They’re getting down to it now at the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event. Day 6 is in the books and there are now just 26 players – three tables – remaining of the initial 7,874 who began the tournament a week and a half ago. Aram Zobian, a professional poker player from Rhode Island, leads the field with 41.585 million chips, holding a very healthy lead over the second place player, Artem Metalidi, who has 30.845 million.
Amazingly enough, Zobian was only around the 20 million chip mark with about a half hour left in the day. He then went on a heck of a run of cards and was able to capitalize. First, he and Nishant Sharma got into a pre-flop raising way until all the chips were in the pot. Sharma had pocket Queens, but Zabian had Aces. An Ace flopped just to make it a no-doubter and Sharma was out of the tournament in 34th place while Zobian’s stack skyrocketed to 31 million chips.
He lost about 4 million to Metalidi shortly thereafter, but ramped it up again in another pre-flop all-in war with Samuel Bernabeu. This time, it was Zobian who had Queens, but Bernabeu only had K-Q suited. Bernabeu technically improved on the river, but the case Queen also gave Zobian a set, so Bernabeu was eliminated in 30th place, while Zobian was up to 38.5 million chips.
After that, Zobian won some and lost some – as uneventful as hands this far in the Main Event can be – to eventually end up where he is right now.
Zobian fully acknowledged to WSOP interviewers afterward how much the poker gods were smiling upon him, saying, “I can’t even comprehend how good I’m running right now. [I’m] definitely blessed. I’ve never ran this good in a tournament. Not even close. Hopefully that will be true for tomorrow as well.”
According to TheHendonMob.com, Zobian has won just $110,444 in live tournaments (it’s “just” $107,444 more than I have ever won), so he is already in line to more than triple his lifetime earnings. The lowest payout remaining is $282,630 and pay jumps really start mattering from here on out.
The original plan last night was to end with 27 players remaining so that there would be three nine-handed tables left, but while Clayton Fletcher was eliminated in 28th place, there will still hands in progress. One of those hands resulted in Jordan Fox getting knocked out by former chip leader Michael Dyer in 27th place.
Aside from Zobian, much of the attention on Wednesday will be on one person who has a chance to make history. 2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada is still alive in the field, though he is not in the best of shape, nursing a stack of just 8.850 million chips with blinds and antes at 100,000/200,000/30,000 and set to increase after just 10 minutes. Former November Niner Sylvain Loosli is also still in the tourney with 11.635 million.
By the end of Wednesday night, we will know the composition of the Main Event final table. The final table will then begin on Thursday, which has not happened for quite some time. The November Nine was scrapped last year, but in 2017, there was a two-day break before the final table.
Poker fans can follow the action with a PokerGO subscription from 11:30am to 9:30pm Pacific time and then on ESPN2 thereafter.
2018 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 6 Chip Leaders
1. Aram Zobian – 41,585,000
2. Artem Metalidi – 30,845,000
3. Antoine Labat – 28,445,000
4. Michael Dyer – 26,515,000
5. Alex Lynskey – 22,045,000
6. Yueqi Zhu – 19,245,000
7. Kao Saechao – 18,985,000
8. Martijn Gerrits – 17,790,000
9. Nicolas Manion – 17,630,000
10. Eric Froehlich – 15,285,000