Tropicana Evansville - Evansville, IN
February 23-26, 2017
Main Event: 511 Entrants
Jason Gwinn Wins MSPT Tropicana Evansville Regional, $35,443!
The MSPT Season 8 Tropicana Evansville $350 Regional Event, which took place in Southern Indiana February 23-26, drew 511 entries (149 on Day 1A, 165 1B, and 197 1C) – up from 416 the year before -- and more than tripled the advertised $50,000 guaranteed. The massive turnout also made it the largest poker tournament ever held at the property.
For a while, it looked as if local player Tammy Wargel would become the first woman to win a MSPT Regional title, but Jason Gwinn of Nashville, Tennessee had other plans. Gwinn, a 47-year-old mailman playing in just his second MSPT event, overcame a more than 10:1 chip disadvantage during heads-up play and wound up claiming the title himself for $35,443.
“It feels great, I’ve been playing for a long time,” Gwinn said after the win. “I was just thrilled to ladder up at that point being down so much in chips, but I just couldn’t lose a hand heads-up.
Prior to his new career-high win, which was his first MSPT cash, Gwinn had $124,195 in tournament earnings. That included $33,311 for finishing second in a 2014 Rio Daily Deepstack $235 Event, as well as $25,324 for placing fifth in the 2012 Heartland Poker Tour Belterra.
“The tournament was great, everyone was real nice,” added Gwinn, who said his poker playing is limited to stops within driving distance and an annual two-week trip to Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker.”
As for the money, Gwinn’s already earmarked it. “I’m gonna pay my car off and then use the rest to pay for my summer trip to Vegas.”
Interestingly, the three chip leaders from each starting flight – Day 1A’s Matthew Lawrence, Day 1B’s Aaron Garrison, and Day 1C’s Don Saylor – all made the final table.
Day 2 of the tournament saw 89 players return to action, though only 54 would get paid. Among those to earn a payday but fall short of the final table were Clinton Meier (54th - $591), Courtney Hetzel (40th - $665), Brian Hill (31st - $798), Mark Payton (23rd - $1,019), Justin Harris (16th - $1,329), Broc Morton (14th - $1,787), and Jaise Dunn (11th - $2,363).