665 players started out their quest to become the newest MSPT Venetian champion, but as the day started, only 74 players had a dream left to chase. Many fantastic players saw their chance at a new trophy evaporate quickly as the field dwindled down. Their eyes were firmly placed on the $117,060 to first and all but one were unable to reach it.
Once the dust settled, Zack Fuentes was crowned the newest MSPT champion, taking his first MSPT win and biggest lifetime cash. “I feel like I’m in a dream,” the newest champion replied when asked about the feelings he felt, “it’s kind of like wow that really happened.” The Texas cash game pro had switched to tournaments within the past few years and has seen his greatest tournament success today.
“My game isn’t player dependent,” he said when asked about his specific style of play and the star-studded final table he was facing “as long as I am playing the way that I know I can play, then I’ll make the best decisions I can, and hope everything works out.” Fuentes can now add a nice gold trophy to his growing tournament resume as he looks to come back tomorrow to play the following MSPT event.
Final Table Action
The first player to go at the final table was Kristen Deardorff, who ended her run in ninth place for $10,992. Her final hand saw her get in 14 big blinds with pocket nines against an open from Brandon Eisen who had pocket jacks. The contained two jacks on it, leaving no hope for the pocket nines and Deardorff finished her MSPT with her deepest ever run in an MSPT.
The next to go was the MSPT Hall of Famer Rob WazWaz who moved in his final chips into the center with ace-three from the cutoff, only for Josh Remitio to wake up with ace-nine in the small blind and eliminate him. WazWaz added another MSPT final table to his own resume and the former champion’s run ended in eighth place for $13,871.
MSPT Hall Of Famer Rich Alsup came into the final table as the shortest stack, but managed to find a few ladders courtesy of doubling through WazWaz a few times. However, when Mandavia opened the cutoff with two jacks, he moved all in from the small blind for 14 big blinds and was unable to improve against Mandavia’s hooks. Alsup adds another MSPT final table to his resume and Alsup followed his good friend WazWaz out the door in seventh place for $17,117.
Significant jockeying with the chips in play, saw the short stack and chip lead constantly in flux with each other. Mandavia took the lead for a bit and when he did he raised the button, which saw Zack Fuentes move all in, and Brandon Eisen called to put himself at risk for his entire stack while Mandavia folded. Eisen’s pocket tens could not win the race against Fuentes’ ace-jack and Eisen ended his run in sixth place for $24,340.
Gerald Morrell’s run came to an end in fifth place. Unable to gain much momentum at the final table, Morrell found himself moving all in his final seven big blinds with king-nine suited, only to run into Timothy Pai’s pocket jacks. The board saw a flush draw appear on the flop for Morrell, but it did not materialize by the river and he collected $32,846 for his efforts.
Mandavia came to the final table with the most experience in high stakes tournaments, holding a bracelet win for over half a million dollars, and having over six million in lifetime earnings. An MSPT win eluded him, despite a close call with a second place from years ago. A massive cooler would end his run as he ran his ace-king into Josh Remitio’s kings. No improvement was seen for the ace-king and Mandavia ended another deep MSPT run in fourth place for $43,184.
What followed was an intense game of tug of war for the three remaining players, as the chip lead switched to each player at least once, as well as the short stack. Timothy Pai ended up spinning three big blinds up to over 25 big blinds through a few fortunate double ups. At the end of it all, it was Pai that would be unable to win two flips against Josh Remitio. The first one for most of his stack with king-queen versus Remitio’s ace-four, the second one with king-queen again versus Remitio’s pocket jacks. Pai came into the final table as the second shortest stack, and managed to ladder up many spots to collect a third place payday of $60,523.
Remitio and Fuentes started nearly even in chips, but the chip lead swung like a pendulum between the two of them, with blows being exchanged back and forth between the two of them. At the end of the day, Remitio moved in his final chips in with king six offsuit over Fuentes’ call, only for Fuentes to snap-call with pocket aces to send out Remitio for his second biggest lifetime score of $86,615 for his runner-up finish.
Congratulations to Zack Fuentes for winning his first MSPT for $117,060.