Crazy Stupid Hand Decided The Final Table At The World Series Of Poker
With the opportunity to advance in the World Series of Poker on the table, things took a remarkable journey as three players thought they had it locked up. The promise of victory prompted a three-way all-in that was sheer bliss for Nicolas Manion and pure agony for Rich Zhu and Antoine Labat.
Zhu and Labat thought they punched their ticket to advancing when they were handed pocket kings. However, Manion was dealt pocket aces at the final table at the World Series of Poker main event. Zhu and Labat thought Manion was bluffing with his raise of $1.5 million, so they both went all-in. It was fair to believe Manion was bluffing since he isn’t listed in the professional poker player databases. Manion wasn’t bluffing.
There was over $76 million on the table and it was too late for Labat and Zhu after they realized they would both need a literal miracle flop to beat Manion’s pocket aces. They didn’t get the miracle flop and Manion pulled off the incredible upset.
“I’ve never seen a hand like that before,” Manion told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Somehow this is real life. When I got both calls, I flipped over my hand and I didn’t even stay to see what they had. I went straight to my rail, looked up at the TV and they had set up pocket kings vs. pocket kings and my aces.”
Despite having a massive chip stack to muscle around other players, Manion said he’s going to keep playing the way he’s been playing. “I’m still gonna stick to my game plan of playing the hands that I’m dealt and trying to just chip up and win the pots that I’m entering in,” Manion said.
Manion will now sit at the top table of the 2018 WSOP and he’ll have a wealth of chips to use at his discretion. Armed with 112,775,000 in chips, the 35-year-old from Muskegon, Michigan is the chip leader heading into the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event. Manion is the Vegas favorite to win the 2018 WSOP with 11-5 odds. Michael Dyer is in second place with 109,175,000 in chips and has 12-5 odds. Meanwhile, Labat is in ninth place with 8,050,000. Zhu was eliminated but took home a little more than $800,000.
“I had a buddy that was out here from Muskegon, [Michigan,] and a couple months ago he asked me if I wanted to play two $2,175 mega satellites that he would put me in,” Manion said of how he got to the WSOP. “I played both of them, qualified out of both, and he said, ‘let’s play this,’ because I told him I was playing really well.”
The final nine players emerged from a competitive field of 7,874 entries, the second largest field in the tournament’s history. The winner of the WSOP takes home the championship gold bracelet and the first place prize of $8,800,000. The champion will be crowned on Saturday, July 14.