After winning his first Mid-States Poker Tour title back in 2013, John Hayes can now call himself a two-time tour champion after winning the 2015 MSPT Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells Main Event over the weekend. With this win, Hayes moved to sixth on the MSPT's all-time earnings list and joined the likes of Matt Kirby, Blake Bohn, Dan Sun, Peixin Liu, and Jason Zarlenga as players with two titles.
Throughout his MSPT career, Hayes has racked up nearly $200,000 in earnings, 11 cashes, and four final tables. His first victory came at MSPT Northern Lights Casino in 2013 when he topped a field of 160 entries to win $43,473. This newest title saw Hayes defeat a much larger field of 379 entries and earn $98,907 in prize money.
Hayes joined late on Day 1b, did well, and came into Day 2 with 219,500 in chips. After making his way to the final table, Hayes had to battle for another seven hours to get the job done. His other victory only took a little more than two hours, but he came into that one with the chip lead. In this one, he was third in chips coming into the final table with 941,000.
Hayes' heads-up opponent at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells was Marius Toderici, who came into the final table with 430,000 in chips. He won a big pot early on that shot him into the chip lead and was able to ride his stack from there. On the big hand, Toderici got involved in a three-way pot against Greg Seif and Gerald Heckathorn. Toderici had aces and was all in. Seif and Heckathorn played the hand out, but it was Toderici's set of aces good in the end to give him the triple up.
Throughout the final table, Hayes was patient and picked his spots. Once he had the chip lead three-handed, it looked like it was all over for his competition. However, Toderici battled back and the lead changed hands several times.
In the end, there were a couple hands that sealed the deal for Hayes. In one, Toderici was on the flush draw and didn't get there. Then, Hayes was on a flush draw in two other hands, but he got there. The result of these put Toderici on the ropes and Hayes was able to finish him off shortly after, finally beating him by flopping an ace in a race against Toderici's pocket sevens.
Hayes got all in against the 7♥7♠ of Toderici with his A♥8♥. The flop gave Hayes an ace and the board finished A♣5♥Q♣8♠9♠ to give him the win. The marked the end of it all, with Hayes left standing a two-time champion and $98,907 richer. For Toderici, he walked away with $54,954 for second place.
With that, the second-to-last stop of the MSPT season has come to an end. There's still one more to go, and it will take place at the ever popular Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. The entire festival will run in the beginning of next month, Dec. 4-13, and PokerNews will be on hand for the "Chainsaw Approved" $1,110 Main Event that will take place Dec. 11-13. That Main Event comes with a $200,000 guarantee and will be a banger of a finish to the MSPT's 2015 tour.