The 2014 Mid-States Poker Tour Majestic Star Casino played out this weekend in Gary, Indiana. It marked the first time the MSPT rolled into town, and the players came out in force. After three days of play, Ken Baime of Glenview, Illinois topped a field of 301 players to win the $77,681 first-place prize.
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Baime's win came over a Day 2 field that included the likes Matt Alexander, John Hayes, Jason Smith, Matt Kirby, and Kou Vang.
Baime stayed out of the biggest pots for the majority of Day 2, but his winning surge began with seven players remaining when Allen Lanier went all in for his last 6,000 under the gun. Brian Zimcosky raised to 100,000 from middle position, and Baime and Leon Morford called from the button and the big blind, respectively. After a flop of , Zimcosky bet 160,000, and Baime shoved. Morford folded, and Zimcosky snap-called.
Baime had coolered Zimcosky, while Lanier was drawing live with a straight draw. The filled that draw, and a river was a brick, so Baime doubled up on the side while Lanier survived. Baime became the chip leader shortly thereafter when he won a flip against Zimcosky with jacks.
In Level 22 (30,000/60,000/5,000), he check-shipped the turn with second pair and a flush draw against eventual fourth-place finisher Fadi Hamad. Unfortunately for Baime, Hamad was ahead with top pair after making the difficult call. Baime's stack was covered by Hamad, so the spade on the river saved his tournament life and gave him half of the chips in play.
Baime's momentum continued when he induced an all-in check-raise from Zimcosky, the most aggressive player at the final table, on a board of . Baime held for two pair, and he was well in front of his opponent's . When the river bricked, Baime carried a big chip lead into a heads-up match with Morford.
The two played heads up for about an hour before Baime raised to 215,000 on the button, and Morford shoved for 1.4 million. Baime called after thinking for just a moment.
Baime had Morford dominated, and the dealer spread a flop of , all but securing Baime the win. A turn ended Morford's slim chances, and a finished out the board. Morford had to settle for runner-up and $42,504, while Baime captured the title and $77,681 first-place prize.
The MSPT's next stop is at Golden Gates Casino in Blackhawk, Colorado from now until March 17. The $200,000 guaranteed Main Event will begin on Friday, March 14. For more information, visit msptpoker.com.