$

Awarded to date

The Venetian

June 9 - 13, 2018

 
  • Level: 40
  • Blinds: 500000 / 1000000
  • Ante: 100000
Congrats to Sergei Nikiforov on topping field of 2,779 entries to win the MSPT Venetian $600 Main Event!
Created (6/13/2018 10:34:06 PM by Chad Holloway)

The $600 buy-in, $1 million GTD MSPT Venetian Main Event – the 125th Main Event held in tour history – drew 2,779 runners, which generated a $1,425,627 prize pool. After three starting flights and two other days of play, 44-year-old Russia pro Sergei Nikiforov who took home $174,708 (original payout was $202,456).

“I’m incredibly tired, a long three days,” he said after the win. “At the start of the day I was the third shortest stack. I won many coinflips. It’s the luckiest day for me in life.”

Nikiforov, who plays and is also a part of Russian poker academy Poker Moscow, struck it big on what was his fifth visit to Vegas.

“We teach people how to play better,” he said of his profession. “My best companion, his name is Roman, he is the greatest guy in Russia. He wrote a book, in Russia this book is like Super System by Doyle Brunson, but in the Russia language. So, at Poker Moscow we teach lessons and also play poker.”

Final Table Results
1 Sergei Nikiforov (Russia) $174,708* (original payout $202,456)
2 Ken Kao (Santa Clara, CA) $144,734* (original payout $125,455)
3 Longsheng Tan (Alhambra, CA) $102,560* (original payout $94,091)
4 Thomas Ward (Aberdeen, Scotland) $74,133
5 George Watson (Yucaipa, CA) $57,025
6 Alexandre Mantovani (Brazil) $45,620
7 Becky Wooten (Mesa, Arizona) $35,641
8 Guillaume Diaz (France) $26,944
9 Mas Karlsson (Sliema, Malta) $21,384
10 Preecha Taepakdee (Boynton Beach, FL) $17,108

*Reflects three-way deal

Early Action

Day 1A of the tournament attracted 412 runners and saw 57 bag with Morgan Polo and his stack of 424K leading the way. Others to advance from the flight were Gerry Cunniff (206,500), 2016 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Champ Andy Rubinberg (111,500), and Tim Acker (111,000).

Meanwhile, the 1B flight drew 581 entrants and ended with 132 advancing including chip leader Ed Miller with 427,500. He was joined by notables Tim Reilly (247,000), MSPT Season 6 Player of the Year Mark Hodge (222,000), Michael Ermie (214,000), Joe Serock (137,000), and MSPT Season 3 Canterbury Park champ James Gibson (46,000).

The third and final flight proved to be by far the biggest with 1,786 runners, but it ended with 193 still alive including chip leader Nick Quraishi (527,000), poker reporter Valerie Cross (312,500), AP Garza (182,000), Danny Gonzalez (155,000), and 2013 WSOP National Champion Jonathan Hilton (120,000).

Day 2 saw 382 players return to action but only 297 of them would get paid. Among those to fall short of the money were Cunniff, Barbara Sargent, and Ray Kondler, just to name a few.

Once the bubble burst the in-the-money finishes mounted and included Randy Perkins (27th - $6,986), Day 1C chip leader Quraishi (36th - $4,990), MSPT Season 8 Canterbury Park Regional champ Paul Cross ($3,279), Day 1B chip leader Ed Miller (53rd - $3,279), AP Garza (59th - $2,994), MSPT Season 6 POY Mark Hodge (120th - $1,996), 2016 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship Andy Rubinberg (165th - $1,782), former November Niner Jake Balsiger (183rd - $1,568), and 2013 WSOP National Champion Jonathan Hilton (200th - $1,568).

Just 17 players advanced to Day 3 with Longsheng Tan and his stack of 5,805,000 leading the way. That meant seven players needed to hit the rail before the final table and they included former November Niner Jeremy Ausmus (15th - $13,543), Christian Nilles (13th - $13,543), and Mark Bailey (11th - $17,108).

