The Venetian: June 25 - 30, 2018


The Venetian - Las Vegas, NV

June 25-30, 2018

Main Event: 1,096 Entrants

Pavel Plesuv Wins MSPT Venetian $3,500 Main Event for $640,062!


The $3,500 buy-in, $3.5 million GTD Main Event marked the fifth and final collaboration between the MSPT and Venetian during the 2018 Deepstacks Championship Poker Series. The tournament attracted 1,096 entries and spanned four days.

In the end, the Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv put on an impressive final table performance to win the title outright for $640,062, which marked the richest first-place prize ever awarded on tour.

“I feel awesome. It was a great tournament, big field, and I’ve been running pretty well,” said the 29-year-old poker pro, who splits his time playing live and online. “The trophy is always nice. I lost heads-up to Isildur at the start of the year. I was close to winning with a big chip lead, but I lost that one. So, winning this one feels pretty good.”

The win brought Plesuv’s live earnings up to $3,112,334 and marked the second-largest score of his career. Back in February, he finished runner-up to Viktor “Isildur1” Blom for $924,841 after busting in one of the more memorable hands of the year.

“I’m going to take a couple days to rest and see the Grand Canyon before playing the World Series of Poker Main Event,” added Plesuv, who was playing in Vegas for just the second time.

The final table was one for the ages and players came out firing and never let up. On just Hand #6, Justin Bonomo four-bet jammed holding the J♠J♥ and Karim Rebei called with the A♦K♥. The board ran out 4♦5♥2♣K♣7♠ and just like that the man who has destroyed 2018 with more than $14 million in winnings was sent out the door in 10th place.

Rebei took the chip lead after that hand and soon established himself as a wildcard at the table. He attempted to run a big bluff against Plesuv, who was second in chips at the time, and taunted his opponent with table talk while doing it. Despite straight and flush cards on board, Plesuv found a call with trip nines to take a commanding chip lead.

“When I hit trips on the turn, I had the queen of clubs and there were three clubs on the flop,” Plesuv said of the hand. “He raised my bet on the flop so he’s representing pocket jacks or some flush. With the queen of clubs I block a lot of flush combinations and some combinations of ace-nine and pocket nines. The way he was speaking so loudly I thought I couldn’t fold. It was obviously big pressure on me because I had a lot of chips. If I lose this pot I’m eight handed with small chips, but with this hand I decided I should go with it.”

Mohammed Jaafar then exited in ninth after losing A♣9♦ to Christian Rudolph’s J♦J♣ on a 6♠J♥9♣A♥8♥ runout, and then Michael Sklenicka followed him out the door in eighth place when his A♦10♣ failed to overcome Rebei’s J♣J♦.

Thomas Boivin, who in 2016 won the MSPT Venetian for $352,153, was next to go after shoving the small blind with the A♣9♣ only to have Yat Chang wake up with the A♥Q♣ in the big. The board ran out 10♥2♥4♥8♦J♦ and Boivin was ousted in seventh place for $98,202.

It was at that point Rebei and Plesuv would clash again. With the blinds at 60,000/120,000 with a 100,000 big blind ante, Rebei raised to 325,000 from the hijack holding the 6♦6♥ and then called when Plesuv, who looked down at the A♣A♠ in the big blind, three-bet to 1 million. The A♥6♣2♠ flop gave both players a set and Plesuv check-called a bet of 1 million from Rebei, who teased his opponent by clucking like a chicken.

Plesuv checked for the second time on the J♣ turn and Rebei moved all in for 2.2 million. Plesuv called and sent his nemesis to the rail after the 4♣ bricked the river. Plesuv extended his lead after that hand and would never let up.

“I didn’t expect him to have such a strong hand like a set of sixes,” said Plesuv. “I thought maybe he had an ace, so it was a brutal cooler for him.”

Rudolph would exit in fifth place – the result of his pocket fours losing a race to Cheng’s ace- queen – and Joni Jouhkimainen was bounced in fourth place running king-queen into Cheng’s ace-queen. Plesuv then dispatched World Poker Tour champ James Romero in third place when the former’s ace-eight suited held against the latter’s king-queen.

Plesuv held 17 million in chips to Cheng’s 10 million at the start of heads-up play. The two took turns exchanging pots before a cooler hand developed. Plesuv would wind up five-bet jamming with the Q♣Q♦ and Cheng called off holding the A♦K♥. The board ran out 10♠Q♠7♥6♦Q♥ and Plesuv took it down with quads!

Coincidentally, it was the third time in a row the winner of the Venetian’s $3,500 event claimed the title with pocket queens. Javier Zarco did it in 2017 and Andjelko Andrejevic the year before that.

Others to cash the tournament were Nick Petrangelo (13th - $38,579), Harrison Gimbel (21st - $28,408), Thomas Peebles (27th - $19,991), Joe McKeehen (42nd - $11,574), Martin Jacobson (63rd - $9,469), and reigning World Series of Poker Main Event champ Scott Blumstein (71st - $9,119).


