A 2019 World Series of Poker tournament that began with nearly 8,600 players has been whittled down to three, and the Main Event's remaining trio will square off Tuesday night for a shot at $10 million.
When the final table resumed Monday, Germany's Hossein Ensan and Nevada's own Garry Gates -- a four-time Main Event contender who also finished in the top 175 back in 2011 -- were the clear favorites. On just the third hand of the night, however, Italy's Dario Sammartino, fresh off awith Main Event officials, doubled up through Ensan and put himself just about even with fellow finalist Alex Livingston. Gates was left to scrap it out with big hands against Ensan and Livingston, ultimately bowing out in fourth place with $3 million.
As WSOP noted, Gates' fall came steadily as Ensan and Livingston made big moves:
Over the course of several hands, (Livingston) went from about 40 million in chips to about 80 million in chips. He never doubled up; he just slowly accumulated chips. Some of them came from Garry Gates, and after Livingston's surge, he and Gates were virtually tied for second place.
Over the next few hands, Livingston gained a little more, and Gates lost a little more, then the two of them clashed. Gates made a big river bluff. Livingston called with top pair. The hand moved him to about 110 million, his first time in nine-figure territory. Gates, meanwhile, fell below 40 million in chips.
Now, Ensan has a chance to go wire-to-wire at the final table, entering Tuesday night's finale with a significant chip lead, touting 326,800,000 in contrast to Livingston, his closest competitor, who has 120,400,000. Sammartino, meanwhile, has 67,600,000.