The 2019 MSPT South Dakota State Poker Championship saw 258 players hit the felt in search of the double-gun trophy and $60,946. When the smoke had cleared, Sergio Mireles of Newcastle, Wyoming, steamrolled the final table to take home the championship,
“I’m overwhelmed.” Mireles said about his victory. Mireles had shoulder surgery just last week, and waited until Saturday to fire a bullet he earned from the monthly Thursday Night Deep Stack promotion at the Silverado-Franklin that gave a seat away to the championship each month. He acknowledged his torrid run to the trophy, saying, ”I’ve had a couple great runs before, like when I won the Deadwood Shootout a few years ago, but I never had a run like this, this was pretty good.”
The trophy Mireles earned for securing the victory seemed just as sweet as the money, as he said, “I love the trophy, I’ve wanted one of those for five years since they started those. I knew I’d get one sometime.” Mireles thanked his wife, who was on the rail through the entire final table, ”...my big supporter. And my little grandbabies, I’ve got half a dozen grandbabies that are all wondering what I’m doing right now. I hope they don’t start playing poker, though!”
Day 2 saw 41 players return to the Silverado Poker Room, but only 27 would earn a cash. Among those to fail to walk away with a piece of the prize pool include Season 8 MSPT POY Chris Meyers, Ryan Remington, Travis Sweet, Tom Hammers, and bubble boy and former South Dakota State Poker Champ Cal Dardis, when his couldn’t catch up to the of Leroy Dubray.
Some of those earning a cash before the final table commenced include final table bubble boy Jared Shipley (11th - $4,478), start of the day chip leader Jason Trezak (12th - $4,478), the aforementioned Dubray (14th - $3,731), defending champ Rick Burleson (15th - $3,731), Kenneth Lybeck (18th - $3,209), Luke Blindert (22nd - $2,289), former MSPT champ Rodger Johnson (23rd - $2,289), and Nicole Eby (26th - $2,090).
Final Table Action
Dave Word was the first to go at the final table, his queens getting cracked on a nine-high flop by Sergio Mireles. Word, from Pierre, South Dakota, cashed last year’s championship here at Silverado-Franklin, finishing in 23rd place. He settled for tenth-place and $4,478 in prize money in this year’s edition.
Mikiyo Aoki, who started the final table as the short stack, managed one ladder before her ace-queen couldn’t overcome Mireles, who once again was holding pocket nines. The Bozeman, Montana native earned $5,473 for her ninth-place finish, her second cash on tour this season after finishing 73rd at the season-opening JACK Cleveland Casino Main Event.
The third knockout of the opening level came a short time later, as Pine Ridge, South Dakota native Donroy Ghost Bear’s tens couldn’t win a flip against the king-queen of Michael Woznicki to oust Ghost Bear in eighth for $6,965. Ghost Bear, whos son Delbert also made it to Day 2, falling just short of a cash himself, recorded his first career MSPT cash.
Amazingly, a fourth knockout would happen before the level could come to a close, as tens proved to be the undoing of another final table player. Rudy Stanko ran into the set of queens of Woznicki, leaving him in seventh-place, and Stanko, from Gordon, Nebraska, settled for $8,707 and his first career MSPT cash.
The next two players to go seemed to never get any traction going, as Aaron Hyndman bled down to just a few blinds before jamming king-nine into the pocket eights of Gabriel Flores, and Hyndman’s first MSPT cash would be a sixth-place one when he failed to improve. The Worland, Wyoming native took home $11,443 for his efforts.
Geddes, South Dakota’s Travis Gant, Season 8 MSPT Grand Falls Regional champ, fell in fifth, running ace-eight into the pocket kings of Flores. Gant couldn’t get any Deadman’s Hand magic going, and he settled for $14,926 as a consolation prize, his first MSPT Main Event cash after notching three cashes at MSPT Grand Falls Regional Events.
Woznicki surged to holding half the chips in play five-handed, but a string of lost pots left him short when he jammed seven big blinds with queen-jack, only to run into the ace-jack of Mireles to record a fourth-place finish for $19,901. Woznicki’s only other MSPT cash on record was an 18th place finish at the Season 10 Grand Falls Regional event in March.
Flores would fall shortly thereafter, calling off his last ten big blinds on a king-high, all club flop with two sevens, only to run into Mireles and his king-nine. Mireles also held a club, and Flores, from Phoenix, Arizona, missed his one outer, and finished in third for $27,115 and his first MSPT cash.
Michael Campbell, who finished fifth in this event last year, started heads up play down 4:1 in chips, and Mireles ground Campbell down to 700,000 at Level 27 (30,000/60,000/10,000), when Mireles raised to 150,000 on the button, then called the three-bet shove from Michael Campbell for 700,000 in the big blind.
Campbell flopped bottom pair on the flop, but Mireles picked up a gutshot on the turn. Campbell couldn’t fade the river, and Campbell had to settle for a pair of very impressive deep runs at the South Dakota State Poker Championship. The runner-up performance and third MSPT Main Event Final Table for the Rapid City, South Dakota native netted a payday of $37,685.