Day 2 Completed
|Blinds||50,000 / 100,000|
Day 2 Completed
Chad Willett prevailed over Rich Alsup after a marathon heads-up match at Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki, banking $96,760 following the grueling three-hour battle. Willett defeated a field of 371 runners for the score, though he nearly let an epic chip lead slip away heads up before recovering for the win.
After the elimination of Harry Finnimore in third place, victory seemed all but assured for Willett. He had 6.48 million with blinds sitting at 25,000/50,000/5,000, while Alsup had a playable, but much smaller stack of 905,000. Alsup battled back over the course of the next two hours, doubling up three times when he got short before finally mounting a sustained charge. Alsup kept winning seemingly three small pots to every one for Willett, and by the time Level 30 (50,000/100,000/10,000) began, Alsup had about a 2-1 lead.
That's when the turning point hit, though, with Willett limping in and Alsup raising to 300,000. Willett called. Alsup checked the flop, and Willett bet 500,000. Alsup put him all in for about 1.5 million more, and Willett called it off with the , seeing he was in good shape against the . His hand held, and mere moments later the chips were all in the middle with Alsup holding the and trailing Willett's . Neither player hit anything, and Willett secured the win.
Before any of that took place, 73 players filtered into the tournament area for Day 2 at 10:30 a.m. A slew of recognizable names fell before the money, including Lance Harris, Ben Wiora, John Reading, DJ Buckley, and Mark Hodge. The latter, the current MSPT Player of the Year points leader, ended a remarkable streak of six straight MSPT cashes when he ran into early in the day.
Willett got some ammo early in the day when Mario Hudson paid off his 150,000 bet when Willett had aces full on an board. That pot put him at 700,000 during Level 20 (5,000/10,000/1,000). In the meantime, the money was reached with 36 players left, after which notable names Mike Ross, Ben Keeline, Matt Kirby, Thao Thiem, Dan Sun, Rob Wazwaz, and Josh Reichard busted out and collected cashes as the final table bubble approached.
After the elimination of Darek Anderson in 11th, the final table was set with Hudson looking like the overwhelming favorite holding more than a quarter of the chips in play.
Reichard's father, Brett, was the first to go down after dinner, falling short in a bid to join his son as an MSPT champ. Ryan Hohenstein (ninth) and Rodger Johnson (eighth) quickly followed.
Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000) proved to be an eventful one as short stacks James Livingston (seventh) and Robert Wittman (sixth) could hold on no longer and busted after losing most of their chips to blinds and antes. Joe Matheson then ran his kings to Willett's aces, leaving someone other than Hudson chip leader for the first time in hours. Another monster pair-versus-pair confrontation followed, one of the most critical pots of the tournament. Hudson three-bet to 350,000 over a Finnimore open, and Willett shoved from the big blind. Finnimore mucked, but Hudson snapped in with the for about 2 million. Willett had the and took the pot when the board ran out .
Willett then busted Finnimore moments later, calling a shove with the and getting lucky against the , setting up the heads-up duel.
Willett wasn't shy about expressing his relief after the win.
"These guys are grinders, man," he said.
Chad Willett opened to 300,000 on the button, and Rich Alsup jammed for about 1.6 million, getting called immediately.
Alsup was in need of help, and he found little on the flop. The turn left him looking for paint, but a ended the tournament after the marathon heads-up match.
Chad Willett limped in an called 300,000 from Rich Alsup. Alsup checked the flop, and Willett bet 500,000. Alsup jammed, and Willett called.
"Come on," Alsup urged, but bricks fell on the turn and river, and Willett doubled up.
"I was OK going home," he said.
Rich Alsup checked a flop when both players limped. Chad Willett bet 80,000, and Alsup raised to 170,000. Willett called, and he called 175,000 more on the turn. Both checked the river, and Willett said he had a pair of sixes. Alsup showed and took it down with two pair.
Chad Willett checked a flop in a limped pot, and Rich Alsup bet 80,000. Willett made it 200,000, and Alsup called. Action checked through the , and Willett check-called 300,000 on the .
"Five," Alsup said, showing . Willett showed and mucked.
Rich Alsup called a raise preflop and then check-called 250,000 on a flop. Chad Willett checked back the turn, and Alsup bet 300,000 on the river.
"Good hand, I call," Willett said. Alsup had air though, having missed a straight with , and Willett won with .
Rich Alsup bet 100,000 in a limped pot on a flop, and he checked the turn. Chad Willett checked back, and both checked the river. Alsup flicked into the middle for a flush.