The 2018 MSPT Venetian Fall $1,100 Main Event, which was held over NFL Kickoff Weekend, attracted 315 entries and saw 30-year-old poker pro Sam Vizza, a Las Vegas grinder by way of Chicago, emerge victorious after a five-way deal at the final table.
“I probably played about 50 tournaments at The Venetian over the summer. They run the best stuff,” Vizza said after the win. “Whenever the Venetian runs a big blind ante I run well. I kept holding in this tournament. I chipped up and played tighter than a lot of the people.”
Vizza’s first MSPT cash was a career-best, easily surpassing the $18,408 he won for finishing runner-up in April’s DeepStack Extravaganza II Event #30: $250 NLH. He also won the 2018 May Extravaganza Event #5: $400 NLH at The Venetian for $8,865.
Day 2 saw 41 players return to action, and with only 36 slated to get paid, five of them would leave empty-handed. They included Morgane Portier, Todd Rodgers, Hesam Alagha, Francisco Romero, and bubble boy Ben Palmer, who got it in with Big Slick against Big Slick and got flushed out.
Among those to cash but fall short of the final table were Minnesota’s Vic Peppe (29th - $2,150), Day 1B chip leader Mavrick Yoo (24th - $2,457), 1997 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Strzemp (21st - $3,225), Day 1A chip leader Eric Blair (19th -$3,225), and John Morgan (12th - $5,190).
Among those at the final table were two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Eric Baldwin, Vegas grinder and Venetian regular Darren Rabinowitz, poker personality and executive Stan Jablonski, poker pro Corey Hochman, and Minnesota’s Alex “F’in” Winter, who was at his third MSPT final table in five weeks!
The final table began with Vizza holding the chip lead, but both Baldwin and Winter were hot on his heels. Unfortunately for Baldwin, things didn’t go his way and he bowed out in eighth place after getting it in with a flopped open-ender against Winter’s overs and flush draw. Winter wound up making a Broadway straight and Baldwin had to settle for $8,292 in prize money.
Like, Rabinowitz, Hochman, and Jablonski were all among the first half final table causalities. When the action was five-handed, the remaining players agreed to a five-way ICM chop. As the chip leader, Vizza was crowned champ and claimed $52,346 in prize money.
Meanwhile, Winter, who finished seventh in the 2018 MSPT Iowa State Poker Championship and fourth in the MSPT Grand Falls, officially finished in third place moving him into second on the Kimo Sabe Mezcal MSPT Season 9 Player of the Year leaderboard w/ 3,650 points. However, he is still a ways behind Aaron Johnson, who has 5,117 points.