The $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Venetian Main Event had 464 entrants and after two days of play, Nghia Nguyen was the last person standing. For his impressive performance, which finished at around 10:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, he took home $90,215.
When Day 2 began at 11 a.m., there were 52 remaining players and poker superstar Chance Kornuthwas in the chip lead. The Chip Leader Coaching founder, however, would end up busting in 21st place for $4,031.
Smallest Stack Can't Spin it Up
After Christopher Hovey busted in 10th place ($8,060), the final table at the Venetian in Las Vegas was set. Noam Muallem held a sizable but far from comfortable chip advantage. Dylan Linde, a World Poker Tour champion and one of the top tournament players in the game, was in second place.
Nguyen, on the other hand, had just 15 big blinds and could only cover Eric Salazar at the table. The smallest stack — Salazar — couldn't spin it up and was the first to go at the final table, taking home $8,060 for ninth place.
Jeff Madsen, a four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, was next to go in eighth place ($9,851). The deep run was, perhaps a bit surprisingly, his first ever MSPT cash. Madsen's pocket nines ran into the pocket queens of Jared Kingery.
Nguyen would then send Saad Ghanemhome in seventh place ($12,985). Eric Siegel'sturn to bust was up next after he was unable to connect on a flopped flush draw (the hand was all in preflop, however) against Kfir Nahum. Siegel received $17,463 for his efforts.
Nguyen Runs Hot
With five players left, Kingery lost a preflop all in and call with a smaller pair than Muallem's and exited the tournament with a $23,284 payday.
Nguyen, who'd begun running up his stack at the final table, would start to hit a few lucky hands. The first was perhaps the cruelest. Well, at least for his opponent, Nahum.
Nahum had flopped a full house and was all in for the tournament chip lead, but lost on the river to Nguyen, who spiked a king for a better full house. That gave Nguyen a massive chip lead with three remaining and sent Nahum home in fourth place for $30,895.
Shortly after, Nguyen again hit some good fortune when his ace-king cracked the pocket kings of Nuallem, who was out in third place ($61,274).
That set up a heads-up match with Linde, but Nguyen held nearly a 10-1 chip advantage. Linde would earn a quick double up, but couldn't hang on for long and, with just two remaining big blinds, moved all in from the button but ran into pocket aces. As such, he would have to settle for second place, a $61,274 cash.
Congratulations to the newest MSPT champion, Nghia Nguyen, who earned $90,215 for his impressive performance.