$

Awarded to date

Tropicana Evansville

January 13 - 21, 2018
Regional Event: 658 Entrants
Winner: Craig Smith
recap_icon

EVENT RECAP

Tropicana Evansville - Evansville, IN

January 18-21, 2017

Main Event: 658 Entrants

Craig Smith Wins MSPT Tropicana Evansville $350 Regional Event!

The first tournament of the MSPT Season 9 was a $350 Regional Event at Tropicana Evansville, Indiana, which drew 658 entries (182 on Day 1A, 209 on 1B, and 267 on 1C) over three starting flights. The tournament marked the tour’s 22nd Regional Event ever held, and the third at Tropicana Evansville (though the first since it moved from a riverboat to a land-based venue).

The latest edition was the largest to date, easily surpassing the 416 and 511 entries from Seasons 7 and 8 respectively.

MSPT Season 4 Ho-Chunk champ Dan Bekavac sat atop the Day 1A chip counts with 439,000, which gave him the overall lead headed into Day 2 with 95 players returning. Meanwhile, Timothy Puckett (363,500) finished as the chip leader on Day 1B, while Charles Cole (264,000) did it on 1C.

Among the top 72 players to earn a piece of the prize pool were Bekavac (57th - $667), three-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner Robert Castoire (53rd - $704), Cole (49th - $704), Henry Tran (48th - $704), MSPT Season 5 Tropicana Evansville champ Charles Dawson (39th - $743), MSPT Season 7 Tropicana Evansville Regional champ Adam Thomas (29th - $838), Puckett (15th - $2,286), TM Williams (10th - $2,857), and Matthew Steiner (9th - $3,429).

With eight left, the remaining players opted to work a chop based upon their stack sizes (Independent Chip Model or ICM). At the time, Craig Smith of Lexington, Kentucky, who was playing in his first-ever MSPT event, held the chip lead with 3.14 million. That translated to a $24,740 payday, well ahead of the $17,488 William Willman, who had 2 million in chips, received for second place.

The 51-year-old Smith is married to wife, Jill, with whom he has two daughters, Hailee (16) and Evelyn (12). While he enjoys the competition aspect of poker and plays often, he also owns a paint and dent repair company.

“One hand that was pivotal in the MSPT Trop Regional was when I had pocket kings,” said Smith, who only fired one bullet into the tournament. “I raised under the gun and the player in the big blind, it was clear to me he was good, I think he thought he could outplay me. I feel great about my postflop play. Long story short, we eventually got it in with him holding middle pair and a flush draw to my turned set. Fortunately, the river paired the board and I made a full house.”

Given the tournament ended with an eight-way chop, Smith chose pocket kings to hold in his winner photo.

“I wasn’t inclined to chop, but everyone else wanted to,” Smith said of the chop. “I usually don’t mind chopping three ways, so when I realized I would already be getting three-way money at that point, it made sense, especially when I learned I’d get the title as well.”

result

The RESULTS

Rank
Player Name
City
State
Amount
Points
1
KY 
$24,750
567
2
IN 
$17,488
500
3
IN 
$16,042
467
4
IN 
$15,817
433
5
IN 
$14,275
400
6
IN 
$12,990
367
7
TN 
$10,516
333
8
IN 
$9,455
300
9
Avon 
IN 
$3,429
267
10
IN 
$2,857
233
11
MI 
$2,857
233
12
IL 
$2,857
233
13
IL 
$2,286
200
14
IN 
$2,286
200
15
IN 
$2,286
200
16
IN 
$1,905
167
17
TN 
$1,905
167
18
Dixon 
KY 
$1,905
167
19
IN 
$1,638
133
20
IN 
$1,638
133
21
IN 
$1,638
133
22
Jasper 
IN 
$1,371
100
23
IN 
$1,371
100
24
IN 
$1,371
100
25
TN 
$1,105
83
26
IN 
$1,105
83
27
IN 
$1,105
83
28
KY 
$838
67
29
KY 
$838
67
30
TN 
$838
67
31
IN 
$838
67
32
IL 
$838
67
33
IN 
$838
67
34
IN 
$838
67
35
Carmi 
IL 
$838
67
36
TN 
$838
67
37
IN 
$743
50
38
TN 
$743
50
39
KY 
$743
50
40
IN 
$743
50
41
IL 
$743
50
42
IL 
$743
50
43
IL 
$743
50
44
OH 
$743
50
46
TN 
$704
33
47
IN 
$704
33
48
Dallas 
GA 
$704
33
49
KY 
$704
33
50
TN 
$704
33
51
Jasper 
IN 
$704
33
52
TN 
$704
33
53
KY 
$704
33
54
KY 
$704
33
55
IL 
$667
25
56
KY 
$667
25
57
IL 
$667
25
58
IN 
$667
25
59
KY 
$667
25
60
KY 
$667
25
61
TN 
$667
25
62
IN 
$667
25
63
IL 
$667
25
64
IN 
$629
17
65
MO 
$629
17
66
Muncie 
IN 
$629
17
67
KY 
$629
17
68
KY 
$629
17
69
TN 
$629
17
70
Sebree 
KY 
$629
17
71
NC 
$629
17
72
IN 
$629
17