Nicolas Manion is the chip leader heading into the nine-player final table for the main event of the 2018 World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Manion (112,775,000) and Michael Dyer (109,175,000) have more than 66 million more chips than any other player left in the field, which began with 7,874 entries and required a $10,000 buy-in for 50,000 chips. The final table features six Americans and one competitor apiece from Australia, Ukraine and France.
Let's check out the chip counts for each of the remaining WSOP main event contenders. That's followed by a look at the prize money they're battling to win and a preview of the final table before play resumes Thursday night in the famed Amazon room.
2018 Final Table Chip Counts
1. Nicolas Manion (USA): 112,775,000
2. Michael Dyer (USA): 109,175,000
3. Tony Miles (USA): 42,750,000
4. John Cynn (USA): 37,075,000
5. Alex Lynskey (AUS): 25,925,000
6. Joe Cada (USA): 23,675,000
7. Aram Zobian (USA): 18,875,000
8. Artem Metalidi (UKR): 15,475,000
9. Antoine Labat (FRA): 8,050,000
2018 Main Event Payouts
For a complete list of prize money, visit the tournament's official website.
Final Table Preview
Manion and Dyer will enter the action facing the same dilemma. They must decide whether to use their significant chip advantages to play aggressive with hope of slowly whittling their opponents' stacks or to sit back and wait for the other players to take each other out.
The fact that two players are so closely paired at the top also leaves the potential for a massive hand early at the final table. If the leaders both get strong starting hands, the ensuing showdown could give the hand's winner a massive advantage over everybody.
Cada, the 2009 winner of the main event, told WSOP.com this year's event has been "a lot more of a grind," while John Cynn expressed relief the final nine are now decided.
"To be honest, more than anything, I'm kind of glad the bubble popped and the day's ending," Cynn said. "...It's definitely surreal. I don't know if it's hit any of us yet; it's been a really long day. I'm very grateful to be at the final table."
He also said he'll review key hands from throughout the tournament before Thursday's action, noting "everyone's at the final table for a reason."
Antoine Labat will face the initial pressure as the short stack with nearly half the number of chips of any other player at the table. The Frenchman is going to need a successful all-in result early to at least give himself a little breathing room to play strategically.
All told, Manion and Dyer will enter the final table as the obvious favorites, but there's more than enough chips in play elsewhere for the other contenders to surge, especially Cada.
Poker fans can watch the action live Thursday night on ESPN starting at 9 p.m. ET. Blinds will be 300,000-600,000 with a 100,000 ante.