Through The Lens of Drew – Dyer Dominates Day 1 of the Main Event Final Table

Just six players remain with their eye on the top prize worth $8.8 million.

It was the Michael Dyer show on the first of three final table days. Dyer, only trailing Nic Manion to start the day, kept his foot on the gas and was extremely active during play. Now holding a massive chip lead with more than 150,000,000 chips, the next biggest stack smaller than 80,000,000. It will be interesting to see if Dyer's aggression will continue tomorrow, or if he will elect to take a back seat and let the other five players go to war.
It was the Michael Dyer show on the first of three final table days. Dyer, only trailing Nic Manion to start the day, kept his foot on the gas and was extremely active during play. Now holding a massive chip lead with more than 150,000,000 chips, the next biggest stack smaller than 80,000,000. It will be interesting to see if Dyer's aggression will continue tomorrow, or if he will elect to take a back seat and let the other five players go to war.

Drew Amato has been covering the World Series of Poker since 2014. This year he’s covered the U.S. Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl for Poker Central. Daily during the Main Event, Amato will share his favorite images from the World Series of Poker. Enjoy this recurring piece as, in his own words, Amato describes the biggest moments in the game.

Who wants it more? Who’s luckier? Who’s more aggressive? When a field of nearly 8,000 poker players boils down to a final table of nine, it almost seems impossible to think that only one of the ones remaining will continue their improbable run for three more days, beating eight other players that had everything go their way for seven days of poker.

Last night, during the first day of final table play, we bid farewell to three players while Michael Dyer impressively extended his chip lead hour after hour. Take a look right now at the highlights of this day through a collection of my photos.

Labat Photo: After last night's insane three-way all in, Antoine Labat was left extremely short, bring just over 8,000,000 in chips into today's final table. After folding for a few orbit's Labat raised the button to 1,200,000 only to have Antoine Metalidi shove from the small blind. Labat quickly called tabling two kings, and Metalidi was in bad shape with his two queens. After the dealer spread an ace-queen-five flop, Labat was reverse dominated, and left with just two outs and a prayer. Neither the turn nor river provided a king, and Labat was our first elimination of the day, taking home $1,000,000.
The Kings of Destiny: The story of Antoine Labat was told through pocket kings, and pocket kings only. The final table bubble saw Labat’s chances to win this event go from great to near impossible, as the Frenchman was left extremely short, taking just over 8,000,000 to the final table. On his final hand, Labat raised the button to 1,200,000 only to have Antoine Metalidi shove from the small blind. Labat quickly called tabling two kings, and Metalidi was in bad shape with queens. The dealer brought the ultimate pain, a queen, and the 12-year pro was left wondering ‘what if?’ Labat took ninth for $1,000,000. Read more about Labat’s regrets in this interview.
The Shoe Bomb: For anyone that’s been inside the Rio the past 2 days, it should come as no surprise to hear that Alex Lynskey’s rail has been by far the craziest. With a few members even being escorted out of the Amazon room, Lynskey’s rail was constantly singing, cheering, and drinking.
Every so often the Amazon room would echo with a loud "Shoe Bomb" chant, as a member of the rail would pour their drink into their shoe, and pound it. On the break, I asked the rail if I could photograph one of the infamous shoe bombs and they happily obliged. Five of them used an app on a cell phone to randomly decide a loser. The loser quickly took one of their shoes off, poured his vodka soda into the shoe, and quickly disposed of the beverage. Epic.
Every so often the Amazon room would echo with a loud “Shoe Bomb” chant, as a member of the rail would pour their drink into their shoe, and pound it. On the break, I asked the rail if I could photograph one of the infamous shoe bombs and they happily obliged. Five of them used an app on a cell phone to randomly decide a loser. The loser quickly took one of their shoes off, poured his vodka soda into the shoe, and quickly disposed of the beverage. Epic.
Shoutout to EPT Barcelona champ Tom Middleton for sacrificing his shoe and taking the shot like a champ.
Shoutout to EPT Barcelona champ Tom Middleton for sacrificing his shoe and taking the shot like a champ.
Lynskey: It was a rough day on the felt for Alex Lynskey, as the Australian pro struggled to gain any momentum at the final table. Lynskey went a full 46 hands without dragging a single pot, and the 47th he found himself all in and at risk. Lynskey held two sixes against the king-queen of Cynn. It wouldn't be until the river that Lynskey lost control of the hand as Cynn improved to a straight. The brutal river card put an end to Lynskey's run and he hit the rial in 7th place taking home $1,500,000.
47 Hands of Nothing: It was a rough day on the felt for Alex Lynskey, as the Australian pro never got anything going at the final table. Lynskey went a full 46 hands without dragging a single pot, and the 47th he found himself all in and at risk. Lynskey held two sixes against the king-queen of Cynn. It wouldn’t be until the river that Lynskey lost control of the hand as Cynn improved to a straight. The brutal river card put an end to Lynskey’s run and he hit the rial in 7th place taking home $1,500,000.
Alex Lynskey awaiting his fate alongside his opponent John Cynn.Zobian: The past few days have been quite a rollercoaster for Aram Zobian as the Day 6 chip leader has peaked at the very top of the leaderboard, and dropped down to the bottom multiple times. The swings have been real, and the emotions are certainly running high for Zobian and his rail. Earlier during play Zobian was at risk holding ace-eight against the sixes of Michael Dyer. With just one card to come it appeared as if Zobian was on his way out the door, but sure enough as luck would have it, Zobian drilled an eight to keep his main event dreams alive. He was embraced by his rail with loud cheers and hugs as Zobian has clawed his way back into contention.

Zobian Lives: The past few days have been quite the rollercoaster for Aram Zobian, as the Day 6 chip leader dropped down to the bottom multiple times. The swings of both his stack and emotions have been real, but Zobian pulled through with help from his loud rail. On the first day of final table action, Zobian was at risk holding ace-eight against the sixes of Michael Dyer. With one card to come Zobian was on his way out the door, but drilling an eight on the river kept his main event dreams alive. Beer spilled, hugs were shared and Zobian returns on the second day of final table play with a shot at $8.8 million.

Enjoyed this photoblog? You’ll also enjoy “Super High Roller Bowl Highlights”“Poker’s Annual Gold Rush” and “Doyle’s Final Ride” in the series “Through the Lens of Drew” by clicking the links. Follow Drew Amato on Instagram. The 2018 World Series of Poker streams live on PokerGO now. Don’t miss a minute of the action by subscribing to PokerGO.