Meskwaki Casino: November 1 - 9, 2014


Meskwaki Casino Hotel - Tama, IA

November 1-9, 2014

Main Event: 426 Entrants

Nick Jivkov Wins MSPT Meskwaki Casino, $104,974

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Nick Jivkov claimed victory over an Iowa state record 426-player field to bank $104,974 at Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki Casino. The win counts as the second-biggest score of Jivkov's live career after his 2012 World Series of Poker bracelet win in Event #5: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em. The Des Plaines, IL, native exorcised an old demon, as he finished runner-up to Terry Ring at Meskwaki back in 2013.

Mike Lang, his heads-up opponent, was not so fortunate, having to leave himself with his second runner-up finish of the tour season after narrowly missing a title at Canterbury Park back in April. Lang scored more than $60,000 in prize money.

Notable Finishes: Phil Mader (11th - $5,341), Ralph Massey (15th - $4,108), Todd Breyfogle (26th - $2,547), Nick Pupillo (41st - $2,054), Nik Stone(42nd - $2,054)

Both players began Day 2 among the top 20 stacks, but it was Lang who quickly asserted himself and grabbed a commanding chip lead when he took a monster pot on a 3♣8♣8♠ flop. An opponent shoved all in with the Q♦Q♥, only to be shown the K♣K♥ by Lang. That gave Lang more than 400,000 in Level 16 (2,000/4,000/500).

Lang continued to increase his chip lead over the field as notables such as Rodger JohnsonJames Mackey, former MSPT Meskwaki champ Jonathan OlsonEuropean Poker Tour winner Tim Vance"Minneapolis" Jim Meehan, and Joe Illingworth fell before the money. When Jeremy Dresch got lucky and hit a flush to burst the bubble, the remaining players found themselves in the money.

Once there, Nick Pupillo was an early victim of bad luck as Lang put a bad beat on him. Others following Pupillo to the payout desk included Nik StoneTodd BreyfogleYossi AzulayJeff Bryan, and Ralph Massey.

Lang, meanwhile, pushed the issue with overcards one time too many and dumped his chip lead when he jammed a ten-high flop with AxQx only to be snapped off by Andy Van Blair's AxAx. Soon thereafter, Phil Mader got the last of his chips in with the A♦K♥ and was run down by the Q♣J♦ of John Reading, and the final table was set with Ken Rosheisen toting a chip lead and Jivkov narrowly trailing in second. Lang was in the danger zone with just 11 big blinds, and the average stack at this point was still relatively small, around 20 big blinds.

The comeback began for Lang when he was able to outdraw Robert Noe's A♦A♥ by hitting a boat with the J♥10♦ all in preflop.

Jivkov, meanwhile, rocketed to the top of the counts when Brandon Smith shoved all in from early position for 275,000 and was called by Jivkov in the hijack. Van Blair then shoved for about 450,000 in the blinds, and Jivkov called.

Jivkov: Q♠J♠ 
Van Blair: J♣J♦ 
Smith: K♦J♥

No more jacks remained in the deck, but the worst hand quickly became by far the best as the flop brought 10♠8♠5♠, giving Jivkov a nearly unbeatable flush. The 9♦ turn meant the hand was done, and a Q♣ finished the board out, eliminating Van Blair in ninth and Smith in 10th.

A miniscule-stacked Noe was next to go in eighth, sparking a flurry of eliminations as he was quickly followed by Day 1a leader David Gutfreund in seventh and Dresch in sixth.

Another major boon followed for Jivkov when his three-bet of a Reading open prompted the latter to shove all in for about 900,000 during Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000). Jivkov quickly called with the A♥K♠ and discovered he'd been shoved on light by an inferior K♣6♣. No help materialized for Reading.

Lang then turned to ladies to leap up the counts, first shoving over a button open from Rosheisen, who held the 5♦5♣, and then three-betting another button open from Darren Ficek, who had the second-best position of holding JxJx. He also failed to catch against the queens, ending his tournament in fourth.

