The MSPT returned to Riverside Casino and hosted a $1,110 buy-in, $300K GTD Main Event which was definitely one to remember.
A total of 718 entries (100 from Day 1a; 358 from 1b; 360 from 1c) were tallied and generated a $694,960 prize pool.
On Sunday, 92 players returned for Day 2 action, and after roughly 12 hours of action, it was Michael Berk coming out on top to win the $142,467 top prize and his first MSPT title.
"I feel good," Berk stated after his victory. "I've played a lot of these and have had a bunch of almosts so it feels really good to win one."
Berk has MSPT results dating back to 2019 with his best performance coming from the 2021 Venetian Las Vegas Main Event where he finished in eighth place for $14,699, that was of course before today's win, which is something that means a lot to Indiana native.
"I just lost my I.T. job last Wednesday," Berk stated, "And honestly, things weren't looking too good at the start, but you know, I've never really been speechless before, but this is just really insane."
While Berk started his week at a low point, it definitely ended on a high note, and he has a list of people he'd like to thank.
"I just want to give a shout-out to the person who had faith in me and put me in this tournament even without any results," Berk continued, "Thank you to all my friends who supported me throughout the day, thank you to Terence, Alex, & Jackie for railing me at the end, and to my family and parents who support me playing poker."
With 72 slated to get paid, twenty players needed to exit before players reached the money. Among those to leave empty-handed were MSPT Hall of Famer Rob Wazwaz, Jason Bender, WSOP bracelet winner John Reading and inaugural Riverside champ Dan Sepiol just to name a few.
Once the tournament hand-for-hand process, only a few hands were played before Dan Cotton was set up by Adam Tolander, and the march to the final table began.
Among those to fall along the way, albeit with a payday, were four-time MSPT champ Dan Bekavac (11th Place - $10,424), Angela Jordison (14th Place - $8,340), Nic DiTrapani (21st Place - $5,977), Andy Rogowski (29th Place - $3,058), and Mike Puccio (41st Place - $2,710)
Once the player returned from their dinner break, it didn't take long for 2017 MSPT Meskwaki champ Max Havlish to hit the rail after he called off majority of his stack holding a made hand of kings only to have Ryan Windsor roll over a pair of aces. The cooler left Havlish short and he was eliminated a few hands later.
After Havlish's departure, it seemed like the players were in a food coma, as a full level of raise-folds happened before Ryan Tepen finally hit the rail after being dealt a cooler holding a pair of jacks only to run into Tolander's pocket aces.
Tepen's elimination sparked a little fuel in the players as they continued to put their chips in the middle with Jimmy Dennis departed in seventh place after losing a race to eventual champ Berk.
Joseph Saltanovitz was next on the chopping block. After coming into the final table towards the bottom half of the counts, he was able to ladder up until he jammed his short stack into Renato Spahiu's pocket aces and made his exit in sixth place.
Another player able to climb the pay ladder was Windsor, who made his departure in fifth place for $47,952 after his queen-ten was out flopped by Tolander's queen-nine.
Four-handed action didn't last very long after 2019 MSPT Meskwaki champ Steve Federspiel ace-ten suited was out-kicked by Tolander Big Slick, as he was denied his second title and took a fourth-place finish for $47,952.
With three players remaining, Tolander held half the chips in play but had a back-and-forth all-in match with Spahiu which ultimately ended with him delivering the final blow after he turned the wheel to drop Spahiu in third place for $64,631.
From there, Berk took over the heads-up match, winning majority of the pots before securing his first MSPT trophy and payday good for $142,467 while Tolander finished runner-up for $86,878.
The Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) is making its way back to Minnesota for its State Poker Championship at Running Aces Casino March 23rd - April 2nd and the MSPT.com live reporting team will be on hand providing updates for the $800K GTD $1,110 Main Event so make sure to come back!.