Jon Kim Wins Second-Largest Poker Tournament in Minnesota History

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Season 7 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) came to a close this past weekend with an $1,100 Main Event at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. The tournament drew 464 entrants (213 on Day 1a and 251 on 1b), which made it the second-largest major poker tournament in the state’s history.

Jonathan Kim sits with his winnings of $107,659, for taking first in the MSPT $1,100 Main Event in Minnesota this weekend. (Image: MSPT)

After three days of play, 47-year-old underwriter Jonathan Kim emerged victorious to capture a $107,659 first-place prize.

Finally Breaking Through

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Kim, who qualified for the tournament via a $250 satellite. “I’ve been playing the MSPT since the beginning, but this is actually my first MSPT cash. It’s pretty cool.”

While it was his first cash on the tour, Kim is a familiar face at Canterbury Park. The majority of his previous $37,886 in lifetime earnings have come at the cardroom, including his former best cash of $4,423, which came from finishing ninth in the 2009 Twin Cities Poker Open.

The Minnesotan said he doesn’t have any immediate plans for the money, other than to help with his 19-year-old son’s college education.

Final Table Results

  • 1 Jonathan Kim (Minneapolis, MN) $107,659
  • 2 Sam Hanson (Hudson, WI) $65,050
  • 3 Jason Bender (Keota, IA) $42,391
  • 4 Alan Carty (Eden Prairie, MN) $29,382
  • 5 Sam Rubin (Minneapolis, MN) $22,429
  • 6 Loki Abboud (Mendota Heights, MN) $17,270
  • 7 Ken Pates (Brooklyn Park, MN) $14,355
  • 8 Todd Fisher (Arlington, MN) $11,887
  • 9 Zeph Baer (St. Paul, MN) $10,048
  • 10 Kou Vang (Maplewood, MN) $7,626

Cowboys Leave Ladies in the Dust

Kim got off to a hot start at the final table when on Hand #12, which took place in Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000), he looked down at pocket kings and raised to 135,000 from early position. Chip leader Sam Rubin picked up pocket queens in the big blind and just called to see a 4♣K♦5♣ flop. Rubin checked and Kim played top set fast with a bet of 260,000.

Rubin called and then checked again when the 7♠ appeared on the turn. Kim kept the pressure on by moving all in for 770,000, and Rubin thought long and hard before making the call. Rubin was drawing dead, and Kim took over a chip lead he would never relinquish after the 2♠ was run out on the river.

“I wanted him to think I didn’t have it, tried to induce action,” Kim said of the big hand against Rubin. “It was a bit of reverse psychology. I was obviously running hot, and once I had half the chips in play I was very aggressive. Pedal to the metal.”

Closing Out Season 7

Day Two saw 78 players return to action, but 33 of them needed to leave empty-handed before the money was made at the top 45. Among those to miss out on a payday were Minnesota Poker Hall of Famer Mike Schneider, MSPT Pro Matt Kirby, and bubble boy Scotter Clark.

Notables who walked away with a cash were Day 1a chip leader Jim Boone (41st – $2,243), two-time MSPT champ Jeremy Dresch (19th – $3,364), Blue Shark Optic’s Erick Wright (13th – $5,832), and World Series of Poker bracelet winner John Reading (12th – $7,626).

Kim’s win marked the end for Season 7 of the MSPT. The tour will now be on a short break before kicking off Season 8 from January 5-8 with a $350 buy-in, $100,000 guarantee Regional Event at Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

For a look at their full Season 8 schedule, visit

Editor’s Note: CardsChat and MSPT share a cross-promotional alliance. Chad Holloway is the MSPT media director.

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