Three-handed play lasted 15 minutes, and that's when Jivkov finally made a misstep. He completed the blind, and Rosheisen made it 260,000 to go. Jivkov announced he was all in, and Rosheisen quickly called off his stack of about 2 million.

Rosheisen: A♦K♥ 
Jivkov: A♥7♣

Jivkov muttered that a miracle was needed, but he didn't have to wait long as the 7♠J♠5♥ flopped. A 2♣ turned, and Jivkov's rail called for a queen. Instead, it was the 8♥ on the river — just as good — and Rosheisen could only shake his head in disappointment.

Heads-up play progressed slowly for a while as each player held small leads, but neither could take real command. The two combatants seemed content to tread water, mostly trading blinds, until a limped pot proved to be the decider. Jivkov checked from the big blind on a 5♦J♦A♦ flop, and Lang over-bet the pot with 200,000 into 180,000. Jivkov came back with 500,000, which was met by an all-in shove. Jivkov called without much hesitation, tabling the 9♦3♦ for a flush, which was well ahead of Lang's A♠5♠. When Lang failed to improve, he was left crippled, and Jivkov finished him the next hand.

The MSPT will be back in action on Thursday with another main event in Black Hawk, CO, which PokerNews will be covering in our live blog. We’ll also be providing daily recaps from that tournament.


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Nick Jivkov Des Plaines IL $104,9741,500
2 Michael Lang Waukee IA $60,6001,300
3 Ken Rosheisen Rock Island IL $36,9761,200
4 Darren Ficek Inver Grove Heights MN $29,7861,100
5 John Reading Rochester MN $23,4181,000
6 Jeremy Dresch Fridley MN $19,515900
7 David Gutfreund Chicago IL $15,612800
8 Robert Noe Buffalo Grove IL $11,915700
9 Andy Van Blair West Des Moines IA $8,217600
10 Brandon Smith Douds IA $5,341500
11 Phil Mader Grand Island NE $5,341500
12 Ricky McGown Marceline MO $5,341500
13 Chuck Costanzo Shakopee MN $4,104400
14 Brian Zupancich Silver Bay MN $4,104400
15 Ralph Massey Chicago IL $4,104400
16 Daniel Carson Omaha NE $3,246300
17 Jason Seefeld West Bend WI $3,246300
18 Jeff Bryan Ft. Calhoun NE $3,246300
19 Ken Auker Rock Island IL $2,547200
20 Arpit Mehta Cedar Rapids IA $2,547200
21 Lawrence Scholl Palatine IL $2,547200
22 Alan Cutler Northbrook IL $2,547200
23 Amy Muller Cedar Rapids IA $2,547200
24 Yossi Azulay Chicago IL $2,547200
25 James Wilson Minneapolis MN $2,547200
26 Todd Breyfogle Hopkins MN $2,547200
27 Robin Young Webster City IA $2,547200
28 Nalinh Sithep Ankeny IA $2,260100
29 Frank Helm Montezuma IA $2,260100
30 Nathan Crookshank Grinnell IA $2,260100
31 Jake Wilding Cedar Rapids IA $2,260100
32 Henry Tran (GA) Dallas GA $2,260100
33 Don Herr Sigourney IA $2,260100
34 Victor Mele Des Moines IA $2,260100
35 Shawn Roberts Ozark MO $2,260100
36 Brett Reichard Janesville WI $2,260100
37 Cory Gourley West Des Moines IA $2,05450
38 Vincent Wolrab Hiawatha IA $2,05450
39 Aaron Salandro Cedar Rapids IA $2,05450
40 Loki Abboud Mendota Heights MN $2,05450
41 Nicholas Pupillo Addison IL $2,05450
42 Nikolas Stone Pittsville WI $2,05450
43 Steve Vang North St. Paul MN $2,05450
44 Keith Neuzil Oxford IA $2,05450
45 Don Neelans Waterloo IA $2,05450

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