John Cynn defeated Tony Miles heads-up to claim victory in the 2018 World Series of Poker main event on Sunday to win the championship.
Cynn, who paid a $10,000 buy-in, also won $8.8 million with the victory after playing 10 full days of poker over the past two weeks at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino.
Cynn, 33, wants the money to change his life, not him as a person.
“The money is very significant, but I do like to think that I don’t need the money to be happy,” Cynn said. “But at the same time, practically, it’s going to make things a lot easier — things I want to do in life … even to my parents, this is money that they never could’ve imagined. It’s definitely going to be life-changing.”
Cynn and Miles battled for almost 10½ hours, and set records for the most hands played heads-up to close out a WSOP main event (199) along with the most total hands at a WSOP main event final table (442).
We’ve been playing on little to no sleep — the nerves and the angst that you feel at night, it’s almost impossible to get a good night’s rest,” Miles said. “Then you come in here and you have to battle for 12 hours heads-up. It was a war, and it was amazing. I’m sure it’ll go down and be chronicled in history as one of the best heads-up matches ever. I have a ton of respect for him; he’s going to be a great champion, and I’m really happy for him.”
“I’m pretty beat. I’m pretty exhausted,” Cynn remarked. “I think every day, somehow you get more exhausted but also a little bit sharper just because your adrenaline keeps you going.”