$

Awarded to date

Potawatomi Casino

July 15 - 23, 2017
Regional Event: Entrants
Winner: Matthew Vignali
recap_icon

EVENT RECAP

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino - Milwaukee, WI

July 20-23, 2017

$350 Regional: 1,658 Entrants (421 on Day 1a; 524 Day 1b; and 713 Day 1c)

Local Attorney and Recreational Player Matthew Vignali Wins Largest Tournament in Wisconsin State History for $70,240

The MSPT’s latest $350 Regional Event at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in downtown Milwaukee turned out to be a record-setting affair. A monster 1,658 entrants (421 on Day 1A, 524 1B, and 713 1C) made it the largest poker tournament ever held in Wisconsin.

The previous record was 1,272 entries set by the World Series of Poker Circuit at Potawatomi back in February, though they set it with four flights as opposed to three. The distinction of winning the largest poker tournament in Wisconsin history goes to 47-year-old local attorney and recreational poker player Matthew Vignali, who struck a heads-up deal and instead of taking home the original $80,648 prize, earned $70,240 for his performance.

“I’m pretty exhausted but very excited,” said Vignali, whose prior best cash was just $1,299. “I play recreationally, I don’t travel the circuit or anything. I just play locally, and I always play in the MSPT and WSOP Circuit when they come to Milwaukee. I’m just a recreational player.”

Vignali, who fired two bullets into the tournament, is married with three kids. He said the money came at the perfect time as he just received his son’s Marquette University tuition bill.

He started Day 2 with 85,000 and managed to double up on the fourth hand. That helped him make a deep run, but late in the evening he lost two coin flips and was on the verge of elimination. That is when lady luck smiled upon him.

“A couple of times, with the blinds at 60K/120K, I was down to 300K,” he explained. “Then I tripled up with king-queen against aces and another hand.”

On Day 2, 294 players returned to action, but with only 171 getting paid more than a hundred of them left empty handed. They included Mike Kamenjarin, Day 1A chip leader Bryan Skreens, and reigning MSPT Wisconsin State Poker champ Andy Rubinberg.

Once the money bubble burst, the in-the-money finishes came quick and included former MSPT champ Ken Pates (164th - $626), MSPT Grand Falls Regional runner-up Jason Bender (102nd - $819), Day 1C chip leader Michael Castro (40th - $1,493), 2016 Minnesota Poker Player of the Year Saad Ghanem (37th - $1,493), and final table bubble boy Bob Van Syckle (11th - $6,259).

The final table began with Michael Berry holding an eight-figure stack of 10.5 million while his next closest competitor, Vignali, had less than half that. Still, the attorney was not deterred.

“When I got to the final table I felt pretty relaxed and pretty good,” said Vignali. “Things had been swinging my way and I felt like I’d been playing real good all tournament, not making many mistakes. I felt pretty confident actually.”

The short-stacked David Papais fell in the first hand of the final table, and before long he was joined on the rail by Jeff Olson, Ken Garbowicz, and Miroslav Semanisin.

It took a while for the next elimination to occur, but it happened when Joan Sandoval, the last woman remaining in the field, got her stack of 3.4 million all in on a 4♦K♣6♠ flop holding the K♥J♠. Unfortunately for her, Day 1B chip leader Alexander Hill held the A♥A♦ and neither the 8♥ turn nor Q♠ river helped her. Sandoval earned $16,370 in her first-ever MSPT cash.

Not long after, both Berry and Michael Filippo hit the rail, which set up a heads-up match between Vignali and Hill with the former holding 27 million to the latter’s 6 million. It didn’t take long for Hill to get it in with the 6♣4♣ and Vignali called with the J♥8♥. Hill ended up making two pair to double, and from there he inched back towards even stacks.

That is when the two agreed to a deal that saw them each lock up $60,000 and leave $10,240 on the table to play for. It’s worth noting that chops are allowed in MSPT Regional Events, but not in Main Events.

In the first post-deal hand, Vignali jammed the button and Hill called off, a decision he immediately regretted.

Vignali: A♦9♥
Hill: K♦9♦

Vignali was way out in front, and he took a hammerlock on the hand after the 10♣A♠8♣ flop paired his ace. The 8♠ turn left Hill drawing dead, and he finished runner-up after the J♣ was run out on the river.

