World Series of Poker 2019: Hossein Ensan claims $10 million prize with his first Main Event victory

After enduring 101 hands and a little more than four hours of heads-up play on Tuesday night, Germany's Hossein Ensan closed out the 2019 World Series of Poker by claiming his first Main Event bracelet along with the tournament's top $10 million prize.

Ensan entered the final day of the tourney as a potential wire-to-wire winner considering his significant chip lead over fellow finalists Dario Sammartino and Alex Livingston, and while that didn't come to fruition thanks to early gains by Sammartino in heads-up action, the 55-year-old Meunster resident sealed his big win with pocket kings in the evening's climactic hand. With both he and Sammartino all in, and the latter touting a flush draw and inside-straight draw, Ensan took the hand after the river was a blank and officially became the WSOP Main Event champion.

"This is the best feeling in my life," Ensan said afterward. "Unbelievable! I am so happy I'm here with the bracelet in hand. What can I say?"

Ensan, who topped the second-largest field in WSOP history (8,569 entrants), became the oldest player to win the Main Event in two decades as well as just the second German to claim a Main Event bracelet. He's also only the third Iranian-born Main Event winner, following Monsour Matloubi (1990) and Hamid Dastmalchi (1992). Now up to more than $12 million in career poker earnings, Ensan dominated throughout the final stages of the tournament, finishing Monday night's final-table cut-down with a sizable chip lead.

Sammartino, an admitted friend of Ensan, officially finished second to earn $6 million, while Livingston, a top-15 finisher in 2013, ended in third place with $4 million.

As the WSOP noted, this year's tournament drew rave reviews not only for its near-historic entrant pool but for a number of big-name runs leading up to the culmination of the Main Event. Former NFL star Richard Seymour, for example, finished in 131st place after lasting through Day 5. Former back-to-back Main Event champ Johnny Chan, 2016 winner Qui Nguyen and 2003 champ Chris Moneymaker all threatened deep runs as well.

CBS Sports Writer

Cody Benjamin joined CBS Sports in 2017 after time spent with SB Nation, various newspapers and his own Eagles outlet. Raised around the Philly sports scene, he now lives in Minnesota with his wife and... Full Bio

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