John Cynn Defeats Tony Miles In Epic 2018 WSOP Main Event
It took 10 days to crown a champion, but the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event came to an end early Sunday morning after what can only be described as an epic head-to-head heavyweight bout.
Champ Survives Grueling Battle
John Cynn and Tony Miles logged about 12 hours of play during a marathon final day of Final Table competition. With heavy fatigue setting in for both players Cynn finally capitalized on a mistake by Miles to capture his first ever bracelet.
After swapping the chip lead in a seemingly endless back-and-forth tug-of-war Miles found himself on the short end with 180 million to Cynn’s 213,800,000. Staring at a 133,000,000 the turn gave Miles a pair of Eights with which he decided to shove all-in.
The only problem was, with the other three cards being King-King-Five, Cynn had a three-of-a-kind that couldn’t be beaten at the time of Miles’ move. A simple call by Cynn was all it would’ve taken to end the night, but the eventual champion took his sweet time before finally making his move.
That earned a bit of a disgruntled “slow-rolling” accusation from Miles in the heat of the moment as the player’s shook hands, but both left the floor on congenial terms after an incredible clash that won’t soon be forgotten.
A First Bracelet and “Life-Changing” Money
The crowd of fans, including his father, wearing “Welcome to Cynn City” t-shirts erupted after the final hands were revealed and the victor hoisted his sparkling bracelet high. To go with one of the most coveted pieces of hardware in the sport of poker, Cynn also gladly accepted the mammoth cash prize of $8.8 million.
The Indianapolis resident’s previous biggest score came from an 11th place finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event from which he took home $650,000. That being said, making it not only to the final table, but as the last man standing this time around was a life-changing achievement.
“The money is very significant, but I do like to think that I don't need the money to be happy. But at the same time, practically, it's going to make things a lot easier -- things I want to do in life ... even to my parents, this is money that they never could've imagined. It's definitely going to be life-changing.”
In the absence of poker giants like Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey the unproven duo carried the show and put on one for the ages that was sure to satisfy poker fans of all levels of experience. Each competitor was also relatively young with plenty of time left in their careers to achieve such status.
Fatigue Takes Toll On Miles
Adorned in his Tim Tebow jersey, Miles was definitely disappointed at the end result and it showed in his post-tourney interviews. While gracious to his opponent, he felt that the grind of the tournament had certainly goteen to him.
“We've been playing on little to no sleep -- the nerves and the angst that you feel at night, it's almost impossible to get a good night's rest. Then you come in here and you have to battle for 12 hours heads-up. It was a war, and it was amazing. I'm sure it'll go down and be chronicled in history as one of the best heads-up matches ever. I have a ton of respect for him. He's going to be a great champion, and I'm really happy for him.”
Miles admitted the bluff he made on the final hand with only the low pair probably was the result of mental strain, but that stress was equal for both players as Cynn discussed in another of his comments.
“I'm pretty beat. I'm pretty exhausted. I think every day, somehow you get more exhausted but also a little bit sharper just because your adrenaline keeps you going.”
Playing out of Jacksonville, Florida Miles gave the eventual champ a run for his money and though he came up just short of his own first bracelet, it still made for the best finish and cash prize of his career by a long shot.
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