Only six players now remain in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event after the elimination in seventh place of Nick Marchington.
The 21-year-old Brit, who led the field at the end of Day 6, was the short stack coming into the final, but laddered two places to secure a payday of $1.525 million. When you consider that the biggest cash on Marchington’s resume prior to this point was a $12,515 score from an $800 buy-in tournament, you’ll know why he is our third player to bust today without a single regret.
“It’s been an incredible run,” Marchington said. “I felt really happy the entire way. I really enjoyed the final table. I’m not sure why but I really didn’t feel too much pressure.”
Marchington moved all-in for his last 15 big blinds after the runaway chip leader Hossein Ensan opened in late position. Marchington had A♦ 7♥ but Ensan had found K♠ K♣ this time and made a standard call. Though Marchington picked up a straight draw on the turn, he missed his eight outs and was knocked out.
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He had impressed other players and spectators alike this week with his willingness to play big pots in a bid to go really deep rather than just ladder up a few spots. He surrendered the chip lead yesterday in a huge hand against his eventual assassin Ensan, but defended his overall style of play.
“There was one particular big blast off with ten deuce suited,” he said. “I think that hand in particular was too aggressive, but I don’t regret my mindset. People were playing quite money-scared and I was trying to win the tournament. I wasn’t playing for ninth. It didn’t work out this time, but maybe next time.”
Marchington had been on a fairly poor run of form through his first poker trip to Vegas, having fired 33 tournament bullets with only one meagre cash, and he said he had intended perhaps to go back to the UK and “lick his wounds” had the Main Event also not panned out. But his job of convincing his family that he made the right decision to pursue a poker career has now got slightly easier. They flew out to watch Marchington at the final and he said their presence gave him a real boost.
“It was incredible having them rail and amazing actually having them being here,” Marchington said. “Honestly, I got so emotional when they pulled up at the hotel. It’s great they’re here. They say they’re really proud of me. I’m just really happy they’re here.”
They should also be proud of the remarkable maturity Marchington displayed when fielding questions about what he would advise other young guns thinking about taking poker more seriously. “I would tell them to believe in themselves, but also when you see someone win a lot of money it’s easy to get kind of romanticised by the idea,” he said. “My number one piece of advice would be: Just be responsible with your money, and be realistic in how you play, your skill level. If you’re young and you’re trying to improve, just try to show good results over time. Really study your game and just believe in yourself.”
Vowing now to “stand still” for a while, rather than being tempted to hit the circuit hard, Marchington said he’ll miss the comradeship that developed among the last nine. “I think there was a real sense of camaraderie and I think it was genuine,” Marchington said. “Everyone was really happy to be there and everyone is really happy for each other.”
He added: “I like Garry Gates’ chances. He really gets in the mix. He isn’t afraid to go for it.”
Marchington had the chance to become the youngest ever Main Event champion, but even missing out on that could not diminish his excitement at what he had achieved. “I’ve loved every minute of it, and maybe I’m the youngest seventh-placed finisher,” he said.
Revised plan for the day
Owing to the three quick eliminations, organisers say today will be extended either to the end of Level 38 (there’s still 1hr 45mins on the clock) or until one more player is knocked out.
Stacks at 9.45pm:
Hossein Ensan, Germany – 192,500,000
Garry Gates, USA – 169,700,000
Alex Livingston, Canada – 52,800,000
Kevin Maahs, USA – 34,400,000
Zhen Cai, USA – 33,500,000
Dario Sammartino – Italy – 31,900,000
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