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2018 WSOP Main Event Kicks Off Monday – Hennigan and Deeb Lead POY

The 2018 World Series of Poker is in the home stretch as the WSOP Main Event is about to kick off on Monday. This year’s Main Event begins a bit earlier and is just Event #65 out of 78. There’s still a lot of poker left to play this summer.

Meanwhile, the race for WSOP Player of the Year continues to be a tight one with John Hennigan and Shaun Deeb neck and neck. Julien Martini, Mike Leah, and Elio Fox are within striking distance but need a couple big performances to catch the leaders.

WSOP Main Event Begins Monday

The first of three starting flights for the 2018 WSOP Main Event kicks off on Monday. The first starting flight tends to be the smallest with Days 1B and 1C bringing in the bulk of the field. Last year’s Main Event drew 7,221 players.

With the merging of New Jersey into the player pool, there’s expected to be a bump in overall attendance. Some estimate that this year’s Main Event will reach 7,500 players.

The WSOP Main Event begins at 11 am PST and features 50,000 in starting chips with 120-minute levels. There will be five levels played with 20-minute breaks after each level. An hour dinner break will occur after Level 2.

Day 1 will run through Wednesday with Day 1A and 1B returning on Thursday to play Day 2A and 2B. Players from Day 1C will come back on Friday to play Day 2C. The fields combine next Saturday to continue play through the final table.

The final table will commence on July 12 and play down to six players. On July 13, the players return and play to the final three. The final three return on July 14 to play to a champion.

Action from most days will be streamed live on PokerGo with the final table featured on ESPN TV.

John Hennigan and Shaun Deeb Battle for WSOP Player of the Year

The race for the 2018 WSOP Player of the Year is effectively two players at present. John Hennigan holds the overall lead with 2,921.09 points while Shaun Deeb is right behind with 2,769.11.

Hennigan is enjoying a phenomenal WSOP with nine cashes thus far that include four final tables, a runner-up finish in the $50k Poker Player’s Championship and a bracelet win in the $10k HORSE. His most recent cash came Saturday when he finished 16th in the ONLINE High Roller.

Shaun Deeb has twelve cashes so far in the 2018 WSOP but only two final tables. He finished third in the $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball Event and won the $25k PLO High Roller. His other notable finish was 10th in the PPC.

Hennigan has a 151.98 point lead over Deeb going into the final two weeks of the WSOP. Afterward, there is a 700+ point gap between Julien Martini, Mike Leah, and Elio Fox. They have 2041, 2039, and 2010 points respectively.

Fox and Martini have both won WSOP bracelets this summer while Leah has multiple deep runs in events. He has three final tables, including fourth place finishes in both the $10k Razz and the $50k PPC.

Keep in mind that the 2018 WSOP POY does not conclude at the end of the Vegas series but continues through the WSOP Europe. The person leading the POY at the end of the Vegas series will get an automatic entry into the WSOP Europe Main Event.

Chris Ferguson led the POY after Vegas last year and went on to win the title outright after WSOP Europe. Ferguson is presently 40th on the POY list with 1,280 points. He has continued to cash and make final tables but this year’s new format heavily favors those making consistently deep runs and winning events over earning a ton of cashes as Ferguson was able to do in 2017.

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