Michael Dyer’s Aggression Works at WSOP Main Event Final 9

Michael Dyer WSOP Main Event Final Table

Michael Dyer sipped a water and a coffee on the most pivotal hand of the 2018 WSOP Main Event so far.

Going in to Friday’s session of the World Series of Poker Main Event, Michael Dyer appears to have saved up his luck. Michael Dyer holds a dominant chip lead, with more than twice what any other player at the final table holds.

Dyer, a 32-year old who grew up in Houston, has not cashed in a live tournament since 2016. Now, the Houston native who has had 14 cashes over the past 9 years, holds a commanding lead in the WSOP Main Event with only 6 players left in the final table.

Everyone remaining in Day 8 of the WSOP Main Event is guaranteed at least a million dollar payout, but Michael Dyer appears to be a big favorite to win the event. The 1st place winner receives $8.8 million.

Michael ‘The Monster’ Dyer now lives in Las Vegas and plays most of his poker online. In his Internet gaming, Michael Dyer has created an aggressive style designed to bust quick or finish high in the money.

Tristen Sweet, the friend who nicknamed Dyer “The Monster”, said his friend has built his style to bulldoze opponents in just this type of event. Sweet said of his friend’s dominating performance, “It’s worth pointing out that he’s been working on his style for a decade, something like that. For him, this is his moment to test it.”

Michael Dyer’s Aggressive Poker Style

Such a style favors a player when they acquire the chips, as they steal the blinds or push more cautious opponents out of the pot. Though WSOP organizers have changed earnings rules in recent years to deincentivize cautious play when one gets to the endgame of the WSOP Main Event, many players in the Final 9 want to stay alive as long as possible, for the sake of posterity.

A female friend of Michael Dyer’s and Tristen Sweet’s who wants to be called ‘Mo’ took exception to suggestion Michael Dyer is the beneficiary of cautious play by status- or cash-conscious foes. Mo explained, “I don’t think it’s the money at all. It’s the performance. He wants to be able to see how his game stacks up against a massive field.”

The Monster’s Winning All-In Calls

Granted, Michael Dyer has won several key all-in calls where he was not the favorite. Anyone who gets to the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event — which over 7,000 players entered — won several key hands to get here. But having the deep stack allows a competitor to play aggressively and weather losses, so luck generally comes their way in the latter stages of the event.

In fact, coming from behind in a few all-in pots gives a player a special aura during the WSOP Main Event, or any big poker event, for that matter. Michael Dyer’s aggressive style and imposing demeanor add to that impression. By this time in the tournament, sitting over a huge chip stack, no one else at the table wants to get into a big pot with “The Monster”.

“The Most Terrifying Person I’ve Ever Played Poker Against”

Tristen Sweet says Michael Dyer’s persona is the same at the poker table or away from the action. Dyer’s combination of intensity and aggression makes an impression at the poker table.

Sweet said, “He’s the most terrifying person I’ve ever played poker against. What you see here, he’s that guy all the time. Playing $1/$2, whatever it is, he’s the most focused and fearless poker player I’ve ever met. It’s scary.”

“The Calmest Human I’ve Ever Met in a Tight Situation”

That focus has been on display in the latter stages of the WSOP Main Event. Michael Dyer has granted few interviews, preferring to focus on the game. Tristen Sweet added, “The calmest human I’ve ever met in any tight situation. He only cares about the quality of the decision in the moment….This isn’t a different version of him. He’s quiet and super calm guy and very, very intelligent.”

In an age of hyperbole, one can take praise of the latest poker hero with a bit of a grain of salt. Mo has a slightly different take on Michael Dyer’s calm and focus. She said, “He’s very shy and more comfortable articulating through text.”

If Michael Dyer is the classic introvert, then his laser-focused intensity is both his natural state and that rare time when a poker player gets in the zone. Introverts do not multi-task very well (if anyone does), but they do best when they can focus on one simple task. When the do, the tunnel vision makes the introvert formidable and aloof. When holding a dominant chip stack, that focus and intensity can be intimidating.

Whatever the secret to his success, Michael Dyer has dominated the WSOP Main Event’s final table so far. Enough chips remain between the other 5 finalists that one player could mount a challenge, with some luck. Stay tuned to see if any more wild swings of fortune happen.

Update: Michael Dyer’s Out in 3rd Place

Michael Dyer’s luck did not hold during the Friday session of the WSOP Main Event. He entered Saturday’s session with 26.2 million chips and he was not able to improve on that total throughout the day. Around 6:45 Las Vegas time, Dyer pushed in his final 22 million against 32-year old Tony Miles‘, but lost the all-in hand. Michael Dyer went out in 3rd place, leaving Tony Miles with 203.5 million in chips. The final two players are Tony Miles and John Cynn, who each have roughly the same number of chips as of 8:30 Las Vegas time.