Final Table Action

It took a while for the first elimination but it finally happened when Preecha Taepakdee got his short stack in with the J♠9♠ of Alexandre Mantovani, who had the A♠8♠. The board ran out 10♣6♦2♦8♣2♣ and Taepakdee hit the rail in 10th place for $17,108.

Mantovani then eliminated Mats Karlsson in ninth – the result of the latter’s ace-nine failing to overcome the former’s pocket jacks all in preflop – and France’s Guillaume Diaz followed him out the door in what was one of the biggest pots of the entire tournament.

It happened in Level 36 (200,000/400,000/50,000) when Nikiforov moved all in for 5.1 million under the gun holding the A♦K♦ and Diaz called off for 4.25 million with the Q♦Q♥. Mantovani then looked down at the Q♣Q♠ in the big can called to put both players at risk. The 9♠8♦2♦ flop gave Nikiforov a flush draw but it was the A♥ turn that paired him and left his two opponents drawing dead. The meaningless 3♠ was run out on the river and Diaz headed to the payout desk to collect $26,944 for his eighth-place finish.

Becky Wooten saw her chance at becoming the MSPT’s second female champ come to an end when he three-bet jammed with queen-seven and was called by the king-nine suited of George Watson. A king on the turn sealed her fate in seventh place for $25,641.

Mantovani was the next to fall when his king-seven failed to get there against the ace-seven of Ken Kao, and then Watson took his leave after running pocket sevens smack dab into the pocket kings of Thomas Ward.

An intense four-way battle ensued but eventually, it was Ward’s turn to exit after high ace-jack failed to overcome Kao’s pocket eights. At that point, the final three players struck a deal that entailed leaving $42,200 and the trophy to play for.

“We tried to make a deal four handed,” said Nikiforov. “I’m not so crazy and gamble. Poker is a game of mind, not of gamble, and in a situation where everyone has 12-15 blinds it’s only about gamble.”

In the first hand after the deal was made, Longsheng Tan got his last five bigs in holding the A♦J♥ and he was primed to double through Nikiforov, who held the A♣10♣. However, the board ran out 2♥7♦10♠Q♦2♠ and Nikiforov won it with two pair.

Heads-up play began fairly even but before too long Nikiforov pulled away. In the final hand of the tournament, Nikiforov raised to 2.1 million and called when Kao shoved for 15 million. Kao was ahead with the A♥8♣ against Nikiforov’s A♦3♦, but the board ran out 5♥J♠2♠5♣4♣ to give he Russia a winning wheel.

  • Level: 40
  • Blinds: 500000 / 1000000
  • Ante: 100000
Ken Kao Eliminated In 2nd Place ($144,734)
Created (6/13/2018 10:18:03 PM by Brandon Temple)
Ken Kao

On the last hand of Level 40, Sergei Nikiforov raised to 2.1 million on the button, then called the three-bet shove for 15 million from Ken Kao in the big blind.

Nikiforov:
Kao:

Nikiforov flopped a few extra outs on the flop, and gained chop outs after the hit the turn. Kao still looked poised to either chop or double up, but the on the river gave Nikiforov a wheel and made Kao our runner-up finisher.

Ken Kao - Eliminated in 2nd place for $144,734

  • Level: 40
  • Blinds: 500000 / 1000000
  • Ante: 100000
Updated Chip Counts
Created (6/13/2018 10:08:33 PM by Brandon Temple)

Player NameChip CountPreviousProgress
Sergei Nikiforov4170000036000000
Ken Kao1415000019750000

  • Level: 40
  • Blinds: 500000 / 1000000
  • Ante: 100000
Sergei Nikiforov Wins With Jack-High
Created (6/13/2018 9:51:59 PM by Brandon Temple)

Sergei Nikiforov limped the button, and Ken Kao checked the big blind.

On a flop, Kao led for 1.2 million, and Nikiforov raised to 3 million. Kao called.

The turn was checked by Kao, and Nikiforov bet 3.5 million. Kao called again.

Both players quickly checked the river, and Kao said, “Eight-high.”

Nikiforov tabled for jack-high and the winner.

