Live Events 2
$1,100 Main Event

Event Info

Buy-in $1,100
Players 409

Level Info

Level 27
Blinds 30,000 / 60,000
Ante 10,000



$1,100 Main Event
Day 2 Completed

Aaron Johnson Makes MSPT Main Event Breakthrough With Meskwaki Title ($86,951)

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
Aaron Johnson
Aaron Johnson

The MSPT Meskwaki Main Event has reached its conclusion after it took 10 hours to cut a field of 50 down to a champion.

Emerging as that champion was MSPT regular Aaron Johnson, who won his first MSPT title for $86,951. A main event title was the only thing missing from his MSPT resume as he did everything possible on the MSPT tour and came up just short in many previous close calls.

“Felling really good. A runner-up finish might have just killed me. To get a main event win in an MSPT, it feels amazing”. said Johnson afterwards, referring to his previous two 2nd place finishes and six final tables.

The Red Wing, MN native adds this score to his over 1 million in career earnings as he continues to cement himself as one of the best players from the Midwestern USA, when asked what he would do with the big boost in cash he replied with a laugh “I’ll probably start an IRA or something, nothing fun unfortunately”.

Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHometownPrize Money
1Aaron JohnsonRed Wing, MN$86,951
2Saad GhanemBurnsville, MN$53,749
3Nicholas MarshHumboldt, IA$39,128
4Jeff PetronackHugo, MN$28,852
5Alex WinterSaint Paul, MN$21,738
6Jason TrezakPortage, IN$16,600
7Derek McMasterMinneapolis, MN$13,043
8Joseph MathesonMonticello, MN$10,276
9Mike ShinMount Prospect, IL$7,509
10Reg PowellElk River, MN$6,324

Road To Title

Johnson began the day slightly above the average in chips, starting in 18th place out of the 50 starting players. He flew under the radar for most of the day, keeping a steady chip count, never getting too low but never emerging as a huge stack at any point either.

He entered the final table 8th in chips and slowly built his stack until he was heads up against Saad Ghanem. The heads up battle would prove to be the defining moments of Johnson’s title as he began the heads up battle with a 3:1 chip disadvantage and had to start chipping away at Ghanem quickly. And chip away he did as he looked to play small pots and let Ghanem’s aggressive style do the bidding.

“My strategy heads up was to keep pots as small as possible. I know Saad likes to blow pots and kinda increase variance. My plan was to just play my game and grind him down and find the best spots” he explained afterwards.

Two hands were key in pulling Johnson close and eventually beyond Ghanem. On both occasions calling down Ghanem’s aggressive betting to take the pots. The final hand followed the same formula as Ghanem triple barreled into Johnson’s trip jacks including a shove on the river which Johnson snap called and turned over the winning hand to confirm his title.

Final Day Action

The day began with 50 players. Play was rapid as eliminations went quick and the money bubble only took one hand to breach at 45. Before the three table redraw, Nick Marsh emerged as the first big chip leader of the day as he surged to above a million in chips when he hit a jack to crack queens and also take pocket tens in a double elimination. He would ride that momentum as the field continued to shrink.

Eventually the final table was reached after about 7 hours of play. Current MSPT player of the year leader Mike Shin was eliminated in 9th place, but this result extends his lead on top of the leaderboard.

Start of day chip leader Derek McMaster bit the dust in 7th place when his ace-queen was one-outed by Johnson’s pocket kings when the case king hit the river after McMaster had flopped trip aces.

Play continued until play was three-handed when Marsh went from chip leader to the short stack after dropping some pots and he was eventually eliminated in third when his pocket fours went down to the pocket jacks of Ghanem.

That wraps up the PokerNews coverage from here in Meskwaki, join us next time for more MSPT coverage.

Tags: Aaron JohnsonDerek McMasterMike ShinNick MarshSaad GhanemVariance

Saad Ghanem Eliminated in 2nd Place ($53,749)

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
Saad Ghanem
Saad Ghanem

Saad Ghanem raised preflop to 300,000 after Aaron Johnson limped. Johnson came along with the call.

The flop came {k-Hearts}{j-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Ghanem quickly bet 400,000 and Johnson quickly called.

The turn was the {j-Diamonds}. Ghanem quickly fired again with a bet of 1,000,000. Johnson paused and thought a few moments before committing the chips to the middle.

The river was the {6-Clubs}. Ghanem jammed all in and Johnson snap called and turned over the {j-Hearts}{8-Hearts} for trips which easily beat the {9-Hearts}{5-Clubs} that was revealed by Ghanem.

Aaron Johnson us
Aaron Johnson
us 8,180,000 3,050,000
Saad Ghanem us
Saad Ghanem
us Busted

Tags: Aaron JohnsonSaad Ghanem

Johnson Calls It Down to Take Chip Lead

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante

Saad Ghanem raised to 250,000 preflop and Aaron Johnson called.

The flop came {8-Spades}{k-Spades}{5-Clubs}. Ghanem bet 300,000, Johnson called.

The turn was the {6-Diamonds}. Ghanem loaded up again and fired 500,000 which Johnson called once again.

The river paired the board as the {k-Hearts} came. Ghanem continued the aggression as he bet 1,000,000. Johnson did not call as quickly this time as he thought ot over for about 20 seconds before ultimately calling.

It was a good call as Ghanem turned over the {q-Hearts}{9-Clubs} for nothing while Johnson had the {j-Hearts}{8-Clubs} for the winner to take over the chip lead.

Aaron Johnson us
Aaron Johnson
us 5,130,000 1,960,000
Saad Ghanem us
Saad Ghanem
us 3,050,000 -1,960,000

Tags: Aaron JohnsonSaad Ghanem

Johnson Beats Ghanem Into Pot With Call

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante

The flop came {8-Hearts}{j-Spades}{10-Spades}. Saad Ghanem bet 250,000 and Aaron Johnson called.

The turn was the {a-Hearts}. Both players checked. The rivr came the {4-Hearts}. Ghamen bet 300,000 but before he could finish putting the chips into the middle, Johnson beat him into the middle with a call and turned over the {j-Hearts}{9-Clubs} which was better than the {j-Diamonds}{3-Spades} of Ghanem as he cut into the lead of Ghanem heads up.

Saad Ghanem us
Saad Ghanem
us 5,010,000 -700,000
Aaron Johnson us
Aaron Johnson
us 3,170,000 810,000

Tags: Aaron JohnsonSaad Ghanem

Marsh Doubles

jeffmcmillan • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante

Nick Marsh min raised. Saad Ghanem moved all in over the top and Marsh called.

Marsh had the better of it with the {a-Clubs}{j-Hearts} vs the {k-Spades}{9-Spades} of Ghanem.

The board would keep Marsh alive as it came {6-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{q-Spades}{2-Clubs}.

Saad Ghanem us
Saad Ghanem
us 4,400,000 -25,000
Nick Marsh us
Nick Marsh
us 1,700,000 790,000

Tags: Nick MarshSaad Ghanem