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Pavel Plesuv Prague $640,0621,900
2 Yat Cheng Charlotte NC $392,8061,700
3 James Romero Portland OR $291,4481,600
4 Joni Jouhkimainen Helsinki $221,3041,500
5 Christian Rudolph DEU $164,8381,400
6 Karim Rebei $126,2591,300
7 Thomas Boivin Charleroi $98,2021,200
8 Michael Sklenicka Slani $77,1581,100
9 Mohammed Jaafar Miami FL $63,1301,000
10 Justin Bonomo Las Vegas NV $49,101900
11 Jack O'Neill Nottingham $49,101900
12 Kavin Shah Mumbai $49,101900
13 Nick Petrangelo Feeding Hills MA $38,579800
14 Jonathan Karamalikis Adelaide $38,579800
15 Jared Jaffee Brooklyn NY $38,579800
16 Tristan Wade Boynton Beach FL $34,371700
17 Ubaid Habib Tracy CA $34,371700
18 Joe Kuether Elm Grove WI $34,371700
19 David Olshan Amherst NY $28,408600
20 Govert Metaal Gravenhage $28,408600
21 Harrison Gimbel Jupiter FL $28,408600
22 Upeshka De Silva Katy TX $23,849550
23 Takao Shimizu $23,849550
24 Preston Lee Millbrae CA $23,849550
25 Josh Turner St. Louis MO $19,991500
26 Dimitrios Farmakoulis $19,991500
27 Thomas Peebles Appleton WI $19,991500
28 James Burns Smyrna TN $15,081450
29 Jonathan Concepcion San Cristobal $15,081450
30 Dan Heimiller Las Vegas NV $15,081450
31 Timothy Miles Tallahassee FL $15,081450
32 Ramin Hajiyev Baku $15,081450
33 Thorben Vellrath $15,081450
34 Jeosafat Cruz Escobedo $15,081450
35 Alexander Kuzmin Moscow $15,081450
36 Jevon Lam Los Angeles CA $15,081450
37 David Prociak Orlando FL $11,574400
38 Konstantin Puchkov Moscow $11,574400
39 Yaron Malki $11,574400
40 Matthias Eibinger Graz $11,574400
41 Michael Tureniec Stockholm $11,574400
42 Joseph McKeehen North Wales PA $11,574400
43 Ivan Galinec Osijek $11,574400
44 Jeffrey Gross Ann Arbor MI $11,574400
45 Julien Perouse Paris $11,574400
46 Danny Wong Los Angeles CA $10,522350
47 Matt Stout Clifton NJ $10,522350
48 Qasem Jamhour Miami FL $10,522350
49 Mark Teltscher London $10,522350
50 Nicholas Salimbene Brigantine NJ $10,522350
51 Seth Davies Bend OR $10,522350
52 Brock Wilson (NY) Ardsley NY $10,522350
53 Ryan Tamanini Hanover PA $10,522350
54 Abraham Faroni Philadelphia PA $10,522350
55 Kazuhiko Yotsushika $9,469300
56 Eric Hershler Los Angeles CA $9,469300
57 Pavlo Veksler Kiev $9,469300
58 Thiago Nishijma $9,469300
59 Dimitar Danchev Plovdiv $9,469300
60 Christopher Brammer South Hampton $9,469300
61 Robert Heidorn London $9,469300
62 Simon Burns York $9,469300
63 Martin Jacobson $9,469300
64 Dylan Honeyman Perth $9,119250
65 Alexander Ziskin Vernon Hills IL $9,119250
66 Enio Bozzano $9,119250
67 Clint Naito Aiea HI $9,119250
68 Christopher Andler Stockholm $9,119250
69 Shashank Jain New Delhi $9,119250
70 Seth Berger Woodbury NY $9,119250
71 Scott Blumstein Las Vegas NV $9,119250
72 Martin Stoyanov Pernik $9,119250
73 Fred Adams South Elgin IL $8,768200
74 Aymon Hata London $8,768200
75 Karel Kratochvil $8,768200
76 Jeremy Ausmus Las Vegas NV $8,768200
77 Steven Van Zadelhoff Diel $8,768200
78 Vojtech Ruzicka Czech Republic $8,768200
79 Noah Novick Los Altos CA $8,768200
80 Tim Reilly Natick MA $8,768200
81 Miguel Cieri Italy $8,768200
82 David McGowan Chicago IL $8,417150
83 Ryan Goindoo $8,417150
84 Shmuel Hadad $8,417150
85 Jamie Lunt London $8,417150
86 Adam Friedman Gahanna OH $8,417150
87 Michael Gentili LaSalle $8,417150
88 Philippe Landy $8,417150
89 Vincent Moscati Verplanck NY $8,417150
90 Michael Pearson San Francisco CA $8,417150
91 Mark Scacewater Tampa FL $7,716100
92 Kurt Lichtman New York NY $7,716100
93 Thomas Lutz Las Vegas NV $7,716100
94 Christopher Bolek Boca Raton FL $7,716100
95 John Kim (WA) Lakewood WA $7,716100
96 Dan Dizenzo Sussex NJ $7,716100
97 Jonas Mackoff Vancouver $7,716100
98 Rafael Gonzalez Modesto CA $7,716100
99 Toby Lewis London $7,716100
100 Perry Zhao Washington D.C. DE $7,01475
101 Colin Eric Lovelock Cottingham, England $7,01475
102 Ilkin Amirov Baku $7,01475
103 John Andress Doylestown PA $7,01475
104 Steven Sarmiento Queens NY $7,01475
105 Alberto Rodriguez Hellandale FL $7,01475
106 James Alexander San Antonio TX $7,01475
107 Steven Gurney-Goldman New York NY $7,01475
108 Pavlos Xanthopoulos Athens $7,01475
109 Chris Moorman Brighton $6,66450
110 Joey Weissman Syosset NY $6,66450
111 Bahar Musa Isperih $6,66450
112 Joe Hachem Melbourne $6,66450
113 Jamie Armstrong San Diego CA $6,66450
114 Anton Wigg $6,66450
115 Gene Quinn Las Vegas NV $6,66450
116 Hon Chong Lee $6,66450
117 Anthony DeFazio Frankfort KY $6,66450

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