This year’s World Series of Poker saw the second-largest roster of 7,874 players vying for the title of WSOP 2018 Champion. All but one had their dreams dashed. The lone survivor and winner of the 2018 World Series of Poker was Illinois resident John Cynn.
Five years ago the Indiana University graduate was an IT analyst in Los Angeles. He first cashed in at the WSOP in 2012. In 2016 he finished 11th in the main event, taking home a cool $650,000 for his efforts. But nothing compared to his run this year where he took the championship title and $8.8m in earnings.
The final table saw Cynn battle Tony Miles in a 199 hand, no-limit Texas Hold’em 10 hour marathon.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” said Cynn, who looks to incorporate cryptocurrencies into his investments.
Cynn delved into poker when he was in high school and quickly became hooked. Part of the appeal was the social aspect of the game. He and his friends would break down and discuss hands all the time. It was when he met Lance Keating that his game really took off; his game elevated to a new level because Keating helped open his eyes to what he could do in poker.
Keating stated Cynn started playing games with a $200 buy-in and the tournaments got bigger as his skills grew.
He didn’t stray far from that initial appeal either. Cynn is part of a new type of poker player; one that has embraced the social side of playing poker. The silent, hoodie & headphone-wearing player with that imperturbable composure is being replaced by players who are more friendly, fun, and respectful. Chatting and joking with their opponents is part of the experience.
This increased social attitude in poker has helped explode participation at the WSOP; as seen by the steady annual increase in players – this year’s events saw the 2nd most since 2006 when Jamie Gold took the Main Event bracelet.
Technically homeless, part of Cynn’s success comes from his mindset. He lost a good friend in December and that changed his perspective on life. While he always had a strong positive outlook on life, this event helped him enjoy everything and enjoy the WSOP experience even more. Listening to music during the tournament that reminded him of his friend also helped maintain his inspiration.
His lack of a permanent address certainly won’t be an obstacle for him though as he will be spending the next little while travelling. He’ll be going to Geneva to visit family, then off to Southeast Asia and finally ending up in Australia.
Every professional poker player dreams of winning the World Series of Poker. John Cynn can now proudly proclaim his entry into the limited and special club of WSOP winners. Who knows - maybe next year we’ll be reading about your successes at the WSOP!