The $1,110 MSPT Main Event at Sycuan Resort and Casino saw a total of 393 players put their hats into the ring to win an MSPT trophy. Only 45 of those entrants were able to secure a minimum payout and after just over 10 hours a new champion has been crowned.
It was California’s Derrick Yamada who took down his first MSPT trophy worth $72,777. “I just love the game, I love the thought process that goes into the game,” the newly crowned MSPT champion said after his win. “I’ve gone through a few spurts of playing poker professionally, there have been times where I haven’t played it as much and times where I have played it more.”
With three tables left, Yamada was down to the shortest stack in the tournament with eight big blinds. “I was between eight and twenty big blinds for five hours,” he said referring to his time on the shorter stack “but all stacks have value to them and there is a correct way they need to be played.” When asked about his future in playing MSPT events he responded “when y’all will be here, I will always be here.”
Day 2 Action
In a rare situation, players were coming back to Day 2 on the stone bubble. Only one hand happened before Austin Wilson was eliminated on the bubble when his short stack got in with pocket jacks against Bret Eberhart’s(45th-$2,008) pocket aces.
Others that fell throughout the day included Brad Sailor (38th-$2,008), Barbod Salimi (33rd-$2,278), ChipLeaderCoaching.com’s Justin Lynch (31st-$2,278), Anthony Bland (25th-$2,658), Derek Molnar (23rd-$3,076), last iteration’s runner up Alexei Racila (22nd-$3,076), and former MSPT Sycuan Champion Kenneth Baime (16th-$4,177), and Anastasia Knapp (10th-$6,075) who ended her day when her pocket kings were cracked just shy of the final table.
Final Table Action
The first casualty of the final table was Cato “PokerBEAST” Lower who started the final table as the outright short stack. He moved in his final chips with king-jack offsuit and was up against the pocket sevens of defending champion Jason Mendoza. He paired his king on the flop, but the board runout gave Mendoza a flush and Lower wished his tablemates luck as he collected $7,214 for his ninth place finish.
Joseph Canez was unable to get anything going at this final table. He began as one of the shorter stacks and got blinded out as the orbits continued to circle. In first position, he got in his final few blinds with queen jack which was called by Andrew Merrick who held ace-ten. The board came out nine-high and Canez’ eighth place finish was good for $9,872.
Stephanie Wang ended her run in seventh place shortly after that. She lost roughly ninety percent of her chips in a bluff against Derrick Yamada in which the hand did not get to showdown. Despite a few double ups after this, she got in her final chips with ace-seven off and was unable to improve against Yamada’s pocket twos and the last woman standing took hom $12,530 for her deep run.
Next out the door was MSPT legend DJ Buckley. Buckley maneuvered his short stack up a few pay jumps, but ultimately had half of his stack committed in the big blind and put the rest in over Yamada’s button raise. Buckley’s eight-six was unable to improve against Yamada’s jack-nine and Buckley added another deep run to his already illustrious resume, collecting $15,948 in the process.
After that confrontation, the play slowed down for a bit as Yamada extended his chip lead over the rest of the field. It was eventually Andrew Rubin who would be the next on the chopping block. Yamada moved all in for 12 big blinds effective and Rubin called for his tournament life. He held queen-jack, but Yamada held ace-queen and Yamada’s ace-queen held up while Rubin exited in fifth place for $20,884.
Lance Winsaft looked set to double as he called off his final chips with aces against Mendoza’s eight-seven, but a turned straight left Winsaft drawing dead to scoop and he ended his deep run in fourth place for $27,719.
One of the most impressive repeat performances in MSPT history was Mendoza’s deep run after winning the last iteration here in Sycuan. His run came to a close when he called off his final chips with queen jack against Merrick’s king-seven and the nine-high board gave no help to the defending champion, who ended his run in third place for $37,591.
A quick discussion was had and a deal was struck in the later hours of the tournament. A pure icm chop was agreed to as Yamada took the trophy and $72,777, while Merrick ended his run in second place for $62,408.
Congratulations to Derrick Yamada for winning his first MSPT trophy here at Sycuan Resort and Casino. Thank you to all who played this event, and thank you for reading along here at MSPTPoker.com. Be sure to check in with us next week in Battle Creek, Michigan for the FireKeepers Main Event.