The Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Poker Bowl has just crowned its latest champion. After a grueling 15-hour play, Johnny Oshana from San Jose California bagged the top prize of $130,000 following a four-way deal.
It’s the fifth time in a row that the tournament ended in a deal. All of the past editions also concluded with the remaining finalists agreeing to chop the money. Last year, it was Bob Whalen who came out on top, after a five-way deal was struck. He took home over $140,000 in winnings. The MSPT Poker Bowl took place at the Venetian in Las Vegas.
Massive Achievement for Oshana
Oshana works as a mechanical engineer and is a regular at Bay 101 where he takes part in tournaments during weekends. It was at the same cardroom that he was able to score his first recorded live cash back in 2013.
Prior to his participation in the MSPT Poker Bowl V, Oshana had $21,325 in total live earnings. That has now been eclipsed by his most recent victory. Oshana plans to use his MSPT winnings to pay off his son’s car.
The other three players involved in the deal were Jordan Cristos who took second place for $119,232, Joris Springael finished in third place for $85,000 and Seungmook Jung took fourth place and went home with $85,000.
The latest edition of the MSPT Poker Bowl attracted 908 entries across multiple starting flights, which dwindled down to just 116 when Day 2 kicked off. The top 96 players were able to take home some cash, including some prominent names in the game, such as Ralph Massey, Adam Hendrix, Tim Reilly, Sean Yu, Asher Conniff, Javier Zarco, and 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Ryan Riess.
David Gu became the bubble player, eliminated in ninth place, courtesy of Springael.
Final Table Action
The final table kicked off with Oshana holding a massive chip lead (6,900,000). When the action began, his closest rival was Springael who had 4,000,000 in chips.
Canada’s Erik Cajelais failed to advance further after becoming the first player to be eliminated from the final table. He min-raised to 200,000 holding 9s9d. Jung called from the big blind with 5c4c. After the 7h4h4d flop, the Canadian bet 200,000, and Jung answered with a raise to 650,000. It led to Cajelais jamming for 1,600,000 and Jung called. A 5s on the turn gave the South Korean a full house, ending Cajelais’ bid in 8th place for $14,092.
Oshana initiated the second elimination, busting Kfir Nahum in 7th place for $20,257. The eventual winner went on to send Quy Dao to the rail, the latter taking home $26,423 in 6th place winnings.
After that, Oshana’s bid was put to the test when his aggressive strategy brought his chips down. During the post-game interview, he admitted he got caught up in the moment during that time and it forced him to change his style and focus on playing smart. The change in strategy benefited him and he stuck it to the end.
Brandon Eisen ended his journey halfway through the final table. The Las Vegas player called off his remaining 10 big blinds with Ad8d after Cristos moved all in with AsKh. The five community cards ran KcJs6d7d5s and Cristos’ cards prevailed. Eisen settled for 5th place for $34,350.
During four-handed play, the remaining players initially played for about an hour to determine a winner, but they eventually decided to look at the numbers. The negotiations hadn’t been clear sailing though, as Jung wanted to take home at least $85,000 (the ICM deal initially resulted in him receiving $81,000 but he was hesitant to accept that).
To make sure everyone would agree to the deal, Cristos offered a portion of his winnings to meet Jung’s $85K target. Jung walked away with $85K in 4th place, with Springael also receiving a similar amount for finishing 3rd.
Johnny Oshana’s $130,000 MSPT Poker Bowl top prize represents his biggest score so far, even surpassing all of his accumulated live earnings in the past.