Hossein Ensan continues to lead the WSOP Main Event final table with just five players remaining (888 photo)

The opening night of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event final table went about as close to script as Hossein Ensan and Garry Gates could have hoped. The two biggest at the start of play, Ensan and Gates were responsible for the first three eliminations as the shortest stacks all went bust. The only deviation from said script, was a fourth player hitting the rail before the end of the night.

Milos Skrbic First to Go

Nick Marchington got things started early, doubling through Zhen Cai on the third hand of the night leaving Milos Skrbic and Timothy Su as the two remaining short stacks. Three hands after that, Skrbic was sent to the rail.

Action folded to Gates in the small blind and he moved all in with AcQh and Skrbic called all in from the big blind with AsJh. The board ran out Td9h7h4d5h to give Gates an additional 18,400,000 and send eliminate Skrbic in ninth place.

“I don’t know what to say, I’m still in shock. It was fun for sure,” Skrbic said in the minutes after his tournament ended.

Timothy Su Eliminated in Eighth

Just five hands after that, Timothy Su followed Skrbic out the door. Timothy Su moved all in from UTG for 17,700,000 with 3c3d. Ensan called from the cutoff with AdJs. The Jh5c5d flop move Ensan ahead and left Su with just two outs. Neither the Ts turn or Jd river were able to save the 27-year-old engineer from an eighth-place finish.

“I came in with zero expectations and just making the min-cash would be awesome, but somehow I was able to spin it up, maintain a chip lead, chip lead Day 2AB, chip lead I think Day 6 and even throughout Day 7 I had over 1/5th of the chips in play one point,” Su said. “There’s no regrets on anything, that’s for sure.”

Nick Marchington Busts in Seventh

Those first two eliminations came very quickly, but thanks to his early double up, 21-year-old Nick Marchington was able to stave off elimination for another two hours. Action folded to Ensan in the cutoff and he made it 2,400,000 with KcKs. Marchington moved his last 14,000,000 all in with Ad7c and Ensan called. The Jh8c6d flop kept Ensan ahead but gave Marchington a backdoor straight draw. The 5h turn was the first step in filling that straight, but the Qs river was a brick and his run at becoming the youngest Main Event champion in history ended with a seventh-place finish.

“I really enjoyed the final table. Not sure why, but I didn’t really feel any pressure. Just loved every minute of it,” Marchington said. “Maybe I’m the youngest ever seventh-place finisher?”

Zhen Cai Elimination Wraps Up Play

The plan for the first night of final table play was to play down from nine players to six but the fast pace changed that and ESPN decided to play down until the end of the level or the next elimination. Just 90 minutes later, Zhen became the reason that play was stopped for the night. Ensan raised to 2,400,000 from the cutoff with QcJs, Kevin Maahs called from the small blind with 9c9s, before Cai moved all in for 28,700,000 with AsKd. Ensan folded, but Maahs called. The board ran out QsJh7s4d2d to give Maahs the pot, eliminate Cai in sixth-place and end play for the night.

Final Five Chip Counts

  1. Hossein Ensan – 207,700,000
  2. Garry Gates – 171,700,000
  3. Kevin Maahs – 66,500,000
  4. Alex Livingston – 45,800,000
  5. Dario Sammartino – 23,100,000


6. Zhen Cai – $1,850,000
7. Nick Marchington – $1,525,000
8. Timothy Su  – $1,250,000
9. Milos Skrbic – $1,000,000

WSOP Main Event on ESPN

After spending the night on ESPN2, the action now moves over to ESPN. Cards are in the air in Las Vegas beginning at 6:30 PT with the 30-minute delayed broadcast beginning at 7:00 PM PT.