On Sunday night, Jonathan Olson topped a field of 368 runners to claim a $95,741 first-place prize in the Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki Casino in Tama, Iowa. The Iowa resident and MSPT first-timer represented his home turf, triumphing over veteran Mike Holm after a two-hour heads-up match that saw Holm display classic "alligator blood," tenaciously hanging on with a shorter stack during multiple all ins before capitulating.
Holm earned $53,188 for his runner-up finish.
Final Table Results
Seventy-one players came into Day 2 hopeful for the title, but about half left the room without being paid a cent for their tournament efforts. The tally of empty-handed casualties included Jason Seitz, Grant Hinkle, Adam Zych, Ryan Hohenstein, Tom Hammers, and Scott Mahin, who was fresh off an 18th-place finish in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event.
The bubble burst at the conclusion of Level 18, and it happened without the need for hand-for-hand play as two players busted in rapid succession.
Phil Mader (32nd - $2,198), Kou Vang (30th - $2,198), Matt Alexander (29th - $2,198), Molly Mossey (21st - $2,482), and Day 1a chip leader Brandon "norajean" Meyers (15th - $3,812) were among those to get paid after busting in the money. Vang's small cash ensured he would come out of the tournament in first place on the MSPT Player of the Year leaderboard.
Olson came into the day with a mediocre stack of 65,000, good for just over 20 big blinds. He won a key flip early on with the against the of Stan Webb and was able to build his stack to the point where he went into the final table third in chips with just over one million.
Joe Matheson was the first final-table participant to fall, the victim of a slowplay that allowed former MSPT champion David Gonia to overtake him on the turn. Matthew McGrory busted next in ninth, followed by heavy-hitter Lance Harris in eighth. Harris' fellow Minnesotan Adam Dahlin, who won the Canterbury Park Fall Poker Classic Main Event for $90,035 last year, went down in seventh after his kings were outdrawn on the river by the of Olson. Chance Langeness and Frank Huschle were the next two to go in sixth and fifth, respectively.
Gonia entered the day with the top stack, and he used it well, continuing to accumulate chips throughout the grind. Unfortunately for Gonia, all of his hard work came undone in a dizzying three-hand spiral that saw him go from top contender to fourth-place finisher in the span of a few minutes.
Play slowed considerably three-handed, but former chip-leader Chance Lautner ultimately fell in third when he jammed over a raise from Olson with the and was called. Ace-king was again the ticket for Olson, this time the , as the board came , giving him the knockout and allowing him to advance to heads-up play with a lead of about 4.4 million to three million.
In what would ultimately be the final hand, which happened in Level 20 (50,000/100,000/10,000), Olson raised to 300,000 on the button and Holm shoved for 1.03 million. Olson thought for a bit before calling.
Equities were close, but it looked great for Holm to double when the door card was the . Unfortunately for him, it was followed by a and . The turn was the , giving Olson two pair.
"I'm dead," Holm said, though he was far from it as he picked up a flush draw. A ten would do it for him as well, but it was Olson improving to a boat after the river. The players shook hands to conclude the match and officially make Olson the latest MSPT champion.
Season 5 of the MSPT continues next weekend with another $1,100 Main Event from the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana. For more information on that event, click here.