Sergei Nikiforov - 36 million
Ken Kao - 19.75 million

  • Level: 40
  • Blinds: 500000 / 1000000
  • Ante: 100000
Longsheng Tan Eliminated In 3rd Place ($102,560)
Created (6/13/2018 9:35:27 PM by Brandon Temple)
Longsheng Tan

Sergei Nikiforov jammed to cover Longsheng Tan’s last 4.8 million, and Tan called.

Nikiforov:
Tan:

Nikiforov found help on the flop, and after the turn, Tan needed a jack or king to survive, but the river left Nikiforov and Kao heads-up for the title.

Sergei Nikiforov - 27.2 million
Longsheng Tan - Eliminated in 3rd place for $102,560

  • Level: 40
  • Blinds: 500000 / 1000000
  • Ante: 100000
We Have A Chop!
Created (6/13/2018 9:25:02 PM by Brandon Temple)

The remaining three players have agreed to a chop that leaves $42,200 and the trophy to play for. Here are the amounts each player agreed upon:

Ken Kao: $144,734
Sergei Nikiforov: $132,508
Longsheng Tan: $102,560

Cards will be back in the air shortly!

  • Level: 39
  • Blinds: 400000 / 800000
  • Ante: 100000
Time For A Break
Created (6/13/2018 9:20:44 PM by Brandon Temple)

The remaining three players are on a fifteen-minute break.

  • Level: 39
  • Blinds: 400000 / 800000
  • Ante: 100000
Thomas Ward Eliminated In 4th Place ($74,133)
Created (6/13/2018 9:06:08 PM by Brandon Temple)
Thomas Ward

Thomas Ward jammed for his last 7.75 million from the cutoff, and Ken Kao called in the small blind.

Ward:
Kao:

Ward was looking for an ace or face to score the double, but the flop did nothing for his hand. The turn was a blank for Ward, and he hit the rail after the hit the river.

Ken Kao - 29 million
Thomas Ward - Eliminated in 4th place for $74,133

  • Level: 39
  • Blinds: 400000 / 800000
  • Ante: 100000
Sergei Nikiforov Doubles Through Longsheng Tan
Created (6/13/2018 8:55:31 PM by Brandon Temple)

Longsheng Tan raised to 1.6 million from the button, and Sergei Nikiforov three-bet shoved for 10.6 million from the big blind. Tan snapped him off.

Tan:
Nikiforov:

Nikiforov found an ace on the flop to leave Tan seeking a king for the KO. No help came on the turn or river, and Tan finds himself dangerously short.

Sergei Nikiforov - 22 million
Longsheng Tan - 1.875 million

  • Level: 39
  • Blinds: 400000 / 800000
  • Ante: 100000
Ken Kao Doubles Through Longsheng Tan
Created (6/13/2018 8:47:37 PM by Brandon Temple)

Thomas Ward raised to 1.6 million from the cutoff, and Longsheng Tan three-bet shoved for 21 million. Ken Kao called off his last 8.6 million in the small blind, and Ward folded.

Tan:
Kao:

Kao’s kings looked prime to double into the chip lead, but he got a sweat on the flop. The turn meant he needed to dodge a jack or ace to double, and he did just that on a river.

Ken Kao - 21 million
Longsheng Tan - 12.875 million

 
 
Player Name
City
State
Country
Chips
Progress
Russia 
 
55,580,000
55,580,000 
Brazil 
 
Brazil 
0
Busted 
Mesa 
AZ 
0
Busted 
France 
 
 
0
Busted 
Sliema 
 
Malta 
0
Busted 
 
0
Busted 
CA 
0
Busted 
 
 
0
Busted 
 
Miami 
FL 
0
Busted 
 
Rank
Player Name
City
State
Country
Amount
Points
1
Russia 
 
$174,708 
1,333 
2
Ken Kao  
CA 
$144,734 
1,200 
3
CA 
$102,560 
1,133 
4
 
$74,133 
1,067 
5
CA 
$57,025 
1,000 
6
Brazil 
 
Brazil 
$45,620 
933 
7
Mesa 
AZ 
$35,641 
867 
8
France 
 
 
$26,944 
800 
9
Sliema 
 
Malta 
$21,384 
733 
10
FL 
$17,108 
667 
11
NY 
$17,108 
667 
12
NV 
$17,108 
667 
13
 
