In the inaugural MSPT Missouri State Poker Championship at Hollywood Casino St. Louis, with only one hand left at the end of Day 1C, Umut Ozturk texted MSPT champion Jason Sell saying “I’m not coming back with 60,000.” With one hand left to go, Ozturk moved in his final 60,000 without looking and found himself with six-three of diamonds against an opponent’s eight seven. The flop gave his opponent a seven, but the turn gave Ozturk a flush and he ended his Day 1 with 133,000.
Just a little under 24 hours later, Ozturk found himself lifting the trophy for the Inaugural Missouri State Championship for a career best score of $101,336. “I wasn’t supposed to be here, but I just luckboxed my way to the final table,” the newest champion joked just moments after the win. “I have a great relationship with all of the higher ups at MSPT,” he said when asked about his many trips to MSPT stops around the country “I love supporting this tour, these guys are my buds.”
“Minnesota’s got many great players for this tour,” Ozturk spoke about his peers whom he highly respected. “I’ll chase player of the year, but it will be hard when I am up against players like Aaron Johnson and DJ Buckley, DJ has final tabled so many of these events, he’s the real sleeper pick for this year to get some points and win the player of the year. Gerald Cunniff has also got a real shot, there’s a lot of talent out there.”
“This win wasn’t just about me,” Ozturk said in one final statement “it was about all of us Minnesota guys who are out here grinding, playing these events and supporting this tour.” The Minnesota poker community will have something very major to celebrate tonight, as Ozturk brings home the first MSPT win to the state of the 2023 season.
The day began with only 40 minutes passing between the beginning of play and the bubble burst. On the stone bubble, MSPT regular Anthony Sedlak called an all in from Damian Gum on a six high board with pocket tens, only for Gum to show a set of threes and Sedlak became the unfortunate bubble boy.
The post bubble action was fast and furious as many players hit the rail sooner than they had anticipated. Regulars like Martin Kinder (20th-$7,084), William McCracken (19th-$7,084), Bob Heffner (18th-$8,391), Dakotah O’Dell (12th-$11,747) and Kaleb Dunn (11th-$11,747) all found themselves on the outside of the final table. It was MSPT champion Keith Heine who ended his tournament on the final table bubble when his king-ten off could not best the pocket sixes of Ian Richardson. He collected $11,747 for his efforts as he finished another deep run in an MSPT.
Final Table Action
Trent Wilson came to the final table with just under five big blinds and at the end of his run, he found his chips falling to Jared Ingles when his queen-seven suited could not improve against Ingles’ ace-king. Wilson wished his tablemates luck as his ninth place run earned him $15,103.
Shortly after that, it was Askia Ingram who defended his big blind holding jack-seven suited, against Matt Downs who was holding ace-queen off. The flop contained both an ace and a jack on it, which saw Ingram move all in for his remaining chips and Downs called. With no improvement on the turn or river, Ingram ended his run in eighth place for $19,298.
Seventh place saw Patrick Ray go out in a memorable hand that had the table talking all night. Ray moved his final chips in with jack-ten suited while Ozturk called him in the big blind with pocket kings. The flop gave Ozturk four kings, but also gave Ray an open ended straight flush draw. The board did not run out favorably for Ray and he collected $24,332 for his finish at the final table.
Matt Downs got into a flip with James Hundt for his tournament life. Downs held ace-queen against Hundt’s pocket jacks who was only covering Downs by a few chips. The flop came nine-high, while the turn rolled off an ace putting Downs in the lead. The drama did not end, as the river brought a jack giving Hundt a set and Downs left the field in sixth place for $31,884.
Jordan Schneible began the final table as one of the shortest stacks, but was able to maneuver himself up multiple ladders and found himself one of the five players left in the tournament. His last hand saw him move in his final chips in from the small blind with king-six suited only for Ozturk to wake up with ace-queen off and flopped an ace to end Schneible’s run in 5th place for $41,953.
After that elimination, the players began to look at numbers for a deal. After some discussion it was decided that James Hundt would take home $95,223 for a fourth place, Ian Richardson would take home $96,911 for a third place finish, Jared Ingles(who just last week finished runner up in Black Hawk for $104,762) would take $100,377 for a second place finish, and Umut Ozturk would take home $101,336 and the MSPT trophy for his first place finish.
Congratulations to Umut Ozturk for winning his first MSPT title in The Missouri State Poker Championship. Congratulations to all who played and thank you for reading along with us here at MSPT.com.
Be sure to stay tuned for the updates on Tuesday February 6th for the beginning of The MSPT Venetian $1,100 Poker Bowl.