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Jonas Hagstrom Wins Mega Millions XVI

Jonas Hagstrom

Swedish player Jonas Hagstrom waited out a maze of Day 1 flights in the Mega Millions XVI at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in California, buying in directly to Day 2 for $4,300.

It proved to be a fortuitous decision for Hagstrom, as he managed to turn that $4,300 into a $311,328 payday.

This big cash dwarfs his previous career live tournament earnings of $62,000.

Official Final Table Results

1Jonas Hagstrom$311,328
2Xiao Ruan$167,625
3Massoud Eskandari$109,935
4Larry Serebryany$82,065
5Benjamin Nguyen$63,210
6Keyue Wang$49,310
7Benjamin Chan$38,765
8Bhagwan Tejwani$30,450
9Raz Mael$23,400

The unusual tournament had a $1 million guarantee and featured a variety of starting flights on different days and at different price points. Players could choose to enter starting flights for $550 or $160, with the top 10 percent advancing from the former and the top five percent advancing from the latter. Or, they could buy in to Day 2 directly as Hagstrom did.

Ultimately, the players generated a prize pool of $1,854,688 after the 108 Day 2 entries were added to the pile.

Chris Klodnicki was the most accomplished player to make a deep run into the final couple of tables, but he got felted in 12th when he got his short stack in with {k-Spades}{5-Clubs} and couldn't overcome an opponent with {a-Diamonds}{q-Spades}, according to the live updates.

Massoud Eskandari held the chip lead when the final table began. Xiao Ruan was in the midst of a nearly unthinkable second straight Mega Millions final table after a fifth-place finish last August for $69,335 in a field of over 11,000.

A couple of eliminations into that final table, Eskandari extended his lead by busting Benjamin Chan with {a-Clubs}{10-Hearts} against {k-Hearts}{j-Spades} all in preflop. He soon had half of the chips in play six-handed.

Stacks were mostly short all around outside of Eskandari, so Hagstrom was able to go from under 10 big blinds to second place in a hurry. He found a dream spot when he jammed over a Ruan open with {a-Clubs}{a-Hearts} and had Keyue Wang wake up with {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades} behind him. The aces held to send Wang out sixth.

A short-stacked Benjamin Nguyen went out fifth, and then Ruan got lucky with {a-Clubs}{3-Clubs} all in against the {a-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds} of Larry Serebryany, flopping a three and then holding on despite the presence of a Broadway straight draw for the unfortunate Serebryany. After Ruan took Serebryany's remaining chips, he took over the chip lead with about half of the total chips.

After a fruitless deal discussion, players sat down to massive blinds of 750,000/1,500,000 with only about 100 million in play. Hagstrom picked up another big pair in a great spot, waking up with kings when Ruan shoved in the small blind with {a-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}. The board got hairy for Hagstrom with {q-Hearts}{4-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{5-Spades} hitting to give Ruan a gutshot and a pair, but the {7-Diamonds} river was safe for the Swede to give him the lead.

Hagstrom then won a flip against Eskandari, and all of a sudden he had a 4-1 lead going heads up. He put the pressure on Ruan by shoving all in with {k-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}, but Ruan woke up with a dominating {10-Clubs}{10-Spades} and called. Hagstrom picked up outs when {q-Diamonds}{j-Spades}{5-Diamonds} flopped to give him a flush draw. The {3-Spades} paired him on the turn to bring still more outs, and the {k-Hearts} river sealed the deal.

Photo courtesy of Bicycle Hotel & Casino

  • Jonas Hagstrom skipped the prelims and just bought right into Day 2 of Mega Millions. It worked out.

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