$13,543 
600 
14
CA 
$13,543 
600 
15
NV 
$13,543 
600 
16
 
$12,403 
533 
17
Miami 
FL 
$12,403 
533 
18
Boston 
MA 
$12,403 
533 
19
Brea 
CA 
$10,265 
500 
20
CA 
$10,265 
500 
21
Parma 
 
Italy 
$10,265 
500 
22
MO 
$8,554 
467 
23
Reno 
NV 
$8,554 
467 
24
Brazil 
 
Brazil 
$8,554 
467 
25
CA 
$6,986 
433 
26
NY 
$6,986 
433 
27
IA 
$6,986 
433 
28
GA 
$4,990 
400 
29
OR 
$4,990 
400 
30
Russia 
 
$4,990 
400 
31
PA 
$4,990 
400 
32
IN 
$4,990 
400 
33
MI 
$4,990 
400 
34
GA 
$4,990 
400 
35
IN 
$4,990 
400 
36
CA 
$4,990 
400 
37
MO 
$3,849 
367 
38
CA 
$3,849 
367 
39
NV 
$3,849 
367 
40
CA 
$3,849 
367 
41
CA 
$3,849 
367 
42
CA 
$3,849 
367 
43
 
$3,849 
367 
44
ND 
$3,849 
367 
45
NV 
$3,849 
367 
46
Boston 
MA 
$3,279 
333 
47
 
 
$3,279 
333 
48
Naples 
FL 
$3,279 
333 
49
 
Canada 
$3,279 
333 
50
 
 
$3,279 
333 
51
 
 
$3,279 
333 
52
MN 
$3,279 
333 
53
CA 
$3,279 
333 
54
Lodi 
CA 
$3,279 
333 
55
 
 
$2,994 
300 
56
 
 
$2,994 
300 
57
 
 
$2,994 
300 
58
MS 
$2,994 
300 
59
TX 
$2,994 
300 
60
PA 
$2,994 
300 
61
CA 
$2,994 
300 
62
UT 
$2,994 
300 
63
CA 
$2,994 
300 
64
 
 
Brazil 
$2,780 
267 
65
Moscow 
 
$2,780 
267 
66
TN 
$2,780 
267 
67
LA 
$2,780 
267 
68
CA 
$2,780 
267 
69
FL 
$2,780 
267 
70
 
China 
$2,780 
267 
71
AZ 
$2,780 
267 
72
 
France 
$2,780 
267 
73
Wylie 
TX 
$2,566 
233 
74
MN 
$2,566 
233 
75
 
 
$2,566 
233 
76
CA 
$2,566 
233 
77
Oxford 
 
$2,566 
233 
78
 
 
$2,566 
233 
79
Hannon 
 
Canada 
$2,566 
233 
80
 
 
Italy 
$2,566 
233 
81
FL 
$2,566 
233 
82
 
 
$2,352 
200 
83
IL 
$2,352 
200 
84
 
 
$2,352 
200 
85
 
 
Brazil 
$2,352 
200 
86
MI 
$2,352 
200 
87
London 
 
$2,352 
200 
88
TN 
$2,352 
200 
89
Joplin 
MO 
$2,352 
200 
90
Mound 
MN 
$2,352 
200 
91
Boston 
MA 
$2,210 
167 
92
HI 
$2,210 
167 
93
 
 
$2,210 
167 
94
Vienna 
 
$2,210 
167 
95
Penh Lo  
MN 
$2,210 
167 
96
 
 
$2,210 
167 
97
Salem 
OR 
$2,210 
167 
98
TN 
$2,210 
167 
99
NY 
$2,210 
167 
100
NV 
$1,996 
133 
101
 
 
$1,996 
133 
102
GA 
$1,996 
133 
103
Won Lee  
Niles 
IL 
$1,996 
133 
104
CA 
$1,996 
133 
105
NC 
$1,996 
133 
106
NV 
$1,996 
133 
107
CA 
$1,996 
133 
108
TX 
$1,996 
133 
109
Divide 
CO 
$1,996 
133 
110
NV 
$1,996 
133 
111
TX 
$1,996 
133 
112
 
