The 2023 Winter Poker Classic $2,500 Hall of Fame High Roller has seen 19 levels play to their conclusion, and the event is officially in the books with Minnesota native Mark Sandness walking away the top dog, earning his second MSPT title.
When play began, only 10 players were in their seats. However, that number doubled in the first level and eventually reached a total of 46 entries.
After an official number was tallied, a $105,800 prize pool was calculated, and just five players were going to be taking a piece of it with only 13 players remaining at the end of registration.
MSPT Hall of Famer Blake Bohn and three-time MSPT champ Carl Carodenuto were the first two players to fall in a double elimination, followed by Shawn Libersky and Mystery Bounty winner Dennis Stevermer, setting the stage for the final table.
Final Table Action
Once the players re-drew for their seats, a bunch of familiar faces were seated with both of the top Player of the Year dawgs trying to inch past one another.
Unfortunately for the two Hall of Famers, both their appearances were brief as Umut Ozturk was the first final table elimination while Rob WazWaz followed him out the door shortly after.
A few double ups would go around the table before Kitkat Klassen hit the rail in seventh place, and Joe Beasy was the last player to leave empty-handed.
The final five players all locked up $7,935, and unfortunately for defending champ Kou Vang, the spot ended up being his after getting turned by Sandness.
Shortly after Vangs departure, Dylan Neitzel jammed his Big Slick into Bruce Simmons’ pocket kings and was set up in fourth place for $10,580.
In the same level, local pro DJ Buckley spiked a case of the Greenstein as Sandness rivered an ace to send him home in third place for $16,399.
The heads-up battle saw started with Sandness holding almost a 2:1 chip advantage over Simmons but the two tussled back-and-forth with Sandess eventually getting the last laugh earning his second MSPT title and the $42,320 first-place prize.
This wraps up our coverage for this event, but make sure to tune back in all weekend long for live coverage of the $1,110 Main Event!