This was the first ever Keep It or Cash It event for the PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour at Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw, OK. The $450 buy-in event boasted a $150,000 Guaranteed prize pool! The event attracted 375 runners and drove a $37,050 first place prize.
Terry Presley of Huntsville, Arkansas dominated Day 1 action by surviving multiple flights – bagging a total of 803,000 chips which earned him the Day 1 chip leader bonus of $5,000. Presley would aslo finish ninth for another $2,986.
His next closest competitor was Professional Poker Player Kou Vang. Vang entered Day 2 second overall in chips and looking for his second MSPT title.
Also in the mix was Pro Alex “AP” Phahurat who accumulated 472,000 through Day 1.
Only two players elected to cash out chips after surviving a second flight. Both Dave Gotchal and Norman Glueckert elected to sell chips. Gotchal chose to sell his second stack for $1,495 rather than adding to his previous stack of 323,000. Glueckert took $1,795 instead of combining his chips to the 159,500 he had already amassed. Glueckert would bust quickly on Day 2 in 29th place for $814. Gotchal would be sent to the rail in 11th place for $2,443.
The eventual winner would be a Science Teacher from Grove, Oklahoma! Apparently winning an MSPT event for your first ever major cash is the thing to do. At the last stop, Jordan Townsend did just that by outlasting 301-entrants to earn $76,975 at FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, MI. Just two weeks later, Todd Kerr did it again by defeating a 375-runner field for $37,050 and the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet!
Kerr who qualified for the Main Event through a $45 satellite stated, “I rarely ever play. I have kids in college that I’m trying to pay for. I think this was my second tournament this year.”
Kou Vang controlled most of the final table action from the start – piling up nearly 3 million chips at one point. But when play was 4-handed, Vang was bluffed out of a massive pot by Construction Superintendent Danny Barnes from Reeds Spring, MO, who risked his entire stack to pull it off! It worked – which started a series of unfortunate spots for Vang who eventually was sent home fourth after his 10-big blind shove with JJ failed to hold up versus Kerr’s Q♦7♦ all-in pre-flop.
Despite his great play, Barnes was unable to fend off Kerr’s hot run and finished third for $13,436.
Kerr would then battle a retired Ken Pastewka of Union, MO heads up for the title and the bracelet. The two entered heads-up play nearly even in chips and took little time getting at it. After just a few hands, Kerr would eliminate Pastewka to earn the win. Pastewka played well throughout and collected $20,357 for his efforts.