Thirteen years after Joe Hachem put Aussie poker on the map by winning the 2005 World Series of Poker main event, Australia is back in the mix for WSOP glory with rising star Alex Lynskey booking his place on the main event final table on Thursday.
Lynskey, who hails from Brisbane, survived a rollercoaster Day 7 of the world’s most prestigious tournament to head to Friday’s final table sitting fifth in chips with 25,925,000. He is already guaranteed a US$1 million payday with US$8.8 million awaiting the eventual champion, although he has work to do to catch chip leaders Nicolas Manion and Michael Dyer with 112,775,000 and 109,175,000 respectively.
Lynskey is no stranger to Australia’s poker community, having already secured a number of impressive scores in recent years. He finished 9th at the 2015 Aussie Millions and fourth in the same event 12 months later, conquered the inaugural Australasian Poker Challenge at The Star in 2016 and came within a whisker of a WSOP bracelet in 2017 when he finished runner-up in the $2,620 “The Marathon” for US$427,000. Whatever happens from here, the 2018 WSOP main event will represent by far his biggest career score.
Incredibly, having seen the field whittled down from 7.874 players a week ago to just 10 remaining late Wednesday, the final table was set thanks to a brutal cooler that saw three players all-in pre-flop. China’s Yueqi Zhu and Antoine Labat both held KK against the AA of Nicolas Manion with Zhu eliminated and Labat left the short-stack once the hand played out.
The final table kicks off time on Friday with stack sizes as follows:
Nicolas Manion 112,775,000
Michael Dyer 109,175,000
Tony Miles 42,750,000
John Cynn 37,075,000
Alex Lynskey 25,925,000
Joe Cada 23,675,000
Aram Zobian 18,875,000
Artem Metalidi 15,475,000
Antoine Labat 8,050,000