Kou Vang stunned his supporters on May 14 when he won the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Main Event at the FireKeepers Casino. It was the biggest poker win in the state’s history. Still, it was the Minnesota native’s third MSPT title to win.
He won two other titles in 2022 and 2011. The poker pro bagged his 13th poker title in his 13th MSPT final table. Reports state that the $314,145 prize he won in the recent event increased his total career earnings to about $2.3 million.
Vang informed MSPT journalists after the tournament that he was elated. He claimed that each player aims at receiving life-changing payouts while playing any game. Vang solely relies on poker winnings to sustain his family, and he revealed his prize would help them a lot.
The $1,110 buy-in no-limit Hold’em tournament attracted 2,471 players in three starting flights who created a $2.4 million combined prize pool. They exceeded the tournament’s initial $1 million guarantee.
Even so, only the top 252 finalists shared the prize pool, and each of them won more than $2,600. Two hundred ninety-three entrants advanced to the final day, and the first elimination occurred in level 2.
Some of the players who won money but missed a final table seat included Mikk Suggs, Anthony Sedlak, Josh Reichard, and Umut Ozturk.
The players set a nine-handed final table as Vang tied in the third position in chips as Dash Dudley (three-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet champion) had the stack lead with more than twice Vang’s chip count.
What Were the Players’ Prizes?
- Kou Vang – $314,145 and 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year (POY) points
- Dash Dudley – $257,145 and 900 POY points
- Robert Strunk – $162,885 and 720 points
- George Abi-Zeid – $126,955 and 540 POY points
- Melissa Bartelme – $97,252 and 450 POY points
- James Wilson – $76,652 and 360 points
- Austin Thieleman – $59,884 and 270 points
- Ray Ezzie – $46,710 and 180 points
- Edward Dixon – $37,128 and 90 points
What Transpired at the Table?
Dixon was the first player to get busted at the table. Ezzie followed them shortly in eighth place. Vang made his first knockout when he sent Thieleman packing in the seventh position with $59,884. Still, he ended James Wilson’s run in sixth place.
Vang still had fewer chips than Dudley. But, the former eliminated George Abi-Zeid in the fourth position, thus reducing the chip gap between him and the latter.
His momentum extended, and he successfully drew his stack with Dudley. Vang busted Robert Strunk in the third position.
He won several simultaneous pots in the final match and got the stack lead. Even so, the chips went in the middle.
Dudley used A6 in the hole to put his chips in the middle preflop, and Vang used QJ to cover him. J6548 landed on the board, sending Dudley packing as a runner-up with $257,145 and increasing his poker earnings to $3.4 million.
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