Drew Amato has been covering the World Series of Poker since 2014. This year he’s covered the U.S. Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl for Poker Central. Twice per week, Amato will share his favorite images from the World Series of Poker. Enjoy this recurring piece as, in his own words, Amato describes the biggest moments in the game.

The World Series of Poker is comprised of 78 events this year, but in the end, it’s all about the big one. And no, with that I’m not talking about the Big One for One Drop, I’m talking about the Main Event.

The Main Event is the one event of the year that not a single player wants to miss, and as we look forward at what’s to come, here are some of my favorite images of the past few days, a former Main Event champions sharpen their game before poker’s biggest spectacle kicks off, drawing poker pros, celebrities, athletes and poker fans from all walks of life to the Amazon Room.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Among the recent wave of players to arrive in Sin City is no other than the 2005 Main Event champion, Joe Hachem. Back then, the Aussie topped a field of over 5,600 players, taking home a whopping $7.5 million, and standing at the foundation of growing the game in the Asia Pacific region. Hachem is always a viable threat at the table, and will be one to keep an eye on as the Main Event gets underway on Monday.
Baby! Scotty is hot, baby! Nguyen already has 5 cashes this summer, adding to his already impressive WSOP Resume. Nguyen was all laughs late on Day 2 of the $3,000 BB Ante event, where he would go on to finish 44th for over $10,000. It would be Nguyen’ss 61st WSOP cash, adding to $5.9 Million in career earnings. Nguyen came close to winning another bracelet in the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event, which was streamed live on PokerGO.
POY: With the end of the series just around the corner, the Player of the Year race is closer than ever. Shaun Deeb leads, but is closely trailed by John Hennigan. It came as no surprise seeing Shaun on the rail of the $10,000 Razz Championship final table, headlined by Hennigan. With both players having such incredible summers already, this race is going to be so fun to watch as it appears like its going to come down to the wire.
The Serious Jokester: Also spotted at the Rio this week is Comedian Norm Macdonald. MacDonald is an avid poker fa, and hosted Season 7 of High Stakes Poker back in the day. While Norm didn’t make a run in this particular event, he did sit down with Poker Central’s own Remko Rinkema for an epic must-listen podcast. Norm confirmed to be playing the Main Event next week, and that is when the podcast will be released.
Glory: It’s hard to fathom that the Main Event is just a few days away. This summer has absolutely flown by, and the hype leading up to the biggest event of the year is real. The Rio is buzzing as recreational players, as well as the top pros all have landed in Vegas and are ready for their shot at glory. Next week, thousands of people will flood into the Rio as they chase down their dream of taking home nearly $10,000,000 and the most prestigious title in poker. Oh, and the bling ain’t to shabby either!

You’ll also enjoy “Super High Roller Bowl Highlights”“Poker’s Annual Gold Rush” and “Doyle’s Final Ride” in the series “Through the Lens of Drew” by clicking the links. Follow Drew Amato on Instagram. The 2018 World Series of Poker streams live on PokerGO now. Don’t miss a minute of the action by subscribing to PokerGO. The final table of this event will be live on PokerGO. Follow Poker Central on Twitter to stay up to date with all the latest from the world of poker.

Shaun Deeb, Joe Hachem, Norm MacDonald, 2018 WSOP Main Event, John Hennigan, Scotty Nguyen