A day before the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons to win Super Bowl LI, Jordan Young was busy navigating a field of 695 entrants to win the inaugural MSPT Poker Bowl at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The tournament, which was designed to finish in time for players to enjoy the Big Game, came to an end when Young worked a deal with Ankush “Andy” Mandavia, who was running like a god.
Young took home $139,624 for the win. Mandavia, who is an American Poker Award nominee for Breakout Player of the Year, locked up $107,381.
The win gave Young, who only had to fire one bullet in the tournament, the largest score of his career. Prior to this, his top cash was $54,936 for finishing ninth in a 2011 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event. The win pushed Young’s lifetime tournament earnings up to $461,921.
“I’ve had a little bit of a struggle playing deep, mainly at the World Series of Poker, so it feels good to finally close a big tournament out,” said Young after the win. “The structure was great. I love the 40-minute levels.
“My playing style is not suited all that much for the real long levels,” he continued. “I like to get it in there and just ram and jam. I loved the structure and I never had below the starting stack. Right away I had 80,000 and never looked back.”
Final Table Results
1 Jordan Young (Twin Lake, MI) $117,381*
2 Ankush Mandavia (Richmond, TX) $107,381*
3 Chris Moon (Sterling Heights, MI) $63,342
4 Jordan Cristos (Palmdale, CA) $46,996
5 Patrick Gunraj (Las Vegas, NV) $35,417
6 Jason Vanstrom (Colorado Springs, CO) $26,563
7 Michael Vanier (Lincoln, NE) $20,433
8 Mark Hamilton (Northridge CA) $16,346
9 Gary Bolden (St. Louis, MO) $12,260
10 Joseph Alban (Henderson, NV) $10,217
*Denotes heads-up deal
Big Names Turn Out in Force
The Poker Bowl attracted some notable names, and among those to cash were WSOP bracelet winner Eric Baldwin (48th/$2,520), three-time bracelet and start-of-the-day short stack Dutch Boyd (35th/$2,997), World Poker Tour Five Diamond champ James Romero (29th/$2,997), and the last MSPT champ in the field Jason Seitz (23rd/$4,904).
Among the notables to make the final table were WPT champ Jordan Cristos, as well as Mandavia. The former exited when his ace-seven was outdrawn by Young’s jack-six, and after Chris Moon fell in third, Mandavia and Young struck their deal.
Then, in the final hand of the tournament, Mandavia got it in preflop with king-ten only to be outdrawn by the jack-four suited of Young.
“Andy is just really good,” Young said of his opponent. “He’s really strong especially heads-up. My card distribution was solid heads-up, so it made it easier to play against him.”
Young Predicts Super Bowl Outcome
Seeing as the Poker Bowl was just a day away from the New England Patriots taking on the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Young gave his prediction, despite the fact he is a Detroit Lions fan.
“I can’t really imagine betting against New England, but I’d like to see the Falcons beat them,” said Young. “New England is so easy to hate, but you have to respect how good they are.”
It seems Young’s read was spot on as the Patriots ended up making the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to capture the Lombardi trophy in overtime, which was a first.
Season 8 of the MSPT continues February 11-19 at Running Aces Card Club in Columbus, Minnesota. That stop will culminate with an $1,100 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed Main Event the weekend February 17-19.
Editor’s Note: MSPT and CardsChat share a cross-promotional alliance. Chad Holloway is Media Director for MSPT.