets at this year’s World Series of Poker. The entire schedule was set up to accommodate players of a variety of bankrolls and game preferences, and it produced a wide array of winners.

Out of the seven weeks of tournament action at the Rio, though, there was one tournament that everyone wanted to see, even if they couldn’t play it. It is the big one, what they call the Main Event. It was the $10K buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship, and poker fans around the world followed along online via live updates, live streaming, or television broadcasts to see it play out.

In the end, Canadian poker fans watched even more intently as one of their own made it to the final table, through to the final five, and then down to the final three.

That player was Alex Livingston of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Second-Largest Main Event Ever

As mentioned last week, the 2019 WSOP Main Event was the second largest in its 50-year history.

The three starting flights and late registration option drew a total of 8,569 players in total, just 204 shy of the all-time record set in 2006 during the height of the poker boom.

The final prize pool was an astounding $80,548,600.

Out of that money, the top 1,286 finishers were paid a minimum of $15K for their efforts. However, the big money was at the top. Every player at the final table was guaranteed at least $1 million, with the winner being guaranteed $10 million.

Thinning the Field

The money bubble burst toward the end of Day 3. On Day 5, the number of surviving players then got whittled down to 106.

At that point, there were 10 Canadians still in play. Most of them were eliminated in the next few days as with the following payouts:

100th place: Daniel Kirsch ($59,295)
98th place: John Hashem ($69,636)
78th place: Eric Cloutier ($98,120)
62nd place: David Guay ($142,215)
45th place: Sam Greenwood ($211,945)
38th place: Atlee Jones ($211,945)
36th place: Ryan Yu ($261,430)
15th place: Paul Dhaliwal ($500,000)
12th place: Michael Niwinski ($600,000)

The Sam Greenwood bustout hand, courtesy of one of the eventual final table players, was particularly brutal and will be talked about for days.

Alex Livingston was then the last Canadian remaining in the field, but he ended Day 6 in 34th chip position out of 35 players. On the way to the final table of nine, though, Livingston survived and ended up knocking out the 10th place finisher to head to the table fifth in chips.

Ups and Downs of Final Table Play

When play began on July 14, it took only a few hands for Garry Gates to eliminate Milos Skrbic in ninth place . Hossein Ensan subsequently ousted Timothy Su in eighth. A bit later, Ensan busted Nick Marchington in seventh place. Livingston won a few pots and held a steady third place on the leaderboard, although he lost that spot when Kevin Maahs sent Zhen Cai out in sixth place.

Livingston was second-last in the chip counts of the final five when they reconvened on July 15. He then proceeded to garner some momentum a few rounds into the action. He took chips from Ensan and Garry Gates to climb into third, and Gates began to lose ground. Livingston benefited from some of Gates’ missteps and climbed into second place.

Ensan sent Maahs home in fifth place, but it was Alex Livingston who busted Gates in fourth place to end play for that night. The final three bagged these chip amounts:

  • Hossein Ensan – 326.8 million
  • Alex Livingston – 120.4 million
  • Dario Sammartino – 67.6 million

Sammartino doubled through Ensan a few hands into the night of July 16. Nevertheless, Livingston was winning chips consistently from Ensan, even taking the chip lead a few hours into play.

– Alex Livingston Out in Third

But Livingston lost some to Sammartino, and he took a big hit when Sammartino doubled through Livingston. The Canadian quickly lost ground and pots, one after another, until he was down below 50 million chips. He shoved his short stack with A-J, only to find that Ensan had A-Q. Alex Livingston was then sent out in third place for $4 million.

Ensan and Sammartino subsequently played on for several hours until Ensan won the Main Event for $10 million.

Final Chip Counts

  • 1st place: Hossein Ensan (Germany) – $10 million
  • 2nd place: Dario Sammartino (Italy) – $6 million
  • 3rd place: Alex Livingston (Canada) – $4 million
  • 4th place: Garry Gates (USA) – $3 million
  • 5th place: Kevin Maahs (USA) – $2.2 million
  • 6th place: Zhen Cai (USA) – $1.85 million
  • 7th place: Nick Marchington (UK) – $1.525 million
  • 8th place: Timothy Su (USA) – $1.25 million
  • 9th place: Milos Skrbic (Serbia) – $1 million
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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