A day before the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, 43-year-old Kfir Nahum was busy besting a field of 827 entries to win the $1,100 buy-in MSPT Poker Bowl II at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
It marked the second year of the tournament, which ran Thursday through Saturday to ensure players were free on Super Bowl Sunday. The turnout not only surpassed the half-million guarantee by creating an $806,325 prize pool, it crushed last year’s turnout of 695 runners.
Let’s Make a Deal
After two starting flights, 43-year-old Nahum, an Israeli who recently relocated to Las Vegas, came out on top after a four-way chop. Both he and Belgium’s Matthias De Cercq took down $108,410, while John Ploski and Bob Shao locked up $84,743 and $76,926, respectively.
Nahum, a businessman who owns a travel agency, had the most chips at the time of the chop, so he was awarded the title, trophy, and current lead in the Season 9 Kimo Sabe Mezcal Player of the Year Standings.
“The blinds were so high, it was more luck than skill at that point,” Nahum said of the deal. “It was going too long, the average was about 20 bigs, so we decided to do away with the luck and chop. As for the money, I’ll be playing more poker and taking care of my family.”
The win brought Nahum’s career earnings up to $587,960. It was the latest notch on his poker belt which includes finishing 61st in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event for a career-high $121,188, and a pair of wins in Bay 101 $1K events for $100,000 and $79,330. He also won the 2014 Israel Poker Tour Summer Edition Main Event for $73,689.
‘I Don’t Chop’
A final table deal was initially brought up during five-handed play, but MSPT regular Mike Lang shot it down immediately.
“I’m a MSPT regular, I don’t chop,” the Iowan told his opponents when they pressured him to make a deal.
Lang was referencing the fact that, at most MSPT stops, chops aren’t allowed. However, the Poker Bowl II was an exception as The Venetian house rules take precedent.
Lang became a fan favorite at that point, but unfortunately, his willingness to play it out didn’t result is a big payday. In Level 31 (60,000/120,000/20,000), De Cercq raised to 250,000 holding the A♣K♣ and then snap-called when Lang three-bet jammed for 2 million with the 8♣8♥.
It was a flip, and Lang was looking to hold to score the double. Unfortunately for him, the A♦Q♠K♥ flop double paired his opponent. Lang called for an eight, but his request fell on deaf ears as the J♦ blanked on the turn followed by the J♣ on the river.
“Ok, let’s chop it up,” Lang joked after his elimination.
Lang earned $40,316 for his fifth-place finish, which was enough to propel him into the top 40 all-time for MSPT tournament earnings with $168,474.
Others to cash the Poker Bowl II were CardsChat brand ambassador Ryan “protentialmn” Laplante (85th for $2,096), Day 1B chip leader Valentin Vornicu (59th for $2,419), 2010 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Joseph Cheong (47th for $2,580), MSPT Season 3 Running Aces champ Rodger Johnson (12th for $11,289), and a double elimination prior to the final table that saw Connor Arlia (11th for $11,289) and Marc Bernal (10th for $11,289) fall at the same time.
Season 9 of the MSPT continues later this month with an $1,100 buy-in, $300K GTD Main Event at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park the weekend of Feb. 23-25.
Final Table Results
1 Kfir Nahum (Henderson, NV) $108,410*
2 Matthias De Cercq (Belgium) $108,410*
3 John Ploski (Chicago, IL) $84,743*
4 Bob Shao (Berkley, CA) $76,926*
5 Mike Lang (Waukee, IA) $40,316
6 Steve Buell (Green Bay, WI) $30,640
7 Ana Freitas (Brazil) $23,383
8 Ahmed Taleb (Moorhead, MN) $18,545
9 Daniel Perkins (Las Vegas, NV) $14,514
*Denotes four-way deal
Editor’s Note: Cardschat and MSPT share a cross-promotional alliance. Chad Holloway is Media Director for MSPT.