John Cynn was the 2018 Word Series of Poker Main Event Winner
John Cynn is one of only a handful of players who won the World Series of Poker Main Event after going deep previously. Cynn played in the main event in 2016 and finished a very creditable 11th place while pocketing $650,000 in the process.
This was the biggest win in his career and enabled him to play in big money events more frequently. Two years later he entered the Main Event again and this time he went much deeper.
This page covers that epic win in 2018, and includes strategy, other wins and more about this respected poker pro.
WSOP History: John Cynn’s 2018 Main Event Victory
He was officially ‘homeless’ heading into Las Vegas in 2018. He’d been in LA and a lease had ended, so on heading to Vegas he stayed in the hotel rooms of friends. Two years earlier, he had just missed out on the final table, but this time around made it to that final nine.
At the final table he would find previous Main Event champion Joe Cada, who would eventually finish 5th. Cynn would eventually find himself heads up with Tony Miles. It turned out to be the longest heads-up battle in the history of the Main Event. Eventually, after 10 hours, the WSOP championship came down to the following hand:
Cynn was dealt was King Jack Suited and was 3-bet by Miles with Queen Eight off. Cynn called and saw a delightful flop of King King Five. Miles bet and Cynn flat called. A turn sees an eight appear, giving Miles a pair of eights. Miles then pushes all of his chips into the middle. Cynn thinks long and hard about it and makes the call. At this point he knows he has won, as Miles is now drawing dead on the river.
John Cynn would win the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event against a field of 7,873 other players. In winning he pocketed $8,800,000.
Other Major Tournament Wins for John Cynn
Aside from the two incredible prizes in the 2016 and 2018 Main Event, Cynn has enjoyed five other cashes in excess of $50,000 in his career.
A few months after the 2016 main event he played at a World Poker Tour event in the United Kingdom, finishing 7th and winning $60,000.
In March 2017, he picked up $80k for a 10th place finish at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic main event.
In March 2019 he won $70,000 for a 6th place finish at the Caribbean Poker Party, this after winning $110,000 at the South Africa Millions $25,000 No Limit Hold’em event.
His biggest win since the Main Event was a 2nd place in 2020 Millions Super High Roller event in Sochi. He finished 2nd in this $25,000 buy-in event and picked up a check for $252,000.
John Cynn Playing Style and Strategy
You wouldn’t say that John Cynn is one of the more naturally flamboyant players at the table, as his runs at both the 2016 and 2018 Main Event went largely unnoticed until the latter stages. His background in LA area cash games made Cynn a natural at the live poker tables. His reading of hands, and ability to find spots where opponent’s ranges were capped paid dividends in both major runs. One final table heads-up hand where he identified a spot where Miles was repping such a narrow range that it made no sense is an excellent example. Experienced players like Cynn see that the betting made no sense, in this spot his lead was so big that he folded and used his superior skills to navigate easier spots.
Cynn’s work ethic saw him eventually succeed at the game. He wouldn’t say he was a naturally gifted player. Early on in his career, he wasn’t a born winner, playing the game more socially than to win money. Cynn has been quoted as saying that if you want to get better, ask for advice from players who are better than you and who win more money than you do.
Don’t be fooled by this engaging / modest approach. Cynn has shown he is excellent at navigating big field tournaments, adjusting his play to pros and amateurs alike. Poker could do with more players with this lack of ego after winning the biggest prizes.
Before and After the WSOP
John Cynn would graduate from the Indiana University Bloomington in 2008, studying finance and supply chain management. He stayed in Indiana, working in IT, but his main love was always poker. At this time Cynn met Lance Keating, an owner of Circle City Volleyball Club in suburban Indianapolis. The two gelled over their love of poker, and Keating opened Cynn’s eyes as to what could be achieved in poker.
Cynn would play increasingly higher buy-ins and eventually decide to make the move to go pro, heading out to LA to make his fortune. Before his main event win, Cynn had cashed 12 times in WSOP events.
Since winning the main event in 2018, Cynn now tours the world as a poker professional.
Could you be the Next WSOP Champion?
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More Popular WSOP Pages:
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- Ryan Riess Poker Strategy (2013 winner)
- Martin Jacobson (2014 winner)
- Stu Ungar (1980, 1981, 1997 winner)
Image credit: Wikipedia, with a little help from free picture editor Canva.