It had been several years since JACK Cleveland Casino, formerly Horseshoe Cleveland, hosted a major poker event. That changed this weekend with the $1,100 buy-in MSPT Cleveland Poker Open, which wound up generating the largest tournament field and prize pool in Cleveland history.
Title Stays in Ohio
The tournament drew 581 entries to create a $581,000 total prize pool. It also marked the MSPT’s first Main Event of Season 9 and their first-ever stop in Ohio. On Sunday night, 34-year-old Abdul “Dulie” Amer of Columbus, Ohio, finished as the last player standing to win $118,350.
“I haven’t scooped a tournament in forever, just always get deep but hard to break through, especially in these bigger ones with good players,” said Amer, a married father of two.
He joked when asked about what he’ll do with his first six-figure score. “It’ll take care of about $50K to bookies, I’m a big sports gambler,” he said.
Prior to the win, he had $95,595 in tournament earnings including a previous best of $25,230 for finishing third in a 2014 Borgata Winter Poker Open $560 NLHE event.
In the tournament, Amer actually began heads-up play down 2-1 in chips against Buffalo’s Dan Wagner. Over the next few hours, they battled back-and-forth battle and exchanged the chip lead several times before things came to a head in Level 33 (100,000/200,000/30,000).
That is when Amer raised to 400,000 holding the A♣8♣ and called when Wagner shoved for 4.6 million with the A♠5♠. The board ran out 4♦K♥3♣10♠8♦ and Wagner hit the rail in second place for $72,701.
“Blinds were big, I know he’s going to shove with any ace,” Amer said when asked about why he decided to take a shot in the last hand. “He shoved earlier with queen-jack, so I know he’s a capable player.”
Shanahan Cracks Top 10
Two other interesting storylines played out at the final table. Minnesota’s Brian Berthiaume was at back-to-back Main Event final tables after finishing fifth in December’s MSPT Season 8 finale at Canterbury Park. Unfortunately for him, he lost a race with A♠Q♦ against the 6♣6♠ of MSPT Season 8 FireKeepers champ Mike Shanahan. The board ran out K♦5♠5♥K♠2♣ and Berthiaume had to settle for eighth place and $13,526 in prize money.
Speaking of Shanahan, he busted in fourth place for $39,450 after his A♣Q♠ and failed to get there against the 8♥8♣ of Wagner after a 10♠5♥6♠4♥8♦ runout. The score brought Shanahan’s MSPT earnings up to $278,607, which allowed him to crack the Top 10 on the tour’s all-time money list.
Others to cash the MSPT JACK Cleveland were 2017 MSPT Indiana State Poker Champ Satish Thakur (62nd for $2,142), legendary Cleveland radio show host Michael “Triv” Trivisonno (38th for $2,423), final table bubble boy Kenneth Coppens (11th for $8,454), and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Adam Friedman (3rd for $52,976).
Season 9 of the MSPT continues this week with the $1,100 buy-in, $500K GTD Poker Bowl II at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Final Tables Results
1 Abdul Amer (Columbus, OH) $118,350
2 Daniel Wagner (Buffalo, NY) $72,701
3 Adam Friedman (Gahanna, OH) $52,976
4 Mike Shanahan (Avon, IN) $39,450
5 Ronnie Lamb (Denver, CO) $29,869
6 Mike Peppin (Cleveland, OH) $22,543
7 John Michalak (Cleveland, OH) $17,471
8 Brian Berthiaume (Cottage Grove, MN) $13,526
9 Luke Edwards (Columbus, OH) $10,708
10 Randall Brooks (Detroit, MI) $8,454
Editor’s Note: Cardschat and MSPT share a cross-promotional alliance. Chad Holloway is Media Director for MSPT.