German poker pro Hossein Ensan has won the 2019 World Series of Poker and its US$10 million first prize after outlasting a massive field of 8,569 at the Rio in Las Vegas.
The 55-year-old, who entered the final table as a dominant chip leader and maintained his lead for all but a few brief moments on the last day, edged out Italy’s Dario Sammartino heads-up to secure his place in history as winner of the 50th Anniversary Main Event. Sammartino pocketed a tidy US$6 million for his efforts.
Ensan’s success saw him become the oldest player in 20 years to win the world’s most prestigious poker tournament – a performance made even more memorable by the fact that this year’s Main Event was the second biggest of all time, behind only the 8,773 entrants who took part in 2006.
It took 13 straight days of play to whittle down the monster field and determine this year’s champion, completing a record breaking series in which 187,298 players competed across 89 events, with a total of over US$293 million in prize money awarded.