After starting in 2nd on Day 6, Canada poker pro Sam Greenwood hit the rails last night, leaving fellow countryman Michael Niwinski in the best position to bring the WSOP Championship home to Canada.
Day 6 of the World Series of Poker Main Event was a
trying one for almost everyone at the tables in the Rio’s Amazon Room
in Las Vegas. The day started off with 106 player remaining, and as
the clock neared midnight, more than half of those had been sent to
the rails. At that point – and I’m not the only one to say it, I
might add – arguably the most talented player left was Sam
Greenwood of Toronto, Ontario.
Sam started the day with the second highest chip stack, trailing
virtual newcomer and software engineer Timothy Su. Having
drawn seats at the same table to end Day 5, it was inevitable their
1st and 2nd place stacks would collide. And that’s exactly what
happened just minutes before the clock struck midnight last night.
Timothy Su sends Sam Greenwood out in 45th
It was a typical hand, played in typical pro poker fashion – to an
extent. Su opened in the cut off for 500k, and Greenwood 3-bet to
2.5m in the BB. Getting the call from Su, the board was laid out.
Flop: Q♦ J♦ 4♣
Greenwood peeled 1.8m off his stack and Su called again.
Greenwood, far ahead with pocket Aces and now a pair of Jacks on the
board, sent another 3.5m into the pot. At was at this point that
commentators felt Su was taking far to great of a risk when the
American shoved the remainder of his stack over the top. Known only
to viewers and home and everyone in the booth, yet unbeknownst to the
Canadian, Timothy Su had nothing more than an outside straight and a
Standing from his seat, hands caressing his aching brain, Sam
Greenwood announced his call, sending the last of his approximate
11.5m into the middle. The hole cards were tabled.
Sam Greenwood: A♥ A♣
Timothy Su: 10♣ 9♣
An audible sigh of relief came from Greenwood’s
railbirds, but it was soon quenched by shocked disbelief as the river
And with that, a devastated Sam Greenwood’s
2019 WSOP Main Event life was over. He left the table in 45th place,
collecting $211,945 for his efforts. Timothy Su added 16.3 million to
his stack, bringing him up over 45m. He would go on to end the night
with 34,350,000 – good for the third largest stack going into Day
Micahel Niwinski Canada’s
With just 35 players remaining in the field,
only three of them carry the Maple Leaf flag on their virtual name
tags. One is Burnaby, BC’s own Michael
Niwinski, with 18.9 million chips
bagged. That puts him in the 11th best position, and well above
average in the counts. The other two are Paul
Dahliwal of Langley, BC, struggling
to stay afloat in 31st with 6.225m, and Alex
Livingston of Halifax, NS, who is
dangling by a thread in 34th with 2.8m remaining, equivalent to 9 big
Michael Niwinski is far from a WSOP newbie, and
has a better track record than his live career results depict.
Michael was (and still is) an online poker grinder before scoring his
first big live cash in the 2016 WSOP worth $427,930. He didn’t
consider himself an elite pro back then, but he was easily pulling in
enough to pay the bills.
That near half-million haul for a 15th place
WSOP finish was, hopefully, the catalyst for many more great things
to come. The Canadian poker pro went deep again in the 2018 WSOP, but
only enough to finish inside the bubble (996th, $15,920).
Could this be the year his ship rolls in? Could
Michael Niwinski become the second Canadian (Jonathan Duhamel being
the first) to ever win the poker world’s most prestigious event, the
WSOP Championship? Only time will tell as the last 35 competitors
gather to whittle away to the final table in Day 7, kicking off at
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Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.