The Mid-Stakes Poker Tour (MSPT) Venetian $1,600 Main Event attracted 2,011 entries over three starting days, which resulted in a massive $2,865,675 prize pool. By the time the last river was dealt – it was none other than poker pro Chance Kornuth who emerged victorious to take down the title and $412,086 top prize.
Kornuth was already a massively accomplished poker player before the event with two World Series of Poker bracelets to his name and over $7 million in live tournament earnings according to The Hendon Mob. Now he can add another six-figure score to his poker resume along with a coveted MSPT Main Event title.
Kornuth said he almost forgot about the event until a friend, who wanted to stay at his place, reminded him about it. As far as future plans go, Kornuth said he is busy working on his business Chip Leader Coaching and being a new dad.
“I’ve been focusing on dad life,” Kornuth said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Day 3 began with just 15 players and fittingly, Kornuth would be the one to eliminate four of the first five players with Rheet Rademacher, Esther Fedorkevich, Tan Nguyen, and Kelly Kielbasa all falling to Kornuth within the first three levels of play. Eric "basebaldy" Baldwin would eliminate Donys Agnelli just shy of the final table after busting Agnelli’s pocket queens with pocket kings.
The final table began with Kornuth in a commanding position, having twice as many chips as his closest opponent. Raman Afanasenka, Bobby Po, Brock Wilson and Ryan Torgersen all came into the final table with short stacks and were eliminated in that order as they found themselves getting all-in preflop and failing to double up.
Michael Zulker would drop out in fifth place after being dominated in two separate all-in preflop affairs. First against Nick Phoenix with ace-queen losing to ace-king, and again against Peter Braglia with queen-jack losing to king-queen.
Phoenix had an impressive run considering he was tied for the second-shortest stack when the final table began. He nursed a short stack for some time, but eventually fell to Kornuth after running middle pair into bottom two-pair all-in on the flop and failing to improve.
Baldwin, who, like Kornuth, holds two WSOP gold bracelets, found himself short and ran pocket treys into Baglia’s pocket fours to go out in third place.
Heads-up play began with Kornuth having a slight chip advantage over Braglia. They jousted for a little while, beating each other out of small pots, but it didn’t take long for play to come to a head. The final hand occurred when Kornuth flopped a set of sevens and got all in against Braglia on the turn after Braglia shoved with a pair of treys, which left him drawing dead.