The 2018 MSPT Indiana State Poker Championship attracted 307 entries to Tropicana Evansville, which sits on the Ohio River just across the border from Kentucky. After a full weekend of play, Tim Burden of Central City, Kentucky walked away with the title and $68,149 top prize, his first ever MSPT cash.
“It’s just been a long day, and I’m very thankful,” said Burden, a rental property owner who was rooted on by his wife, Pam. “She gave me a kiss when I won, and like I said, she hadn’t kissed me all week. I’m gonna get in trouble now.”
Burden, who is talkative at the table, has been playing for approximately eight years and prefers tournament play.
“I enjoy the lighter side of life, I really do, and it’s been fun,” he continued. “Austin made it fun heads-up. I’ll give the money to my wife and take all my kids, and my three beautiful grandkids, on a vacation.”
Prior to the win, Burden’s best cash came over the summer when he finished 852nd in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $18,340. Back in February, he also won the Cherokee Poker Classic Event #4: $200 NLH for $12,883.
Day 2 saw 39 players return to action, and with 36 slated to get paid just three needed to leave empty handed before the money was made. The three to fall short included Cameron Kieffer, Jon Midler, and bubble boy Jeff Minnerly, who raced for his tournament life with queen-nine and flopped two pair. Unfortunately for him, Tim Burden turned a set to burst the bubble.
Among those to cash but fall short of the final table were nine-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner Robert Hankins (32nd - $2,074), 2016 MSPT Indiana State Poker Champion Earl Potter (28th - $2,074), reigning Kimo Sabe Mezcal MSPT Season 8 Player of the Year Chris Meyers (16th - $3,407), and final table bubble boy Raymond Lantz (11th - $5,007).
On the very first hand of the final table, Dharmesh Patel flopped an up-and-down straight draw against Martin Timm’s pocket aces. The chips went in and Patel hit the rail when the straight failed to come in. A few hands later, John Cameron got his short stack all in against two players and flopped a set of threes. Unfortunately for him, John Mingus turned a straight to win the pot.
James Burns followed them out the door in eighth place when his pocket sixes lost a race to Forrest Browning’s ace-nine, and then Donnie Phan, who finished fourth in the same event one year earlier, busted in seventh when he turned a pair of aces but had a kicker problem against Austin Clements.
Ken Baime, who won a MSPT Main Event in Season 5, then got his stack all in preflop holding the A♦9♥ against Burden’s 7♠7♣. The board ran out 10♥5♣10♠2♦4♥ and Baime had to settle for sixth place and $13,037.
Mingus, who finished third in the 2017 MSPT Indiana State Poker Championship, took his leave after his A♦J♥ failed to get there against Clements’ Q♣Q♦ on a 4♣7♠8♠8♥9♦ run out. Not long after, a short-stacked Timm moved in with the K♥9♣ and was called by Browning, who held the A♣7♠. The board ran out Q♠A♠3♥4♦7♥ and that was all she wrote for Timm.
Browning’s elimination in third place – the result of flopping top pair with a mediocre kicker against Burden’s top pair with top kicker – set up a heads-up match between Burden and Clements. The former held a lead and maintained it throughout.
In the final hand of the tournament, Clements jammed holding the 10♣8♥ and Burden called with the A♦4♥. The board ran out 7♦Q♦3♦6♦K♥ and Burden turned a flush to lock up the tournament and take the state title across the border to Kentucky.