Hossein Ensan Wins World Series of Poker Main Event, $10M

Hossein Ensan Wins World Series of Poker Main Event, $10M

The World Series of Poker came to an end very early Wednesday morning as Hossein Ensan claimed the title and $10,000,000 with a pair of pocket kings.

The second-ever German champion defeated Italian Dario Sammartino in heads-up play to claim the title, going into heads up competition with a slight advantage in chips. The tournament ended at 1:23 in morning after 101 hands of heads-up play, 300 hands into Day 10.

Ensan’s First WSOP Bracelet

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

With Ensan holding the pair of king hearts-king clubs and Sammartino holding 8s-4s, the turn saw 10s-2d-6s-9c. Sammartino was looking for one more spade for a flush, or a 7 for an inside-straight draw. Sammartino went all in, Ensan called instantly to put the game on the line. The river was the queen of clubs.

The win meant that Ensan walked away as the second-ever German champion, the first being Pius Heinz in 2011. Ensen was also the third Iranian-born player to take home the main event, preceded by Mansour Matloubi in 1990 and Hamid Dastmalchi in 1992.

He set two other records: At 55 years old, Ensan is the oldest champion since 1999, and he's the first to win with pocket kings.

Winning the bracelet is by far the biggest win of Ensen’s career to this point. His previous largest prize was the EPT Main Event €5,000 + 300 No Limit Hold’em in Barcelona in 2014. He took home the equivalent of $860,091 from that tournament. His last tournament win was WSOP €1,500 + 150 No Limit Hold’em in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

Sammartino walked away with $6 million for finishing runner-up. Filling out the final table, in order of finish:

  1. Hossein Ensan, $10m
  2. Dario Sammartino, $6m
  3. Alex Livingston, $4m
  4. Garry Gates, $3m
  5. Kevin Maahs, $2.2m
  6. Zhen Cai, $1.85m
  7. Nick Marchington, $1.525
  8. Timothy Su, $1.25
  9. Milos Skrbic, $1m

Livingston was eliminated at exactly hand No. 200 after taking the lead at hand No. 170. As Livingston took the lead, Sammartino was in serious danger of busting out, dropping to 50,200,000 chips. Sammartino also held the lead during heads-up play as late as hand No. 221.

Ensen entered the last day of competition with more than double the chips over second place, with 326,800,000 to Livingston’s 120,400,000. Sammartino was nearly an afterthought at 67,600,000, but fought his way back into contention, overtaking Livingston on hand No. 132.

WSOP Finalists and Celebrities

In addition to Ensen and Sammartino, Canadian Alex Livingston rounded out the top three for the second-ever non-American podium. Nick Marchington and Milos Skrbic rounded out the non-American representatives, representing England and Serbia respectively.

The action across the events was well documented, from the first female champion being crowned, to almost $700k being raised for charity in the Little One for One Drop.

Some of the familiar faces of the WSOP didn’t make it as far as expected. Johnny Chan, the most recent back-to-back champion, finished 392nd. Chris Moneymaker finished 222nd. Both were eliminated on Day 2.

Three-time Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour showed he might be a threat in future tournaments. The former Patriot finished 131st, taking home $59,295 after being eliminated on Day 5.