The Venetian: February 1 - 3, 2018


The Venetian - Las Vegas, NV

Feb 1-3, 2018

Main Event: 827 Entrants

Kfir Nahum Wins MSPT Poker Bowl II at The Venetian, $108,410!

The $1,100 buy-in MSPT Poker Bowl II, which coincides yearly with NFL Super Bowl weekend, drew 827 entries (268 on Day 1A and 559 on Day 1B) to The Venetian, crushing the $500,000 guarantee with an $806,325 prize pool and surpassing last year’s field of 695.

After two starting flights and Saturday’s Day 2 (instead of Sunday, to allow players to be free to watch Super Bowl LII), it was 43-year-old Kfir Nahum, who recently relocated to Las Vegas, earning the victory after a four-way chop (chops are allowed per The Venetian policy), netting him $108,410 and the current lead in the Season 9 Kimo Sabe Mezcal POY Standings.

“I feel great, my wife and parents are here,” said Nahum, a businessman who owns a travel agency. He’s also a father of two boys and a girl, the latter having just graduated high school. “I bought in three times to this tournament. The same guy knocked me out two times. The third time was the charm.”

As for who he wants to win tomorrow’s Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, Nahum was quick to answer: “I will go with the Eagles. It’s a business decision. If they win, my brother will make a lot of money in Philly.”

The win brought Nahum’s career earnings up to $587,960. It was the latest notch on his poker belt which includes finishing 61st in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event for a career-high $121,188, and a pair of wins in Bay 101 $1K event for $100,000 and $79,330 respectively. He also won the 2014 Israel Poker Tour Summer Edition Main Event for $73,689.

On Day 2, 115 players returned to action, which meant 25 players left without a payday. Some of those unfortunate players that didn’t make the money include Osama “Sammy” Aweida, “DQ” Dan Hendrickson, 2017 MN Magazine POY Todd Melander, and poker pro Darren Rabinowitz. Nikhil Gera was our bubble boy, getting his set of kings cracked by Daniel Frumkin’s queens when Frumkin rivered a flush.

Notable players that were able to score a cash in the tournament include Ryan “protentialmn” Laplante (85th - $2,096), Washington’s all-time tournament earnings leader Scott Clements (83rd - $2,096), 2016 WSOP Colossus II Champ Ben Keeline (75th - $2,177), MSPT Poker Bowl I fourth-place finisher Jordan Cristos (70th - $2,258), Day 1B chip leader Valentin Vornicu (59th - $2,419), Jon “PearlJammed” Turner (55th - $2,419), 2010 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Joseph Cheong (47th - $2,580), Day 1A chip leader Dylan Thomassie (45th - $2,903), Kathy Liebert (42nd - $2,903), Eric “Basebaldy” Baldwin (23rd - $5,725), MSPT Season 3 Running Aces champ Rodger Johnson (12th - $11,289), and a double elimination prior to the final table that saw Connor Arlia (11th - $11,289) and Marc Bernal (10th - $11,289) give us a nine-handed Final Table from the start.

Final Table Action

Early on, Daniel Perkins was unfortunate enough to run his K♠K♣ into Ana Freitas’ A♦A♣ and after a 4♥A♥K♦ flop left him drawing to one out, he found no help on a 7♦ turn or 2♦ river and was crippled and subsequently eliminated in ninth place for $14,514.

Season 8 MSPT Grand Falls Champion Ahmed Taleb was next to go, after he jammed his last 450,000 from the cutoff, and was called by Matthias De Cercq in the big blind.

Taleb: K♣9♦
De Cercq: K♠K♥

Taleb found no love on a 5♦Q♥2♦2♣8♥ board and the former MSPT Champion had to settle for eighth place and $18,454 as a consolation prize.

Freitas’s demise came in two hands, first when her jacks ran into Nahum’s kings in a monster pot, then two hands later, when her sixes weren’t able to hold when Mike Lang spiked an ace on the turn, to leave her with seventh place and $23,383 for her efforts.

The next player to fall was Steve Buell, after Nahum jammed from the small blind for Buell’s last ten blinds and Buell snapped him off.

Nahum: 8♠7♥
Buell: A♦8♥

Buell’s lead was short lived after the 8♣Q♠7♠ flop brought Nahum two pair, and the 10♦ on the turn and 7♦ on the river filled Nahum up. That sent Buell to the payout desk in sixth place with a $30,640 payday waiting for him.

Lang was the next to go losing a flip with eights against De Cercq’s ace-king. That gave Lang, the last MSPT regular in the field, a fifth-place finish and $40,316 in winnings, enough to propel him into the top 40 all-time for MSPT tournament earnings.

After Lang’s elimination, the four remaining players struck a deal as follows:

Nahum = $108,410 and the title (via chip count)
De Cercq = $108,410
John Ploski = $84,743
Bob Shao = $76,926

“The blinds were so high. It was more luck than skill at that point,” Nahum said of the decision to work a deal. “It was going too long, the average was about 20 bigs, so we decided to do away with the luck and chop. As for the money, I’ll be playing more poker and taking care of my family.”

Season 9 of the MSPT continued February 23-25 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. That $1,100 buy-in, $300K GTD will offer two starting flights on Friday and Saturday culminating with Day 2 on Sunday. The stop will also mark our first live-streamed final table of the year.


