The first of three MSPT Main Events at Meskwaki Casino and Bingo Hall in Season 10 saw 409 players hit the felt in search of an MSPT Main Event title, and after two days of play, Tiffin, Iowa’s Steve Federspiel, a forty-seven year old lender at a credit union, made his second MSPT Meskwaki final table count, as he took down this weekend’s Main Event after a grueling final table.
“I feel really good, I’m excited! I’ve wanted this for a long time. I love the MSPT, and I’m really excited to win this because there’s so many good players at this event.” Federspiel said while reflecting on his victory. “I sucked out a few times, but overall I played pretty decent. I was trying to mix it up, I thought I had a few good reads on some of the players, and I did a few unorthodox plays.”
One of the unorthodox plays he talked about was when he tried to bluff Joe Walters in a hand with six remaining. “I couldn’t pull off the three-barrel bluff, I was almost positive he had a flush draw there, I just thought really, at that time, I could probably get the chips back. I’m sure everybody watching thought I was insane, I’m bluffing with nothing.” During Level 28 (40,000/80,000/10,000), Walters raised to 175,000 UTG and Federspiel called in the big blind. On the flop, Federspiel check-raised a 150,000 bet from Walters to 375,000, and Walters called. ”Then I fire again on the turn, at that point I really thought he had the diamond flush draw.” Federspiel bet 400,000 when the fell, and Walters called again. After the river, ”I just couldn’t fire it.” The hand was checked down, and Federspiel’s jack-high was bested by the of Walters. ”I’m going to have to think about that one for a while.”
Federspiel’s aggression paid off in the end, however, as he ground his opponents down and ultimately prevailed. He had modest plans for the windfall. “I work at the Credit Union, so it’s going in there tomorrow. Nothing really exciting, might buy my niece and nephews something.” Federspiel, a self-appointed “unfortunate” Raiders fan, was complimentary of the staff at Meskwaki: “Tama’s dealers are so awesome.”
Federspiel’s bread and butter actually turns out to be cash; “I play mostly cash actually, I just travel around to some of the bigger tournaments. I love playing here.” Federspiel, who now boasts $118,312 in career MSPT earnings, closed his remarks on his win with this; “Hopefully I can do it again sometime!”
Day 2 saw 59 players return to the felt, but with only 45 spots paid, a few players had to head home without a cash, including reigning MSPT Player of the Year Aaron Johnson, former MSPT champs Ahmed Taleb and Rob Wazwaz, and bubble boy Chad Willett, when his couldn't overcome the of Steve Anderson.
Players fell at a steady pace once the bubble burst, and some notables that took home a chunk of the prize pool include final table bubble boy Joe Barnard (11th - $6,324), Season 10 MSPT Majestic Star champ Mike Shin (12th - $6,324), Alex "F'n" Winter (14th - $5,138), two-time MSPT Meskwaki Final Tablist Kevin Berthelsen (15th - $5,138), start of the day chip leader Jason Bender (18th - $4,348), Season 7 MSPT Meskwaki champ Ken Komberec (21st - $3,715), three-time MSPT champ Blake Bohn (23rd - $3,201), Season 7 Iowa State Poker champ Hao "John" Sun (24th - $3,201), Season 9 Iowa State Poker champ Brian Soja (28th - $2,371), Season 10 MSPT Grand Falls Regional champ Eric Atchison (29th - $2,371), Nick Pupillo (30th - $2,371), Season 7 MSPT Meskwaki Keith Heine (35th - $2,371), DJ Buckley (41st - $2,174), and Tim Garles (43rd - $2,174).
Final Table Action
The first player to fall was Stephen Lewis, the result of his queens getting cracked by the ace-queen of Jordan Miller. An ace on the flop spelled doom for Lewis, who notched his first MSPT cash with his tenth place finish for $6,324.
Shortly after, Day 1B chip leader Shane Battani three-bet jammed with ace-nine after Joe Walters raised on the button, but Walters woke up with ace-queen and sent Battani out the door in ninth, good for $7,509 and his first career MSPT cash.
Miller fell in two hands, after being crippled by Tom Stambaugh in a flip with ace-king against queens, then losing his last few antes in the very next hand. Miller took home $10,276 for his eighth place finish, and Miller, who was appearing in his second MSPT Final Table, is still looking to improve on his career-best MSPT cash from MSPT Evansville in Season 7 for $11,213.
Nghia "3-Putts" Le was the next to hit the rail, when his king-queen was crushed by the sevens of Walters when Walters flopped a full house. 3-Putts found his second cash of Season 10 with his seventh place finish, and the $13,043 prize money was the largest cash of his career.
Mike Rieck ran into a similar situation when his king-queen ran into the pocket eights of Stambaugh, and Stambaugh flopped a set to send the affable Rieck to the rail in sixth. Rieck, who took down $16,600 for his finish, earned his third career MSPT cash and first career MSPT Final Table with the result.
Brad Sailor ripped his last ten bigs in with king-six, and Steve Federspiel made the call with ace-three. Neither player improved, and Sailor had to settle for fifth place and $21,738 in prize money. Sailor's second career MSPT final table earned him a career-best cash and brought him above $50,000 in career earnings.
Stambaugh, a former MSPT Main Event champ, was the next to go, after committing his stack on a king-jack-eight flop with queen-jack, and Walters looked him up with king-six. Stambaugh couldn't improve, and he had to settle for $28,852 and fourth place. Stambaugh broke the $100k career earnings marker with his finish.
Three handed play turned when Federspiel took a big pot off of Walters with just a flopped pair of nines for almost half the remaining chips in play. This left both Walters and Scott Vetter short, and Vetter blinked first, jamming seven-six into Federspiel's ace-deuce, and Federspiel flopped aces-up to best Vetter's pair of sixes and bust Vetter in third for $39,128. Vetter's second MSPT final table was a career-best cash, and he now boasts a cash in four consecutive MSPT Seasons.
Heads-up play didn't last long, as Walters got his last 2.2 million in at Level 30 (60,000/120,000/20,000) and Federspiel made the call.
A board left Walters in second place, good for $53,751, and his first career MSPT cash.