Ken Baime wasn’t even supposed to be here tonight. He had a flight booked home with his wife, he had already checked out of his hotel room. But the poker gods had other plans.
Baime dueled heads up with Miles Barnum for nearly three hours before finally claiming victory at the Mid Stakes Poker Tour (MSPT) US Poker Championship at Sycuan Casino and a $82,512 payday.
Baime said he was thankful to have his wife along on these adventures even if she wasn’t awake by the time things wrapped up in the wee hours of the morning.
“To my wife who lets me do all this,” he said. “She didn’t know what she was getting into when we got married but I appreciate it.”
Baime bagged second at the end of Day 1a and rode that big stack all the way to the final table. He navigated a field of 436 runners en route to victory. He also took down the $250 Seniors side event earlier in the week for $6,300.
“I mean right now I’m ecstatic but just so fatigued,” he said. “It really could have been anyone's game and we fought back and forth so hard. I do feel like I played with a lot more confidence. I had a pretty good summer and I have a lot of confidence in my reads.”
Day 2 Action
There were 55 players returning for the start of Day 2, and it took eight hours to whittle the field down to the final table. A few of the players to fall just before the final table included WSOP bracelet winner Massoud Eskandari (14th), former MSPT champion Gianluca Pace (13th), Day 1b chip leader Pat McCool (11th) and ClubGG qualifier Zach Jump (10th).
Final Table Action
First to go was Kevin Malis ($8,007). He ran into the pocket kings of Jason Kapoor on the first hand of the final table to lose most of his stack. He then got it in with king-seven against ace-queen in a blind on blind situation but could not improve.
Out in eighth was Suhail Khan ($10,957). He fell at the hands of Kapoor when he jammed queen-jack into ace-queen. Next to go was Elvis Toomas ($13,907). He got into a big preflop altercation with Baime holding king-queen but Baime’s ace-seven held to send him home in seventh.
Brian Nordin (17,700) was out in sixth when he shoved the cutoff holding king-four suited and ran into the ace-jack suited of Brayan Noriegasolis. Hal Marcus ($23,178) followed him out the door when he shoved his pair of jacks right into the flush of Kapoor.
It was Noriegasolis ($30,764) who went out in fourth. His ace-queen could not outflip the pocket eights of Kapoor and his run came to an end.
Kapoor ($41,721) looked poised for the victory during three-handed play. He held about seventy-five percent of the chips in play for some time. But that quickly evaporated as he lost four close all in scenarios in a row to go out at the hands of Baime. Kapoor had dedicated today's play to the unexpected death of a close friend and bowed out after an epic run. With two tables left, he had been down to a single blind.
That left Baime to duel Barnum heads up. The match dragged on for about two and half hours with the lead changing countless times. Both players seemed to be on the verge of victory at several points in the night. Ultimately, Barnum ran ace-five into the pocket aces of Baime and that was all she wrote.
Rocking a PokerNews cap, Baime plans to hit some more stops in the coming months including Battle Creek, Lake Tahoe, and FireKeepers.
Be sure to keep it with the PokerNews team for more MSPT coverage throughout the rest of the year.