$1,996 
133 
113
 
$1,996 
133 
114
 
Brazil 
$1,996 
133 
115
AZ 
$1,996 
133 
116
MN 
$1,996 
133 
117
Austin 
TX 
$1,996 
133 
118
Newton 
NC 
$1,996 
133 
119
Boone 
NC 
$1,996 
133 
120
FL 
$1,996 
133 
121
FL 
$1,996 
133 
122
IA 
$1,996 
133 
123
NV 
$1,996 
133 
124
CA 
$1,996 
133 
125
 
 
France 
$1,996 
133 
126
 
$1,996 
133 
127
NJ 
$1,996 
133 
128
FL 
$1,996 
133 
129
 
Canada 
$1,996 
133 
130
 
 
$1,996 
133 
131
 
 
$1,996 
133 
132
TX 
$1,996 
133 
133
 
 
$1,996 
133 
134
 
 
$1,996 
133 
135
NV 
$1,996 
133 
136
GA 
$1,782 
100 
137
MI 
$1,782 
100 
138
NM 
$1,782 
100 
139
Bronx 
NY 
$1,782 
100 
140
OH 
$1,782 
100 
141
WI 
$1,782 
100 
142
CA 
$1,782 
100 
143
 
 
$1,782 
100 
144
 
$1,782 
100 
145
Wilson 
NC 
$1,782 
100 
146
 
 
$1,782 
100 
147
 
 
$1,782 
100 
148
NV 
$1,782 
100 
149
 
 
$1,782 
100 
150
NV 
$1,782 
100 
151
 
 
$1,782 
100 
152
CA 
$1,782 
100 
153
Lisle 
IL 
$1,782 
100 
154
 
 
$1,782 
100 
155
CA 
$1,782 
100 
156
OK 
$1,782 
100 
157
NV 
$1,782 
100 
158
NV 
$1,782 
100 
159
MD 
$1,782 
100 
160
FL 
$1,782 
100 
161
NV 
$1,782 
100 
162
 
 
$1,782 
100 
163
Austin 
TX 
$1,782 
100 
164
 
 
$1,782 
100 
165
IL 
$1,782 
100 
166
NV 
$1,782 
100 
167
FL 
$1,782 
100 
168
Novi 
MI 
$1,782 
100 
169
 
Canada 
$1,782 
100 
170
CA 
$1,782 
100 
171
NY 
$1,782 
100 
172
IL 
$1,568 
67 
173
AL 
$1,568 
67 
174
NC 
$1,568 
67 
175
 
Canada 
$1,568 
67 
176
CA 
$1,568 
67 
177
CA 
$1,568 
67 
178
MI 
$1,568 
67 
179
NY 
$1,568 
67 
180
CO 
$1,568 
67 
181
Omaha 
NE 
$1,568 
67 
182
 
 
$1,568 
67 
183
Tempe 
AZ 
$1,568 
67 
184
CA 
$1,568 
67 
185
 
 
$1,568 
67 
186
NJ 
$1,568 
67 
187
 
 
$1,568 
67 
188
MN 
$1,568 
67 
189
Miami 
FL 
$1,568 
67 
190
NM 
$1,568 
67 
191
NJ 
$1,568 
67 
192
Vale 
SD 
$1,568 
67 
193
 
 
Canada 
$1,568 
67 
194
AZ 
$1,568 
67 
195
NV 
$1,568 
67 
196
 
Canada 
$1,568 
67 
197
CO 
$1,568 
67 
198
 
 
$1,568 
67 
199
NV 
$1,568 
67 
200
TN 
$1,568 
67 
201
AZ 
$1,568 
67 
202
Israel 
 
Israel 
$1,568 
67 
203
 
$1,568 
67 
204
NY 
$1,568 
67 
205
NV 
$1,568 
67 
206
NC 
$1,568 
67 
207
NV 
$1,568 
67 
208
Sweden 
 
