September’s stop at Canterbury Park was one of the most memorable stops in MSPT history. Not only did Blake Bohn become a three-time champ, Rich Alsup won his way into the MSPT Hall of Fame, becoming just the second player to do so.
Alsup, who was that tournament’s Day 1A chip leader, finished the tournament in third place for $41,966. Interestingly, the only other player in the MSPT Hall of Fame, Kou Vang, placed one spot better for $58,232.
The MSPT Hall of Fame requires players to accomplish certain criteria to earn their way in. One way is to have ten MSPT final tables and either an MSPT title or MSPT Player of the Year award. For Alsup, the Canterbury Park was his tenth – a tour record – and he also has both an MSPT title (he won the MSPT Season 6 Meskwaki) and POY title from Season 7.
“I feel incredible,” Alsup told MSPT officials of the accomplishment. “I'm in the zone and just want to keep playing more MTTs across the country. I owe my success to many years of studying the game, and it doesn’t hurt to have Rob Wazwaz as a travel buddy. It doesn't hurt to be a little lucky as well.”
Alsup’s elimination in third place was his 22nd MSPT main event cash (3rd all-time) and brought his lifetime MSPT earnings up to $653,426, less than $30K outside the all-time lead. That is especially impressive when you consider he didn’t start playing the tour until Season 5 in 2014. Achieving MSPT Hall of Fame status in that short of time is truly incredible.
“I've been blessed with amazing friends and family in my life who inspire me every day,” Alsup added. “Having a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle has helped to keep me focused when I am at the table. Being mentally sharp is the most important aspect of the game for me. Having a fulfilling life outside of the poker room has been the primary contributor to my success.”
Back in Season 6, Alsup finished runner-up in the March MSPT Meskwaki for $53,756 and returned in November to win the same tournament for $101,229. It was a great year but he ultimately finished runner-up to Mark Hodge in the Player of the Year Race.
Not discouraged, Alsup returned in Season 7 to win the POY title thanks to three final table appearances, including a runner-up finish to his good friend Carl Carodenuto in the MSPT Season 7 Golden Gates, good for $68,919. More recently, Alsup placed third in this past summer’s MSPT Venetian $1,600 Main Event for a career-high $273,430.
As of the end of September, Alsup has $950,659 in lifetime tournament earnings, which puts him 17th on Minnesota’s all-time money list.