8 mins Read
The Mid-Stakes Poker Tour (MSPT)’s 127th Main Event, $1,600 MSPT Venetian ($3 Million GTD) recently concluded after a battle between 2,877 entrants at the Venetian in Las Vegas and it was 28-year old Malaysian player Michael Soyza (cover image) who captured the event title along with a payday of $588,249, which is also the biggest first-place prize in the history of MSPT!
Three Indian players, 9stacks qualifiers, Vivek Rughlani and Nishant Sharma as well as Abhinav Iyer entered the tournament on different starting flights and all three reached Day 2. While Sharma busted out without making it in the money, Rughani finished 195th for $4,557 (~₹3.10 Lakhs) and Iyer finished 242nd for $3,936 (~₹2.68 Lakhs).
Meanwhile, Soyza, whose tournament scorecard showed $1,271,288 in lifetime winnings, that included his prior best cash of $260,552 at the Macau Poker Cup 27 High Roller event he won last year. now added another major title to his profile, moving to the fourth place on Malaysia’s All-time Money List.
“Very long day, I started in the middle of the pack but ran really hot the first level, I had aces against kings, jacks against nines, and tens against eights. I just played my game and ran pretty damn well at the end,”Soyza said, after the win.
A total of 297 players made it in the money and the bubble was reached halfway on Day 2. Amid the prominent faces who made it in the money were Jeremy Ausmus (57th for $8,700), Darryll Fish (61st for $8,700), Marvin Rettenmaier (64th for $8,079), Elio Fox (73rd for $7,457), Phil Laak (81st for $7,457), WSOP bracelet winner John Reading (104th for $5,800), MSPT Poker Bowl champion Jordan Young (157th for $5,179), Aaron Johnson (226th for $3,936) and Lisa Costello (269th for $3,729).
41 players returned on Day 3 and there were several big names who fell before the final table was formed. This included Jason Song (11th for $49,715), two-time MSPT champion Greg Himmelbrand (19th for $29,829), Sam De Silva (31st for $14,500), Luke Vrabel (32nd for $14,500) and MSPT Season 8 Grand Falls champion Ahmed Taleb (41st for $11,186).
Final Table Recap
The first elimination of the final table came when Paul Fisher’s pocket jacks lost to Hye Park who first flopped a pair of aces and bettered his hand with two pairs of aces and fives on the turn, sending Fisher out in 10th place.
Ryan Hu had begun Day 3 as chip leader but had a rough ride on the final table where she finally succumbed when her ace-five ran into Aisup’s ace-king, railing out in ninth place.
Soon thereafter, Ivaylo Sivinov 3-bet jammed his ace-eight only to run into Soyza’s ace-queen and the board ran out clean for him, bouncing him off in eighth place.
Three-time WSOPC ring winner Peter Vitantonio was eliminated next, in seventh place, when Vitantonio’s king-five missed his flush draw and Soyza flopped pair of aces.
Next, David Chen’s ace-ten suited failed to win a flip against Soyza’s pocket sevens and he was eliminated in sixth place.
Chen was followed by Hye Park who jammed with ace-queen and was facing Soyza’s pocket fives. The flop brought a five to send Park packing in fifth place.
Continuing his dream run, Soyza sent Glen Nguyen back to the rail next. He called Nguyen’s shove, holding pocket sixes, Nguyen had him crushed with sevens but the turn got a six for Soyza and Nuygen was busted in fourth place, while Soyza took over the chip lead.
The three-handed play began with Richard Alsup as the short stack and soon he tangled with Jeremy Saderne. Saderne raised to 900,000 with and then called when Alsup three-bet shoved for 11 Million holding the . The board spread out and Alsup exited in third place.
Jeremy Saderne and Soyza entered the heads-up nearly even in chips and the two briefly discussed a deal, but couldn’t finalize the terms and opted to play it out straight. Right from the start, the heads-up went Soyza’s way and on the final hand, Saderne bet out 10.4 Million with the and Soyza called holding . The flop gave Soyza a huge lead but the on the turn kept Saderne drawing live. However when the was dealt on the river, Saderne’s chances ended with a runner-up while Soyza bagged the title.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Michael Soyza – $588,249
2. Jeremy Saderne – $364,573
3. Richard Alsup – $273,430
4. Glen Nguyen – $215,430
5. Hye Park – $165,715
6. David Chen – $132,572
7. Peter Vitantonio – $103,572
8. Ivaylo Sivinov – $78,300
9. Ryan Yu – $62,143
10. Paul Fisher – $49,715