Matt Paten rode the final table rollercoaster at the 2021 MSPT United States Poker Championship $1,100 Main Event final table, but his steady play and endurance in the final hours of Day 2 paid off. Paten took down the tournament championship at San Diego's Sycuan Casino on Sunday night, pocketing $94,782 in the win.
The pinnacle event of the recently-revived United States Poker Championship wrapped up when Paten became the latest player to put his name into the MSPT Main Event record books after topping a field of 456 entries.
Day 2 Action
The Main Event featured three starting flights, with 60 players combined coming out of those three phases. Day 2 began with 60 players competing for 54 money spots.
By the time that field played down to the final nine, Paten entered final table play in a virtual tie for the chip lead. It took more than an hour for the first player to fall at the final table, and the Main Event remained eight-handed for another 75 minutes after that.
The eliminations started coming faster after that, eventually narrowing down to Gary Hansen (4th -$31,739), Mike Rosado (3rd - $41,966), and eventual runner-up Jonathan "Cosmo" McGowan (2nd - $58,238).
Paten was on the brink of entering heads-up play with more than a four-to-one chip lead against Rosado. One big hand saw Paten limp from the small blind, and McGowan shove for 1.8 million.
Paten called, showing ace-three of spades against McGowan's seven-deuce of spades. Trip sevens came in on the runout for McGowan, however, evening the match considerably.
"When you have him dominated with ace-three of spades, you're feeling confident," Paten said. "But when he flops a seven and turns a seven, I'm drawing dead."
"You don't like it; you miss an opportunity to knock out another player with the worst hand in poker."
Paten endured, however, and eventually faced McGowan head-up, which lasted only a few hands with Paten picking off an all-in bluff on the river from McGowan to clinch the tournament.
Other final table finishers included Pej Niyati (5th - $23,804), Lucy Hargett (6th - $18,704), Rubin Chappell (7th - $14,106), Vladimir Medvinski (8th - $11,021), and Allen Galutera (9th - $8,376).
The Main Event came a week after Chris Smith won the MSPT Sycuan Casino $360 Regional for $33,149.
The MSPT continues in October with two stops in Las Vegas at the Ventian. From October 12-16, there will be an $1,100 buy-in, $1 million GTD Main Event followed by a $1,600 buy-in, $1 million GTD Main Event from October 18-22. PokerNews will be on-site to live report both tournaments. For more information, visit msptpoker.com.