Sweden 
$1,354 
50 
209
VA 
$1,354 
50 
210
 
 
$1,354 
50 
211
Natick 
MA 
$1,354 
50 
212
Kam Low  
 
Canada 
$1,354 
50 
213
NY 
$1,354 
50 
214
CA 
$1,354 
50 
215
CA 
$1,354 
50 
216
NC 
$1,354 
50 
217
OH 
$1,354 
50 
218
NV 
$1,354 
50 
219
 
Canada 
$1,354 
50 
220
 
Canada 
$1,354 
50 
221
FL 
$1,354 
50 
222
Encino 
CA 
$1,354 
50 
223
 
$1,354 
50 
224
 
Canada 
$1,354 
50 
225
CA 
$1,354 
50 
226
MI 
$1,354 
50 
227
NV 
$1,354 
50 
228
HI 
$1,354 
50 
229
Russia 
 
$1,354 
50 
230
CA 
$1,354 
50 
231
France 
 
France 
$1,354 
50 
232
 
Brazil 
$1,354 
50 
233
NV 
$1,354 
50 
234
NV 
$1,354 
50 
235
NJ 
$1,354 
50 
236
TX 
$1,354 
50 
237
CA 
$1,354 
50 
238
NV 
$1,354 
50 
239
London 
 
$1,354 
50 
240
Tries 
 
$1,354 
50 
241
CA 
$1,354 
50 
242
FL 
$1,354 
50 
243
FL 
$1,354 
50 
244
CO 
$1,354 
50 
245
MN 
$1,354 
50 
246
 
Canada 
$1,354 
50 
247
NV 
$1,354 
50 
248
Hai Le  
Midway 
CA 
$1,354 
50 
249
CA 
$1,354 
50 
250
MD 
$1,354 
50 
251
 
Canada 
$1,354 
50 
252
 
 
$1,354 
50 
253
CA 
$1,283 
33 
254
IL 
$1,283 
33 
255
Paris 
 
France 
$1,283 
33 
256
CA 
$1,283 
33 
257
CO 
$1,283 
33 
258
LA 
$1,283 
33 
259
 
Canada 
$1,283 
33 
260
GA 
$1,283 
33 
261
MN 
$1,283 
33 
262
MO 
$1,283 
33 
263
LA 
$1,283 
33 
264
NV 
$1,283 
33 
265
Tampa 
FL 
$1,283 
33 
266
CA 
$1,283 
33 
267
NV 
$1,283 
33 
268
MN 
$1,283 
33 
269
TX 
$1,283 
33 
270
NV 
$1,283 
33 
271
FL 
$1,283 
33 
272
 
$1,283 
33 
273
NV 
$1,283 
33 
274
IL 
$1,283 
33 
275
Kent 
WA 
$1,283 
33 
276
TX 
$1,283 
33 
277
CA 
$1,283 
33 
278
 
$1,283 
33 
279
France 
 
France 
$1,283 
33 
280
AZ 
$1,283 
33 
281
NY 
$1,283 
33 
282
 
$1,283 
33 
283
Bowie 
MD 
$1,283 
33 
284
Italy 
 
Italy 
$1,283 
33 
285
WA 
$1,283 
33 
286
Dallas 
TX 
$1,283 
33 
287
NV 
$1,283 
33 
288
NV 
$1,283 
33 
289
NV 
$1,283 
33 
290
FL 
$1,283 
33 
291
NV 
$1,283 
33 
292
OH 
$1,283 
33 
293
Brazil 
 
Brazil 
$1,283 
33 
294
Conway 
AR 
$1,283 
33 
295
TX 
$1,283 
33 
296
NY 
$1,283 
33 
297
GA 
$1,283 
33 
LEVEL INFO
Level
40
Blinds
500000 / 1000000
Ante
100000
TOURNAMENT INFO
Entries
2779
Players Remaining
1
Average Chip Stack
55,580,000
Total Chips
55,580,000
TOP 10 CHIP COUNT
RANK
PLAYER
CHIPS
55,580,000
0
0
SEASON TOP 10 POY POINTS
RANK
PLAYER
CHIPS
5,617
4,400
4,300
3,650
3,100
3,000
2,750
2,500
2,350
10 
2,292