The MSPT will return to Potawatomi Casino one final time in Season 8. From November 11-19, the state’s premiere gaming venue will play host to the 2017 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship, an $1,100 buy-in Main Event featuring a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool.

result

The RESULTS

Rank
Player Name
City
State
Amount
Points
1
WI 
$70,240
633
2
WI 
$60,000
567
3
Itasca 
IL 
$37,555
533
4
WI 
$28,407
500
5
IL 
$21,667
467
6
WI 
$16,370
433
8
WI 
$10,108
367
9
Sussex 
WI 
$8,185
333
10
IL 
$6,259
300
11
MN 
$6,259
300
12
WI 
$6,259
300
13
WI 
$5,296
267
14
IL 
$5,296
267
15
Racine 
WI 
$5,296
267
16
IL 
$4,430
233
17
WI 
$4,430
233
19
China 
 
$3,707
200
20
WI 
$3,707
200
21
WI 
$3,707
200
22
IL 
$3,130
200
23
MI 
$3,130
200
24
IL 
$3,130
200
25
Dyer 
IN 
$2,648
200
26
IL 
$2,648
200
27
IL 
$2,648
200
28
WI 
$1,926
167
29
WI 
$1,926
167
30
WI 
$1,926
167
31
WI 
$1,926
167
32
WI 
$1,926
167
33
WI 
$1,926
167
34
IL 
$1,926
167
35
Gurnee 
IL 
$1,926
167
36
WI 
$1,926
167
37
MN 
$1,493
133
38
IL 
$1,493
133
39
WI 
$1,493
133
40
IL 
$1,493
133
41
IL 
$1,493
133
42
IL 
$1,493
133
43
IL 
$1,493
133
44
WI 
$1,493
133
45
WI 
$1,493
133
46
MI 
$1,348
100
47
IL 
$1,348
100
48
WI 
$1,348
100
49
WI 
$1,348
100
50
MI 
$1,348
100
51
WI 
$1,348
100
52
WI 
$1,348
100
53
WI 
$1,348
100
54
IL 
$1,348
100
55
CO 
$1,204
67
56
IL 
$1,204
67
57
IN 
$1,204
67
58
IL 
$1,204
67
60
WI 
$1,204
67
61
WI 
$1,204
67
62
WI 
$1,204
67
63
MO 
$1,204
67
64
IL 
$1,059
33
65
WI 
$1,059
33
66
WI 
$1,059
33
67
WI 
$1,059
33
68
MN 
$1,059
33
69
WI 
$1,059
33
70
IL 
$1,059
33
72
WI 
$1,059
33
73
Moro 
IL 
$1,011
17
74
WI 
$1,011
17
75
IL 
$1,011
17
76
IL 
$1,011
17
78
IL 
$1,011
17
79
WI 
$1,011
17
81
WI 
$1,011
17
82
WI 
$963
17
84
WI 
$963
17
85
FL 
$963
17
86
WI 
$963
17
87
IL 
$963
17
88
WI 
$963
17
89
IL 
$963
17
90
WI 
$963
17
91
IL 
$867
17
92
IL 
$867
17
93
IL 
$867
17
94
WI 
$867
17
95
Itasca 
IL 
$867
17
97
IL 
$867
17
99
Felch 
MI 
$867
17
100
IL 
$819
17
101
WI 
$819
17
102
Keota 
IA 
$819
17
103
WI 
$819
17
104
Beloit 
WI 
$819
17
106
Cary 
IL 
$819
17
107
FL 
$819
17
108
IL 
$819
17
109
WI 
$770
17
110
WI 
$770
17
111
WI 
$770
17
112
IL 
$770
17
113
WI 
$770
17
114
WI 
$770
17
115
WI 
$770
17
116
Dyer 
IN 
$770
17
117
WI 
$770
17
118
WI 
$722
17
119
MI 
$722
17
120
WI 
$722
17
121
Neenah 
WI 
$722
17
122
Custer 
WI 
$722
17
123
WI 
$722
17
124
IL 
$722
17
125
WI 
$722
17
126
IL 
$722
17
127
Gurnee 
IL 
$722
17
128
WI 
$722
17
129
WI 
$722
17
130
IL 
$722
17
131
MI 
$722
17
132
IN 
$722
17
133
WI 
$722
17
134
IN 
$722
17
135
IL 
$722
17
136
IL 
$674
17
137
IL 
$674
17
138
WI 
$674
17
139
IL 
$674
17
140
WI 
$674
17
141
WI 
$674
17
142
Larsen 
WI 
$674
17
143
WI 
$674
17
144
IL 
$674
17
145
Mequon 
WI 
$674
17
146
IL 
$674
17
147
IL 
$674
17
148
WI 
$674
17
149
IL 
$674
17
150
WI 
$674
17
151
WI 
$674
17
152
Racine 
WI 
$674
17
153
IL 
$674
17
154
WI 
$626
17
155
IL 
$626
17
156
WI 
$626
17
157
WI 
$626
17
158
Verona 
WI 
$626
17
159
IL 
$626
17
160
WI 
$626
17
161
WI 
$626
17
162
WI 
$626
17
165
MN 
$626
17
166
WI 
$626
17
167
WI 
$626
17
168
IL 
$626
17
169
WI 
$626
17
170
Beloit 
WI 
$626
17
171
WI 
$626
17