Mike O’Neill has taken down the Mid-States Poker Tour Main Event at Tropicana Evansville. Alex Yen finishes runner-up for the second successive season.
Mike O’Neill booked the win in the 71st Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Main Event. He defeated Alex Yen in heads-up action to take the $67,746 first prize at the Tropicana Casino in Evansville, Indiana.The event known as the Indiana State Poker Championships attracted 251 players, ensuring the $250,000 guarantee was met. 110 entrants participated in Day 1A and Craig Spalding emerged as the chip leader. Kenny Smith grabbed the same honor at the end of Day 1B. 49 players would make it through to the second, and final day of action.
When the final table of nine was reached, there were a number of interesting tales to be told.
The reigning Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Player of the Year (POY) Allen Kessler took his seat. With over $3.1m in live tournament earnings, a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring and a vast array of major final table experiences under his belt, he was by far the most experienced player at the table.
There were also two players making back-to-back final tables. MSPT sponsored pro Nick Pupillo continued his amazing run of form by booking a final table seat. Pupillo is a HPT and WSOPC winner, and has made the final table of a MSPT Main Event on five separate occasions, prior to this, including a seventh place finish in this event last year.
The other player returning for a second time was Alex Yen. The first time the MSPT dropped their anchor in Evansville Yen finished runner-up to Charlie Dawson, and when he accumulated half of the chips in play with only six players remaining it appeared he would go on an avenge that defeat; Mike O’Neill had other ideas.
Pupillo’s tournament would end one place higher than last year. He moved all-in from the cutoff, holding KTo, and was picked apart by O’Neill holding AQo.
Jim Russler and Scott Brady soon followed, leaving Kessler, Yen and O’Neill to battle for the next hour. In the end it was the Chainsaw who had his plug pulled. He moved all-in from the button holding 87s and O’Neill looked down to see the cowboys.
With Kessler out of the way Yen battened down in readiness for an assault he hoped would take him one step further than last year. Both players were even in chips, and it was Yen who took the early lead before O’Neill found the double up KT>J9.
Yen would double back 99>33, but O’Neill always seemed to have the right blend of cards and moves to stay ahead of his opponent. Finally the pair got it in with Yen holding K9, O’Neill holding AK, and five community cards later O’Neill was declared the latest MSPT champion. Yen would have to settle for second place again.
Final Table Results
1st. Mike O’Neill – $67,746
2nd. Alex Yen – $39,925
3rd. Allen Kessler – $22,987
4th. Scott Brady – $18,632
5th. Jim Russler – $14,518
6th. Nick Pupillo – $12,099
7th. Craig Spalding – $9,679
8th. Jim Will – $7,259
9th. David Dang – $4,839
The next MSPT event will take place at the Potawatomi Casino, where the $1,100 Main Event will be held Sep 4-6.