Tama, IA (July 28, 2013) After enduring the longest Main Event in PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour history, Occupational Therapist Andy VanBlair of West Des Moines, Iowa, was the last man standing at MSPT’s latest stop at Meskwaki Casino Hotel.
This was the fifth time the PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour has made a stop at Meskwaki Casino – this event drew the second largest field in Meskwaki history with 348 runners – just one entrant short of tying the record set in Season 3 of 349.
The final table of ten players contained representatives from five states including three from Iowa (VanBlair, Dempster & Decker), one from Nebraska (Schwertley), one from Kansas (Russell), one from Michigan (Russler) and four from Minnesota (Crooks, Pham, Carlton & Desilva).
VanBlair survived Day 1 with 76,600 chips – placing him 33 of 102 heading into Day 2. He arrived at the final table with over 1.2 million putting him only behind chip leader Shane Fuller – a Construction Operator from Olathe, Kansas. The final table was intense with several players holding the chip lead at one point. Play went on several hours 4-handed before Sam Desilva was sent to the rail with 4♦4♥ versus Fuller’s A♠3♦. Fuller flopped an ace sending Desilva home in fourth place with $21,819.
Though the event itself was the longest ever, the heads-up battle only lasted ten hands, with each player having the opportunity to eliminate the other. As play began, Fuller had VanBlair out-chipped 3-to-1, 5.1 million to 1.7 million.
On the third hand of heads-up play, VanBlair shoved 4♣6♣ from the button and was called quickly by Fuller with pocket threes. The board ran 9♠8♥5♥K♠ with the 7♣ landing on the river giving VanBlair the straight for a double up.
Just two hands later, VanBlair shoved 40BB from the button with 10♥9♦, Fuller snap-called with A♠K♦. Fuller earned much of his stack back when the board landed Q♥6♠3♥A♣7♠.
On the ninth hand, VanBlair shoved 4♣4♥ from the button, Fuller instantly called with A♦8♠ giving him his second chance via race to eliminate VanBlair and take home the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet - Fuller would be denied once again. The 9♠J♦6♠2♦10♦ board doubled up VanBlair to give him a slight chip lead over Fuller.
At 2:30AM local time, the tenth hand of heads-up action would finally determine our next PokerNews MSPT Champion. Fuller raised from the button holding A♦9♠. VanBlair 3-bet shoved with A♣4♣ and Fuller called quickly. VanBlair would get the most of the 4♠K♥Q♦ flop. The 5♠ on the turn and the 5♣ on the river were no help to Fuller eliminating him in second place for $48,672. VanBlair took home $88,958 for the win!
Everett Carlton of St. Paul, MN is the most decorated MSPT player of all-time. This was Carlton’s seventh MSPT final table and ninth MSPT cash – an astonishing feat as this was the MSPT’s 31st event.