There were 108 players when the field returned for Day 2 of the Mid-States Poker Tour Black Hawk Main Event after the first three starting flights built a field of 900 entries to make this the largest major Main Event ever hosted in the state of Colorado.The eventual champion was Nick Barksdale late on Sunday night. He took home the top prize worth $170,325 and the MSPT trophy. He also took his career tournament earnings up to $256,712.
Only the top 90 players made the money from the returning field, and the money bubble burst relatively quickly in the day. Notable that cashed earlier in the day included Ashley Warren (10th), Tyler Jankanish (13th), DJ Buckley (16th), Adrian Buckley (18th), Michael Giardina (31st), Ruth Graham (55th), DJ Alexander (58th), Michael Rankins (66th), Jonathan Dull (67th), Brent Vaughn (85th), Renato Spahiu (87th), and Quentin Yanick (90th).
The march down to the final table was fast-paced pace before the final nine players emerged a little after 8 pm local time. Those players then took a dinner break before returning to decide who would take home the largest shares of the prize pool worth $873,000. These were the chip counts and seat draw at the final table when cards got into the air after dinner.
Seat 1: Nick Barksdale - 4,400,000
Seat 2: Frank Bonacci - 1,590,000
Seat 3: Max Havlish - 4,170,000
Seat 4: Danny Gonzales - 1,270,000
Seat 5: Sundiata DeVore - 2,100,000
Seat 6: John Pillitteri - 4,000,000
Seat 7: Jared Ingles - 1,800,000
Seat 8: Sam Husar - 920,000
Seat 9: David Gonia - 2,900,000
Action kicked off a little slow at the final table before Frank Bonacci busted out about an hour into play in ninth place. His was behind the of David Gonia the entire way on a board dealt , and he took home $15,714 in prize money. Danny Gonzales then scored a double before Sundiata DeVore exited in eighth place. He took his last stand with pocket fives, but he ran right into the pocket kings held by Jared Ingles. DeVore took home $20,079 in prize money.
Max Havlish and Sam Husar then both scored double ups, but the next time Husar risked all of his chips he wasn’t so lucky. Husar was all in with pocket sixes, and he was ahead of the pocket threes of Ingles, but a three on the flop sealed his fate. Husar took home $25,317 in prize money. John Pillitteri was the next player to hit the rail in sixth place a little later in that level. He was all in with , but he was dominated by the of the chip leader at the time, Nick Barksdale. The board changed nothing, and Pillitteri was awarded $33,174 in prize money.
The next level saw Danny Gonzales bust out of the tournament in fifth place. His pocket queens looked good preflop against the pocket eights of Max Havlish, but the board brought the other two eights in the deck for quad eights. Gonzales walked away with $43,650 in prize money after the hand. The next stretch of play saw a merry-go-round of four doubles as the final four players traded chips.
Havlish entered four-handed play as the chip leader, but his fortunes changed during the double ups before he was eliminated in fourth place. His last hand saw him shove short with J-5, and he was dominated by the K-J of Jared Ingles. The board bricked out, and Havlish was out of the tournament with $57,618 in prize money. David Gonia fell a short time later in third place ($77,173) when his pocket nines couldn’t hold against the J-10 of Ingles when the flop brought a ten.
That gave Ingles 12.2 million to take into the heads-up final against the 10.3 million held by Barksdale. The final match took a little more than half-an-hour to decide a champion with just a single all-in pot taking place. In that hand that took place a little after 1 am local time there was just over 2 million in the pot and the flop read when the money got all in. Ingles pinned his hopes on , but Barksdale had flopped two-pair with . The turn and river brought a little help with the , but it wasn’t enough for Ingles to avoid busting in second place, good for $104,762.
That made Barksdale a first-time MSPT champion, and he took home $170, 235 along with the MSPT trophy. Here is what the Lincoln, Nebraska resident had to say after the victory. “It feels great, I feel a lot of respect for the opponents that I played with, and it was nice to take it down. It was a very tough final table, it was really anybody’s game going into it, and it was good. I got it to heads-up and felt pretty confident in my game, the gentleman I played heads up was a really good player, but the ball bounced my way so I feel fortunate.”
Barksdale was playing in his second-ever MSPT Main Event, and he had his wife along for the trip on his rail to celebrate the victory. “It’s a class-act organization in how they run it. I’d never been up to Black Hawk before. It’s a beautiful town, it was exciting to come up here and I was glad I was able to bring my wife, we had a great time. I couldn’t do it without her. It means everything to have her here, she’s my partner in life, it just made this that much more special,” said Barksdale.