$

Awarded to date

Running Aces Casino

March 25 - April 3, 2016
Main Event: 347 Entrants
Winner: Aalok Arora
recap_icon

EVENT RECAP

Running Aces Casino - Columbus, MN

April 1-3, 2016

Main Event: 347 Entrants

Luke Arora Wins MSPT Running Aces Casino, $83,773!

Watch the full final table video (large file, may take a few minutes to load)

The Mid-States Poker Tour Running Aces Main Event, a tournament that originally boasted a $200,000 guarantee, attracted 347 entrants and blew away the guarantee by creating a $347,000 prize pool. After a long and arduous Day 2, which saw 69 players return to action, 30-year-old Luke Arora of Arden Hills, Minnesota emerged victorious to capture his first MSPT title and an $83,773 first-place prize.

Arora, who only fired a single bullet on Day 1b, is a local cash game pro that plays primarily $40/$80 mix at Canterbury Park. Prior to the win he had just five tournament cashes with his best being $5,966 for a ninth-place finish in the 2011 Borgata Poker Open $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max.

"I feel very fortunate," Arora said after the win. "I ran really hot for long periods of time. I ran very much above expectation. I think I played many hands poorly, but I just ran hot."

The day started off with 33 players needing to hit the rail until the money was reached. Among those to leave empty handed were DJ Buckley, Steve Belland, Dan "DQ" Hendrickson, MSPT Pro Matt Kirby, two-time MSPT champ Johnny Hayes, and Harry Behling, who finished as the bubble boy.

It happened in in Level 18 (3,000/6,000/1,000) when Behling shoved for 66,000 holding the Ah-Jh only to run smack dab into the pocket rockets of start-of-the-day chip leader Leo Fussy.

From there, the in-the-money finishes began to mount all the way until the final table of ten was set. Among those to earn a payday but fall short of the finale were MSPT Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells runner-up Kou Vang (32nd - $2,111); the last woman in the field, Mandy Caffee (30th - $2,111); and Fussy (19th - $2,681).

The final table proved to be a stacked affair that included chip leader and former MSPT Running Aces champ Mark Sandness, MSPT Team Pro Matt Alexander, circuit pro Jeff Fielder, and MSPT champ Jeremy Dresch. However, Arora outlasted them all, including Alexander in what turn out to be an entertaining heads-up match where the cash game pro was keen to show his hands.

"I always show hands, I don't care," explained Arora. "If you want to use the information that's fine. Maybe it's different in tournaments.

As for Alexander, Arora had nothing but good things to say.

"He's a really good player, I just ran hot against him. I had ace-high starting hands a bunch. I made three aces when he made three pair. I just ran hot from the final table on."

result

The RESULTS

Rank
Player Name
City
State
Amount
Points
1
MN 
$83,773
1,400
2
MN 
$50,264
1,200
3
NE 
$32,604
1,100
4
MN 
$22,786
1,000
5
IA 
$17,090
900
6
MN 
$13,403
800
7
Echo 
MN 
$11,393
700
8
MN 
$9,383
600
9
MN 
$8,042
500
10
MN 
$6,367
400
11
MN 
$6,367
400
12
MN 
$6,367
400
13
IL 
$4,691
300
14
MN 
$4,691
300
15
MN 
$4,691
300
16
MN 
$3,350
200
17
Dassel 
MN 
$3,350
200
18
MN 
$3,350
200
19
MN 
$2,681
100
20
MN 
$2,681
100
21
MN 
$2,681
100
23
Baxter 
MN 
$2,681
100
24
Duluth 
MN 
$2,681
100
25
MN 
$2,681
100
26
MN 
$2,681
100
27
IL 
$2,681
100
28
Tempe 
AZ 
$2,111
50
29
MN 
$2,111
50
30
WI 
$2,111
50
31
MN 
$2,111
50
32
MN 
$2,111
50
33
MN 
$2,111
50
34
MN 
$2,111
50
35
MN 
$2,111
50
36
Eagan 
MN 
$2,111
50