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Kfir Nahum Henderson NV $108,4101,800
2 Matthias De Cercq $108,4101,600
3 John Ploski Chicago IL $84,7431,500
4 Bob Shao Berkely CA $76,9261,400
5 Michael Lang Waukee IA $40,3161,300
6 Steve Buell Green Bay WI $30,6401,200
7 Ana Freitas Brazil $23,3831,100
8 Ahmed Taleb Moorhead MN $18,5451,000
9 Daniel Perkins Las Vegas NV $14,514900
10 Marc Bernal Oak Forest IL $11,289800
11 Connor Arlia Weirton WV $11,289800
12 Rodger Johnson Grand Forks ND $11,289800
13 Christopher Bonita Winthrop MA $9,676700
14 Salvatore DiCarlo Las Vegas NV $9,676700
15 Leo Wolpert Fairfax VA $9,676700
16 Kenja Wiseman Kapolei HI $8,063600
17 Jim Agate Las Vegas NV $8,063600
18 Sardor Gaziev North Brunswick NJ $8,063600
19 Vincent Moscati Verplanck NY $6,773500
20 Pritpal Virdee Richardson TX $6,773500
21 Narimaan Ahmadi Atlanta GA $6,773500
22 Anthony Gencarelli Kirtland OH $5,725400
23 Eric Baldwin Las Vegas NV $5,725400
24 Wilson Chan Union City CA $5,725400
25 Daniel Frumkin Acton CA $4,677350
26 Sajed Karim Waterloo, Canada $4,677350
27 Trung Pham Houston TX $4,677350
28 Hayden Fortini Vero Beach FL $3,548300
29 Stephen Whitaker Sheperdsville KY $3,548300
30 Brian Johnson (SD) Rasholt SD $3,548300
31 Nick Getzen Portland OR $3,548300
32 Gerald Cunniff St. Paul MN $3,548300
33 Viacheslav Fentisov Las Vegas NV $3,548300
34 Paul Lieu Aurora IL $3,548300
35 Peter Hengsakul Pasadena CA $3,548300
36 Ness Reilly Paris $3,548300
37 Cesar Claudio Caguas $2,903250
38 Jerrimie Pacheco Hilo HI $2,903250
39 Stanley Lee West Hartford CT $2,903250
40 Drew Schulz Littleton CO $2,903250
41 Schuyler Thornton Copus Christi TX $2,903250
42 Kathy Liebert Las Vegas NV $2,903250
43 Virab Zakaryan Las Vegas NV $2,903250
44 Keyavash Hemyari Houston TX $2,903250
45 Dylan Thomassie Las Vegas NV $2,903250
46 Farhad Sinaei Las Vegas NV $2,580200
47 Joseph Cheong Las Vegas NV $2,580200
48 David To Hoffman Estates IL $2,580200
49 Erick Casselman Winnipeg $2,580200
50 Pete Morris Las Vegas NV $2,580200
51 Mike Harvey San Francisco CA $2,580200
52 Damon Johnson Aumsville OR $2,580200
53 Daniel Dipasquale Las Vegas NV $2,580200
54 Ekrem Bozkurt Fairfield CA $2,580200
55 Jon Turner Las Vegas NV $2,419150
56 Phuoc Nguyen San Jose CA $2,419150
57 Mitchell Towner Austin TX $2,419150
58 Nghia Nguyen Fresno TX $2,419150
59 Valentin Vornicu San Diego CA $2,419150
60 Kevin O'Donnell Petaluma CA $2,419150
61 Craig Varnell Fort Collins CO $2,419150
62 Shawn Raines Lake Chelan WA $2,419150
63 John Haldie Offutt AFB NE $2,419150
64 Shinryo Nonin Osaka $2,258100
65 Anthony Spinella Las Vegas NV $2,258100
66 Tim Reilly Natick MA $2,258100
67 Jon Maras Hartford SD $2,258100
68 William James Mobile AL $2,258100
69 Charlie Nguyen Houston TX $2,258100
70 Jordan Cristos Palmdale CA $2,258100
71 Casey Stewart Las Vegas NV $2,258100
72 Tony Woo Las Vegas NV $2,258100
73 Brandon Hatch Salt Lake City UT $2,17775
74 Ken Gigstead Richfield WI $2,17775
75 Ben Keeline Longmont CO $2,17775
76 Ken Hicks Atlanta GA $2,17775
77 Tom Bouziden Colorado Springs CO $2,17775
78 Edward Lewis Brentwood CA $2,17775
79 Colin Eric Lovelock Cottingham, England $2,17775
80 Edward Liu Los Angeles CA $2,17775
81 Zachariah Marchiondo Albuquerque NM $2,17775
82 Joris Springael Glenndale AZ $2,09650
83 Scott Clements Mount Vernon WA $2,09650
84 Ilkin Amirov Baku $2,09650
85 Ryan Laplante Las Vegas NV $2,09650
86 William Schonsheck Las Vegas NV $2,09650
87 Victor Davalos Guadalajara $2,09650
88 Damian Jaworski Kitchener $2,09650
89 Jeff Fielder Des Moines IA $2,09650
90 David Simon Idaho Falls ID $2,09650

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