LAS VEGAS — The 2019 World Series of Poker main event is down to its final nine players and includes a player from Chicago.
All nine remaining players — including 27-year-old Chicagoan Kevin Maahs — are guaranteed at least $1 million, but also have just eight players between them at the $10 million top prize and poker's most coveted title.
Maahs will enter Sunday's final table at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino with the fourth largest chip stack, 43 million, after surviving seven days of play as the starting field of whittled itself down to the nine from a starting field of 8,569 players.
The Loyola graduate entered the main event in Day 2, bypassing the first day. He told pokernews.com that registering late was a calculated decision; playing short-stacked suited his style of play. It worked. He ended Day 2 with a healthy 262,100 stack, dipped a bit on Day 3, but has been in the top 50 every day since. This is Maahs' first WSOP main event, but he had around $60,000 in winnings from multiple solid in-the-money finishes in smaller circuits like the Heartland Poker Tour and the Mid-States Poker Tour.
To take the WSOP's $10 million top prize, the winner will have to accumulate all 514.8 million in chips in play. Entry to the tournament cost $10,000.
The final nine players will resume play on Sunday, with an expected three days of play before the champion is crowned Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Sunday's play is broadcast on ESPN starting at 6 p.m., during which they play down to six players. They return 6 p.m. Monday to play down to three players, who then return to crown a champion at 5 p.m. Tuesday.