Welcome back to our third and final night of live blogging of the 2018 World Series of Poker Championship Event Final Table!

In the “old days,” when there was a live poker event like this – and televised – many in the industry would do what is called “live blogging.” Basically it was a way to watch the proceedings and inform the readers of what was going on in almost real time. You had to be stunned last night as Michael Dyer’s world came apart on him, so much so that he went from the penthouse (the chip lead) to being the REALLY short stack for the final three. John Cynn was one of the beneficiaries of Dyer’s fall, taking over the second slot, but it is Tony Miles who was the MAIN benefactor. It always seemed liked he had something to one up Dyer as he garnered a MOUNTAIN of chips on the way to tonight’s action.

It will be a long night…buckle in and get ready for a battle!

9:15PM (Eastern Time)

Glad to see Dyer come out firing, as if there was anything else he could do. The two all-ins to start the night tell Cynn and Miles that A) he’s not afraid of going out early, and B) that he’s willing to fire with anything. It will keep both of his opponents at bay as they weigh how to handle the former chip leader.


Miles has been playing outstanding poker, but there’s something that might be a bit worrisome about him. It was mentioned earlier at the final table (and just mentioned again by Norm Chad on the broadcast tonight) that Miles is a recovering drug addict. While it is great that he’s cleaned up and gotten sober, you’ve got to worry that the pressures of potentially being poker’s next World Champion could be overwhelming. He seems like he has it together (and was very low-key and soft spoken in an interview with Joe Stapleton, saying “he wanted to be World Champion” more than the money), so maybe it’s much ado about nothing.


Dyer has to love it every time that Cynn and Miles go at each other. Not to say that they should collude, but Cynn and Miles SHOULD be more interested in eliminating the short stack – Dyer – than knocking heads with each other. Every other tournament would be played this way, why shouldn’t the World Series of Poker Championship Event? (By the way, Cynn just took the lead over Miles).


You knew it was going to happen soon. Dyer had to push with that A-10 and Miles was definitely calling with the A-J. Dyer had a hell of a run, but the mojo ran a bit short.

Michael Dyer – Third Place – $3,750,000


This is the way heads up play will start:

Tony Miles, 203.5 million
John Cynn, 190.3 million

This is about as much as a toss-up as you can get. Cynn has been gathering momentum at the table tonight and has even chopped some chips from Miles. But Miles doesn’t seem to be fazed by Cynn’s momentum and instead seems to be very comfortable in the moment. This could be one of the longest heads-up matches in World Series of Poker history by the time we’re done with it.


Cynn was incredibly lucky to catch that straight on the end. But those are the hands that have to come home for you when you’re playing in a big tournament. Miles could have lost more on that hand, but he sniffed out the straight (or was it the flush?) and laid it down on the river.

And the price of poker goes up….1 million/2 million with a 300K ante.


Hate to repeat myself but, with two hour levels and the stacks as deep as this – Miles has 110 big blinds, Cynn about 87 – there’s not going to be huge plays. The twosome are going to be comfortable simply playing small pots back and forth, with the chip lead maybe going back and forth on occasion. It is the reason that the World Poker Tour actually CUTS the time of levels once it reaches heads up, so that they can get the tournaments done without it being a 12-hour event. That’s what we might be looking at tonight because the blinds aren’t going to start hurting these guys for a while yet.


There hasn’t been much to write home about yet from this heads up match, so let’s offer our congratulations to the two men who were inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. John “World” Hennigan and Mori Eskandani came from two different paths – John as a player and Mori as a contributor – but both men were well-deserving of the honor. What is unfortunate is that, while these two men got in, the other eight men were passed over. Perhaps some of them may get in one day – keep your head up, Matt Savage – but there’s the stunning reality that some of them are stuck in the purgatory of being “the bridesmaid and never the bride.”

Well be sure to talk more about this tomorrow…but now back to the show.


Our first big body blow of the night!

There was absolutely no way that Miles was going to lay that hand down. He’d rivered the best hand he could, one he thought was a winner (the straight), and no way in hell did he believe that Cynn had him the entire way. Cynn was thrilled to flop trips and turn the boat and he couldn’t wait to get the chips to the center. Also our first serious chip swing of the evening.


And just as quickly as Cynn pulls into the lead, Miles has the cojones to make a SERIOUS move.

On a 3-4-3-J-K board with three diamonds, Miles moves all in for his last 100 million or so in chips. Cynn had flopped a four but, after dipping into the tank for what seemed like forever, let his hand go. It brought Miles back up to 154 million in chips and will put the bug in Cynn’s mind that he is capable of this type of play.


Poker News Daily reader Ryan has asked if there’s a chance that these two have cut a deal. That’s certainly a possibility. Deals are still a big part of poker – in fact, the European Poker Tour routinely saw players chop up the remaining prize pool and leave a little on the side along with the trophy to play for. If they’ve done it here, however, we’re probably not going to hear about it (unless someone close to Cynn or Miles has loose lips).

Thanks for the question, Ryan!


Another level down and, although he might be in the lead, it looks like fatigue is catching up with Cynn. But who wouldn’t feel like that in this situation…they’ve been playing poker for 10 hours a day for 10 days now. Miles isn’t exactly the freshest either, but he’s chipping away at Cynn’s lead. He’s just got to watch not to try to bet his third- and fourth pairs too much…that’s a quick way to find yourself in an even bigger hole.

John Cynn, 221.7 million
Tony Miles, 172.1 million

And the blinds go up again…1.2 million/2.4 million, 400,000 ante


Looking at the structure sheet, this could go deep into Sunday morning. Next level (Level 43) is 1.5 million/3 million with a 500K ante, and that STILL doesn’t put a dent in these two stacks. It may be Level 45 – three levels from now – when the bets go up to 2.5 million/5 million with a 750K ante that the blinds will begin to put a bit of a hurt on them. Even then (and with the chip stacks now), Cynn would still have 44 big blinds and Miles 34…still plenty of play in this game.


And just like that, it flips.

Miles had been able to work into a sizeable lead after getting action from Cynn, but he would give it right back. With a seemingly innocuous board of 9-5-3-J-3, Cynn (sitting on pocket fives for the boat) was able to get Miles to call a MASSIVE 46 million chip bet on the river. That immediately swung the lead back to Cynn by about 80 million chips. The big question is who is going to break first?


To say things have once again ground to a halt would be redundant. Every once in awhile there is a momentary flash out of Miles, but just as quickly Cynn shuts it down. We’re about 20 minutes away from another break before the blinds go up again…and I expect little to change, either now or in the next level. These guys aren’t going to spew off the chips.


OK, the tournament is raging onwards into the night. But this writer isn’t! When Antonio Esfandiari starts retelling stories from the mid-Aughts about the night he allegedly outbought Kobe Bryant at a nightclub, it’s time to wrap it up! We’ll be back in the morning to recap what went on after this mark.

I also want to thank those who have been riding along with us on the “live blogging.” Been a few years but it is still fun! At this point, here’s the chip stacks:

John Cynn, 237.1 million
Tony Miles, 156.7 million


  1. Ryan says:

    Serious question: any chance of a chop side deal by these 2 given they are so close in chips at this point. Does that happen in the huge tournaments such as this?

  2. Earl Burton says:

    Hello Ryan,

    In answer to your question yes, there is a chance that they have already cut a deal and they are simply putting on a show. Deals are still a part of the poker world – they were prevalent on the European Poker Tour, where they would chop up the prize pool and leave a little on the side to play for with the trophy. At the WSOP Championship Event, however, they often are not made public.

    Thanks for reading!


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