Adam Younis of Ames, Iowa won the PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN early Monday morning for $95,328 and the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet. This was the fifth time the MSPT has partnered with Canterbury in the tour’s young history and the fields have tripled since the tour launched at Canterbury in late 2009.
The crowds are always large and action-packed in Minnesota, this time was no different. This event generated the second largest MSPT prize pool ever, attracting 373 runners over two flights creating a $372,400 prize pool – just four entrants short of breaking the record set at Canterbury Park last December – that event drew 376 entrants.
The star of the show was Younis who quietly dominated play from start to finish. He ended Day 1 second overall with 201,700 chips. Younis then arrived at the final table with the chip lead, carrying 1,555,000 to the five –seat where he continued to pick away at his opponents. Eventually Younis would battle Brian Soja of New Brighton for the title, Younis held over 6 million of the 7.4 million in play.
It looked like it would be over quickly, almost immediately Younis & Soja got in all-in pre-flop, Younis with 3♥3♠ - Soja with 10♣9♣. The board played out 8♥10♦K♥8♣9♦ - giving Soja the double-up. From there the two opponents would battle for well over two hours.
A little after 1:00AM Monday morning, Soja had taken the chip lead to have Younis covered by 275,000 chips. Soja raised to 420K pre-flop with K♣3♣. Younis called with 9♣J♥. The flop landed J♣8♣10♥. Younis checked, Soja bet 650K, Younis raised all-in, Soja called with the flush draw. The turn and river were 10♦2♠ giving Younis the pot and almost all the chips. Both players put it all in blind the next hand, Younis flipped K♣8♦, Soja turned over 10♦9♥. Younis would hold to earn $95K and the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet!
“I called my shot on the ride here.” Younis said after the big win. “I really felt good about this and felt like I was going to win. I haven’t been in a casino for a long time.”
The only player with prior RFID final table experience was Brian Zekus. Zekus – who works for the United States Coast Guard – has four MSPT cashes and has reached the MSPT final table three times, a 5th, 4th and now 3rd on his resume. Zekus earned $34,530 for his deep run here.
Bill Parker was the first player to exit the final table after over an hour of play. Cory Cove would be sent to the rail next. Cove is the local KFAN Sports Radio morning show host. Cove’s stack took a big hit when he called a short-stack shove by Soja. Soja went all-in with J-6 from the button. Cove called with A-10 from the small blind. Things were looking up for Cove after the first four board cards landed but the river 6 crushed Cove and gave Soja the much needed double-up. Just a couple hands later, Cove shoved JJ into Brad Feldman’s AA and Younis’ QQ. Feldman’s AA held giving him a huge three-way pot.
This event also marked Feldman’s second MSPT final table and Rich Edinger’s third MSPT cash.
The next MSPT stop is at Northern Lights Casino in Walker, Minnesota, one of the original stops on the tour and the stop known to tour regulars as the “Party Stop”. Northern Lights is located on Walker Bay, a resort area which draws tourists from all over the country for its relaxing lakeshore atmosphere. This event will be held May 10-19.