The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) draws to a close with German poker professional Hossein Ensan outlasting a massive field of 8,569 players.

55-year old Ensan bagged the $10 million first prize in this year's series which was held in the Rio in Las Vegas cementing his place in history as the winner of the 50thAnniversary Main Event.  Ensan, who entered the final table as a dominant chip leader, kept a cool head to maintain his lead for all but a few brief moments on the last day, edging out Italy’s Dario Sammartino.  Sammartino pocketed a tidy $6 million for his efforts.

Ensan’s victory saw him become the oldest player in over 20 years to win the world’s most prestigious poker tournament – something 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.

Ensan showed remarkable focus and stamina over the 13 straight days of play to whittle down the monster field and become this year’s champion in what has been a record-breaking series seeing 187,298 players competing across 89 events, with a total of over $293 million in prize money awarded.  Ensan is the only player who resides in Germany to win a bracelet this year and also the second German to win the Main Event (Piuz Heins was the first in 2011).

Photo by Amanda Jones / Unsplash

Poker tables will be accessible in Dragon Junkets, but the game of choice for many VIP / High Rollers is Baccarat which although having a long and illustrious history is also known for players wanting to remain anonymous for various reasons.  Even as far back as the 1960s billionaire whales such as Akio Kashiwagi, also known as “The Warrior” were dropping over $200, 000 per hand and scooping winnings up to $6,000,000 – so in today’s money that would be a phenomenal haul.

A win of over $55million happened in the 1990s through games played by several High Rolling Asian players over several months almost bankrupting the Crown Casino, Melbourne in the process.  Despite avoiding the limelight, and more often than not keeping the location of the Junkets private, the influence of Asian High Rollers is unmistakable; and they absolutely show no signs of slowing down any time soon.