The East Chicago area played host to the 2019 MSPT Main Event at Majestic Star Casino which turned out to be a non-stop parade of top MSPT superstars. On this day one shone the brightest as Hao “John” Sun carried the overall chip lead from Day 1 all the way to his second MSPT Main Event title, becoming the 13th player in tour history to accomplish that feat.
Two starting flights attracted 324-entries, the largest major event ever held at the property, which saw a laundry list of outstanding players fall short of Day 2 including former MSPT champions Daniel Bekavac, Aaron Massey, Steve Federspiel and Benjamin Wiora. Also taking their shots but not escaping Day 1 play were Cody Brinn, Ravi Raghavan, Ralph Massey, Yanni Orfanos, Lynn Rainey, John Schroeder, Jordan Miller, Steve Wazwaz, Jesse Bowman and the last female standing in the 2019 WSOP Main Event, Jill Bryant.
Day 2 saw quite a few outstanding names make a push for the final table including HPT’s Jeremy Smith (36th - $2,189), MSPT Hall of Famer Aaron Johnson (34th - $2,189), Alan Cutler (18th - $3,597), Brian Hou ($3,597), Craig Trost (14th - $4,223) and current Season 10 Player of the Year points leader Mike Shin (12th - $5,286).
The final table itself was a series of highs and lows with a number of big hands along the way. Justin Scovil was the first to fall after losing a race with tens to the A-K of Hao “John” Sun, this sparked Sun’s comeback and eliminated Scovil in 10th place ($5,286).
Ting Luo was next on the list as he was taken out by Day 1A chip leader Ken Baime falling short with K-Q against A-Q to finish in 9th place ($6,537). Baime also began his ascent up the leaderboard as he looked to claim his second MSPT title at Majestic Star Casino.
Greg Geller then ousted the short stack of Andrew Campbell who had already dodged one bullet against Baime but could not dodge another holding versus Geller’s sevens. Campbell said goodbye in 8th place ($8,445).
Robert Noe then ran into trouble. After being bluffed off a hand by Baime which cost him most of his stack, Noe pushed his last 110,000 chips in the middle with deuces but ran into DJ Buckley’s jacks and was sent to the payout window in 7th place ($10,635).
Ironically, it was Buckley’s turn to get pinballed. Immediately after the hand with Noe, Cheryl Choon rivered a flush against Buckley to bring him back to the half-million chip mark. He then had his run right into Sun’s kings sending Buckley packing in 6th place ($13,762). For Buckley this was his 24th all-time MSPT cash, 7th final table and he now has $213,318 MSPT career earnings.
Stunningly, Choon then suffered the same fate as Buckley and Noe. After taking chips from Buckley, Geller picked off her flopped two pair with a flopped straight and then Baime finished her off with a pair of aces against a sending Choon to the rail in 5th place ($17,828) and leaving Baime nearly half the chips in play.
Anthony Kastalic had come into the final table as the chip leader but could not get any traction. His tournament ran out of steam when his fell short against the of Geller ending his night in 4th place ($23,771).
Sun then managed to pick up some chips from Baime and then take out Geller when Geller tried to make a move with but Sun was holding and put the Coloradan out in 3rd place ($23,771). The hand also gave Sun a slight edge on Baime going into heads-up play holding 3,290,000 chips against the 3,195,000 of Baime.
The rare collision of the Day 1A and Day 1B chip leaders was set and Sun didn’t look back. He managed to take command early with aggressive play building on his lead. Baime did manage a double-up when he was down to 785,000 chips but then a wild hand would put things away.
Sun called a 300,000 chip pre-flop bet from Baime and the board came out . Sun moved his near five-million chip stack in the middle and Baime instantly called. Baime showed and had Sun’s dominated. But Sun began calling for a four. He didn’t get it on the turn when the came out but sure enough the hit the river and Sun claimed the 2019 MSPT Main Event at Majestic Star Casino title and the $71,945 prize to go with it. Baime would have to settle for second place scoring $44,415 in an outstanding effort.
For Sun, this was his 9th MSPT Main Event cash, 4th final table and 2nd title. In all, Sun has amassed $283,786 on the MSPT. Baime has similar stats with 9 Main Event cashes, 4 final tables and $165,229 in MSPT earnings.
Congratulations to our champion – Hao “John” Sun!