A total of 274 entrants came out to play The MSPT $1,100 Venetian Main Event, surpassing the $200,000 guarantee placed on the event. A mix of fresh newcomers to the MSPT circuit and veterans occupied the 30 players that made the second day, all of whom were ensured a minimum payout of $2,428, while all eyes rested on the first place prize of $55,261.
Eric Baldwin has been a staple of the poker world for over a decade, collecting many trophies and earning a career total of $8,090,870 prior to this tournament. On top of all of his other accolades, Baldwin has now joined the ranks of the 2-time MSPT champions as he collected his second MSPT title after beating local legend Qing Liu heads up.
“It feels good,” the new two-time champion said just moments after his win “it’s hard to win a live tournament. MSPT puts on a great show, and over the years Venetian is a place that I have had a lot of success, so it’s cool to win one here.”
Baldwin has been a staple of the live poker scene for many years, starting out during the online boom. “I started my career in college, probably 20 to 22 years ago, starting out online. Fairly quickly when I discovered live poker, I fell in love with it and started playing it more. I’ve got a lot of live experience.”
“Having access to the redraw is important,” Baldwin continued to his own preparation for tournaments. “I feel like I play better prepared, I find that I play better if I don’t roll in, look around, and have to process a lot of things at once. I have a basic little routine to try to get my mind right, and restarts can be challenging so any little thing you can do to get an edge is important.”
Baldwin will be back tomorrow for the $1,600 MSPT Main Event and then he will remain in Vegas to play other tournaments running during the month.
Recap of The Day
30 players came back to the day and starting out the action was fast and furious with many players coming into the day with short stacks. Jaqcues Mayer (30th-$2,428) and Tsz Shing (29th-$2,428) were eliminated by Jeffrey Eyer on the first hand of the day. 5-time MSPT champion Blake Bohn (27th-$2,428) was unable to spin up his short stack against Qing Liu. Rob Wazwaz (19th-$3,182) found himself unable to best Ryan Laplante in two pots and was out the door. DJ Buckley (14th-$3,633) fell short of his tenth MSPT final table as he lost a significant pot to Hayley Hanna (12th-$4,233) and was eliminated shortly after.
The final table was reached when Tyler Willse and Ryan Laplante collided in an all in confrontation, with Willse holding the bigger stack. Willse’s pocket tens held up against Laplante’s ace-queen and Laplante finished his run in tenth place, collecting $5,032 for his efforts.
Final Table Action
The beginning of the final table saw many stacks all hovering around the same size, with Jeremy Eyer, Tamas Lendvai, and Tjam Tepeh holding the biggest stacks of the nine. After a few double ups, those names all rotated around with Eric Baldwin rising up the ranks and Tepeh becoming the short stack after losing a significant pot to Baldwin.
The first casualty of the final table came with a clash of the Day 1a chip leader Eyer and the Day 1b chip leader Lendvai when Lendvai moved all in with pocket fives and Eyer called with ace-jack. The board remained low and paired up to leave the ace-jack second best and Eyer finished his tournament in ninth place for $6,100.
Tyler Willse and Qing Liu were the next two players to get into a coinflip for near stacks as Willse limped ace-ten offsuit in the small blind while Liu moved all in from the big blind with pocket eights which Willse called. The board contained no help for Willse and Liu doubled while Willse was left with one big blind. He put his one big blind into the center shortly after with king-nine off from the cutoff. In the small blind, Tempeh moved all in for ten big blinds with ace-jack suited and Baldwin called from the big blind with king-ten suited. A ten-high board would give Baldwin the chip lead of the tournament while Willse ended his run in eighth place for $7,539 and Tepeh ended in seventh for $9,494.
Baldwin would eliminate the next player too as Hal Marcus moved in his short stack with king-nine offsuit, just like Willse before him. Baldwin turned over two aces and no improvement came to the Illinois resident who finished his run in sixth place for $12,180.
Moises Torres would end his run in fifth place after coming into the final table as the shortest stack. Despite some timely doubles and laddering, he would move in his chips with ace-three offsuit from the cutoff only for Liu to call him holding pocket eights. The ace-high could not improve and Torres collected $15,913 for his efforts.
Four-handed play saw Baldwin and Liu rise, while Andrew Rodgers and Lendvai fell down the counts, with Rodgers dropping to just two big blinds at one point. He would manage to spin up and survive while Lendvai got into a confrontation with pocket fives against Baldwin’s king-nine off. A king on the flop would give Baldwin the pot and leave the start of day chip leader Lendvai as the fourth place finisher for $21,165.
Liu began to apply pressure to both of his opponents and pulled away from them in the chip counts until he had them both two to one in chips. Rodgers would be the next one to go as he jammed queen-ten off into Liu in the big blind who held ace-queen. Liu took a sizable lead to heads up play, while Rodgers ended his run in third place for $28,648.
Liu and Baldwin began their battle as the first major clash went Baldwin’s way as his ace-queen improved against Liu’s sevens to make the match even. Another clash saw a three bet pot go in Baldwin’s direction and the final clash saw Baldwin raise with ace-eight offsuit, only for Liu to jam all in with ace-four offsuit and Baldwin called. A four on the flop added some hope for the match to continue, but the turn brought the eight and the river changed nothing for Baldwin to claim his second MSPT title for $55,261 while Liu finished in second place for $39,452.
Thank you for reading along with The MSPT updates on MSPTPoker.com. Be sure to check in tomorrow with the updates of The $1,600 Main Event.