Matthew Anderson pocketed $100,075 after topping a stacked record field of 389 players at the 2014 Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki Casino. He defeated MSPT-sponsored pro Matt Kirby after an extremely short heads-up match. The tough final table also includedAaron Johnson and Ryan Tepen.
Seventy players advanced to Day 2, with Kirby leading the way to start. Anderson got the day off started right when two players moved all in ahead of him, and he woke up in the cutoff with Q♣Q♥ and called. One player held JxJx on a short stack, while the other had A♣K♥. Anderson's queens held on the ten-high runout, and he busted one player while leaving the other with barely a big blind.
Well-known players David Gonia, Dustin Dirksen, and Lance Harris busted short of the money, and Isidro Sandoval burst the bubble around 1 p.m.
Brett Schwertley, Eric Loehr, and Steve Belland fell in the money before Matt Kirby dragged one of the most important pots of the tournament.
He got all in against online crusher and World Series of Poker bracelet winner James "mig.com" Mackey and another shorter stack with 6x6x against Mackey's Ax10x and the third player's KxKx. Kirby flopped top set and turned a full house to bust a dangerous opponent and vault to the top of the counts.
When Gennady Shimelfarb busted, the final table was set.
Cash game grinder Mike Vanier was the first to hit the rail, and Ryan Tepen followed in ninth after a four-bet gone wrong.
Marty Martimo ran into Kirby's kings to bow out in eighth and a short-stacked Rick McGown pushed with J♠9♠ to bust in seventh.
Kirby won a key flip against Johnson when his A♥Q♥ outflopped Johnson's 9♦9♣ all in preflop, and Johnson was forced to settle for sixth.
With five left, Ken Payne opened for 100,000 in the small blind, and Anderson put him all in from the big blind. Payne made the call.
The two were off to the races, but Payne found no help on the 5♣2♥Q♠6♥7♠ board, leaving Anderson's sailboats good. Payne, a regular on the Mid-States Poker Tour, notched fifth place in his first final table of the season.
Four-handed action lasted just half an hour, until Anderson's coin-flipping skills earned him another elimination, this time turning a king with A♦K♣ against the 8♣8♠ of Taylor Howard.
Three-handed play proved to be the most action-packed part of the tournament, featuring several doubles by shorter stacks and constant aggression by Anderson, Kirby, and Kansas City native Jeremy Putthoff. Kirby crippled Putthoff with a boat over a flush, but after a series of doubles Putthoff actually had the chip lead. In a key pot shortly thereafter, he opened for 120,000 on the button, and Anderson reraised to 300,000 in the small blind. Putthoff pushed all in, and Anderson called off his roughly 2 million.
Anderson hit a set on the A♣10♦5♥ flop, and the 8♥ turn left Putthoff drawing dead. A 4♦ completed the board, and Putthoff was left with about 800,000.
Shortly thereafter, Putthoff got the last of his chips all in against Anderson once again, only to run into 10x10x again. Putthoff had an underpair this time, 5x5x, and he was unable to catch up, ending his run in third.
In one of the first hands of heads up, Kirby shoved over a check-raise from Anderson on a K♠9♠K♣ flop, and Anderson called with K♥3♥. Kirby was drawing with 6♠4♠, but the sweat ended immediately when Anderson turned quads.
The PokerNews Live Reporting team will back in a few weeks with coverage of MSPT Canterbury Park. We'll see you then!