A story of redemption played out at the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa Sunday night, as Rich Alsup took down the 2015 Mid-Stakes Poker Tour Meskwaki Main Event title and $101,229, after coming runner-up at the same stop this past March.
A 31-year-old professional poker player from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, things fell into place time and time again for Alsup at the final table until MSPT glory was finally his.
The event drew 410 players over two starting flights, but just 77 survivors returned to vie for the championship Sunday. Play moved quickly past the 45-player money bubble and just after 7 p.m. local time the final table was set with MSPT Pro Matt Alexander firmly in the lead.
Alsup sat fourth of ten when Jason Seitz busted, running K♥Q♠ into Hamid Feiz' A♦K♠. Marius Toderici was the next to go when he was outdrawn by Feiz, but Alsup began his move towards the top, busting Day 1 chip leader Marty Faldet eighth, flopping a set of fours against his nines all in preflop.
Feiz won a flip to double through Alexander next, then busted him when a clearly frustrated Alexander shoved top pair into his top two. Feiz had moved into the chip lead when Mark Hodgebusted sixth, picking up enough MSPT Player of the Year points with his finish to overtake the lead in that race.
Feiz' lead would not last, however, as Alsup stung him, shoving over his raise with A♣7♠, getting called by A♠J♥ and outdrawing him when they both flopped two pair by making a boat on the river.
Feiz fell short, and then exited in fifth place before Shaun Burnett lost a race against Derek Dempster to bow out fourth. Ric Cacho got super short three handed and also gave the last of his stack to Dempster, allowing him to take a lead into heads-up with Alsup.
It was a back-and-forth match until the poker gods smiled on Alsup once again, handing him trips on the river after he got it in with bottom pair and a gutshot against Dempster's top pair with the same draw.
In the end, Dempster was forced to shove short with the 5♥4♦, geot called by Alsup on the similar 5♣4♥, and four clubs came out to give Alsup the win.
Alsup admitted it just seemed to be his time in Tama as he found himself catching every card needed on the way to winning the 2015 Mid-Stakes Poker Tour Meskwaki Main Event.
Next up for the MSPT is a stop at the Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado next weekend, and the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there for every flop turn and river. For more information, click here.