Dyer leads final six players with Joe Cada is still in the hunt for his second Main Event title

July 12, 2018 (Las Vegas, NV) - After yesterday’s ending to Day 7, the first of three days of the World Series of Poker Main Event final table had a lot to live up to.

While there wasn’t another historic three-way all in that will go down in poker history, it was a memorable day for Michael Dyer, who overtook the chip lead early in the day and extended it throughout the two levels of play. He bagged up a healthy lead with six players heading to Day 8 on Friday.

The soft-spoken Texan finished the day with 156,500,000 in chips, more than double Nicolas Manion, who finished the day second on the leaderboard. At a final table with such high-stakes and scrutiny, the chip lead makes his decisions much easier.  

“I just try and make good decisions,” said Dyer after bagging up his massive stack. “I have a dynamic separation on everybody, so it makes it kind of simpler for me to play. I’m able to play differently than they are.”

He made great decisions all day, chipping up from his 109,175,000 start-of-day mostly from non-showdown pots. Even with all the chips in his bag, Dyer has nothing but respect for the other eight competitors at the table.

“They all played really well,” said Dyer. “It was a pretty solid final table. I didn’t see any horrible mistakes or anything egregious.”

It was Manion who came out on top of that crazy, three-way all in at the end of Day 7, and took the chip lead into the final table, with Dyer right behind him. Within the first few hands of the day, however, it was Dyer that had the lead and by the end of day’s first level, Dyer had nearly double Manion who was still second in chips.

At one point late in the day, Dyer’s lead grew to almost 3-to-1 over Manion, who was in second most of the day, but Manion took a pot off Dyer when Manion check-called two streets with what ended up being second pair.

After being on the wrong end of the cold deck that ended Day 7, Antoine Labat came in as the short stack with about 13 big blinds. He lost most of his stack with pocket kings on the final hand of Wednesday’s action. After Thursday, he might start open-folding the second-best preflop hold’em hand.

Labat busted in ninth place after he was all in with pocket kings against Artem Metalidi’s pocket queens.  A queen came on the flop and over the course of two orbits, spanning back to Wednesday night, Labat went from chip leader to out in ninth. He was the first player to pick up a seven-figure payout, leaving the Rio with $1,000,000.

Metalidi picked off the short stack at the table but was still hovering around the bottom of the chip counts with Aram Zobian. Zobian won a flip to double through Dyer, which put him in front of Metalidi.

The two then clashed in a race situation with Metalidi’s pocket fives up against Zobian’s   . The flop gave Metalidi a set of fives, but Zobian flopped a flush draw, which only drew more noise from an already rowdy rail.

Metalidi busted in eighth, which left Lynskey as the short stack. Unfortunately for Lynskey, he was the only player at the final table that failed to win a pot. 10 hands after Metalidi’s elimination, it was an almost similar race for Lynskey’s tournament life. Lynskey was all in out of the big blind and got action from John Cynn in the small blind.

Lynskey showed pocket sixes and was up against Cynn’s   . As with every all in at this point of the tournament, the rail was on their feet, but the runout was just as dramatic as the last elimination.

The     flop gave Cynn two overs and a gutshot. The   turn card give him a few more counterfeit outs. The   came on the river, which gave Cynn the nut straight and eliminated Lynskey in seventh. Lynskey picked up $1,500,000 for his deep run.

The tournament was scheduled to stop with six players remaining, but the staff decided to finish the level before bagging up for the night.

While Dyer is far and away the chip leader with Manion in a distant second, Cynn and Tony Miles fill out the middle of the pack. 2009 Main Event champion Joe Cada and Zobian round out the bottom of the Day 8 chip counts.  

Cada came into the final table short on chips and had the fortune of being to the left of both big stacks.

“I think that helps a ton. I was telling my rail. Not just [Dyer], but [Manion] was slightly to his right,” said Cada about his seat at the table. “It made it a little easier to play today. I could open up normal ranges and not worry about getting three-bet or played back at and playing this spot with the guy that has the most chips when everyone else is short.”

The Michigan native is the only player at the table who can draw from experience, having gone through the fanfare of the Main Event final table in 2009. The now 30-year-old Cada isn’t drawing from past experiences. He’s staying in the moment.

“It’s been a long time, so you kind of forget a lot of those feelings,” said Cada. “But I’m just happy to be here. It’s been a grueling tournament. I’m just lucky to be in the spot that I’m at. I had low chips the entire tournament, so I feel like I’m just hanging in there.”

The final six players will come back at 5 p.m. on Friday to play down to the final three players, with those players returning on Saturday to crown a champion.

Having already locked up at least a cash of $1,800,000, Cada thinks most of the pressure is behind them.

“I think there’s pressure getting to the final table and then there’s a lot of pressure at the start of the final table, not knowing what’s going to happen,” said Cada. “Now that the jabs have been thrown and we’re six-handed, it’s all gravy.”

The chip leader has a slightly different outlook on the rest of the final table.

“I like playing poker and it’s just more poker,” said Dyer. “It’s just interesting seeing what happens.”

The duration of the Main Event can be seen live on ESPN on a 30-minute delay Friday and Saturday.

Final Table Chip Counts:

Seat 1: John Cynn – 61,550,000
Seat 2: Tony Miles – 57,500,000
Seat 3: Nicolas Manion – 72,250,000
Seat 4: Aram Zobian – 16,700,000
Seat 5: Michael Dyer – 156,500,000
Seat 6: Joe Cada – 29,275,000

Day 8 Eliminations:

7th: Alex Lynskey - $1,500,000
8th: Artem Metalidi - $1,250,000
9th: Antoine Labat - $1,000,000

Remaining Payouts:

1st: $8,800,000
2nd: $5,000,000
3rd: $3,750,000
4th: $2,825,000
5th: $2,150,000
6th: $1,800,000