The Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) returned to the historic Deadwood for the 2021 MSPT South Dakota State Poker Championship at Silverado-Franklin Casino.
The $1,100 buy-in, $100K GTD Main Event was one to remember as a total of 585 entries (265 from Day 1a; 320 from 1b) were tallied, which not only surpassed the venue’s previous best field of 258 entries in 2019 but also became the largest major festival ($1,100+ buy-in) in Deadwood history.
On Sunday, 82 players returned for Day 2 action, and after it was Iowa native Taylor Howard, coming out on top to win the $119,165 top prize and his second MSPT title. His first came back in November 2018 when he won the MSPT Meskwaki for $89,939.
"Man it's crazy to hear you say that I just won a second MSPT," Howard said after his win. "I don't know its pretty insane when you think about it" he added.
"I grew up going to MSPT's praying that I could satellite into one of these events and now to say that I'm a two-time MSPT Main Event Champion, it's insane".
Howard's first MSPT cash came back in 2014 when he finished fourth in Meskwaki for $24,423 and since then he has accumulated over $250,000 in MSPT earnings.
Final Table action
Cy Church entered the final table with a stack of 4.7 million, well ahead of the rest of the field. Once the action got underway, it didn't take long before Tim Dunse dropped in ninth place after being outkicked with ace-five suited against Paul Camby's ace-jack off.
A few minutes later, Clint Lilienthal hit the rail after being tripped up on the river by Church. The next player to be sent home was Wesley Ismay, whose jack-six off came up just short after Camby flopped a pair holding ten-deuce.
John Nidhiry was next on the chopping block after his ace-jack off was dominated by Howard's ace-queen suited. Shortly after, Michael Kinzer departed in fifth place after his queen-five suited fell short against Church's suited ace-six.
Four-handed play went on for almost another two full levels before Camby hit the rail. Camby bluffed off three barrels with the last being an all-in bet holding an ace-eight off. Church called Camby the whole way down and rolled over an ace-five for trip fives.
Three-handed action saw Church and Howard hold almost identical stacks with John Schroer sitting at the bottom but ultimately, it was Church would find the exit in third place after he lost a race to Schroer.
The heads-up match was a battle with chips shifting back-and-forth between the two players for a few hours. Finally, Schroer got his chips in the middle after flopping a pair of fours and turning an open-ended straight draw. Howard called holding a pair of rockets and Schroer bricked the river, sending him home in second place for $73,201 while Howard collected $119,165 to go along with the coveted Deadwood custom trophy.
A total of 63 players ended up cashing the event, with Paul Jain (10th - $8,512), Phil Mader (14th - $6,809), Nick Pupillo (16th - $6,809), 2018 MSPT player of the year Aaron Johnson (21st - $4,994), three-time MSPT Champ Matt Kirby (24th - $4,142), defending Deadwood champ Sergio Mireles (25th - $3,518), and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Adam Friedman (50th - $2,123) among those finishing in the money.
The MSPT will be heading back to the Venetian in Las Vegas for back-to-back events being held June 2nd - 14th and PokerNews will be on hand providing updates for both Main Events.