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The Champion

The World Series of Poker 2019 Final Table saw Germany’s Hossein Ensan (Iranian born) face-off against Italy’s Dario Sammartino heads up as the tournament saw the second largest turnout since 2006. Ensan and Sammartino outlasted 8,567 competitors, and when they finally faced off in the final hand, Sammartino looked down at 8♠️ 4♠️ and Ensan looked down at his cowboys - K♣️ K♥️. 


With the blinds being 2m/4m (m → million), Sammartino had a stack of 169.5 million chips, whereas Ensan was considerably ahead with 345.5 million chips. The big blind ante was 4m chips. Ensan opened the betting with a pre-flop raise of 11m chips, pretty standard move with pocket kings. Sammartino flat calls, standard move for heads up play, hope to get lucky! 


The flop - 10♠️ 2♦️ 6♠️


Very dangerous flop for the Italian. It’s tempting, it’s drawing and it could lead to end up in absolutely nothing. He checks. The German bets 15m. Looks like a standard continuation bet right? Easy to put him on Ace-King, Ace-Queen or maybe even Ace-Ten. 


Sammartino has a decision. He has a flush draw, which means 9 outs. 9 spades left in the deck. With two cards to come on the board, his chances of making his flush by the river is around 22%. Calling 15m in a pot of 41m? Decent odds (remember pot odds? If you don’t, read here). Pretty decent.  He’s getting almost 4 to 1 on a flush draw. He should at least see the turn. 


So he calls 15m. The turn - 


9♣️


The board-  10♠️ 2♦️ 6♠️ 9♣️


He gains three more outs with his gut-shot. A spade gives him a flush and any 7 gives him the second-nut straight (Jack-Eight being the nuts in that scenario). 


Sammartino check again! Clear show of weakness. Ensan senses it, and makes a decent raise of 33m chips, slightly more than half the pot. A flat call is the worst decision here, since it’s too much money for too little outs (12 outs with just one card to come). He should either fold, or shove, hoping to scare Ensan off. So what does he do?


He SHOVES! He goes all-in! Ensan SNAP calls and shows his Kings. He just has to dodge a spade and a 9, and he is the WSOP 2019 champion, with a cash prize of 10 million dollars!


The river - Q♣️


What did you think of Sammartino’s and Ensan’s final play? 



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