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MSPT Season 7 finale draws record-setting crowd

13 December 2016

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Mid-States Poker Tour Season 7 finale at Canterbury Park - Racetrack & Card Casino drew 464 entrants (213 on Day 1a and 251 on 1b), which made it the second-largest MSPT ever held at the venue. The $200,000 advertised guarantee was more than doubled, and after three days of play 47-year-old chief underwriter and recreational poker player Jonathan Kim emerged victorious to capture a $107,659 first-place prize.

"It's been a long time coming," said Kim, who qualified for the tournament via a $250 satellite. "I've been playing the MSPT since the beginning, but this is actually my first MSPT cash. It's pretty cool."

While it was his first cash on the tour, Kim is a familiar face at Canterbury Park. The majority of his previous $37,886 in lifetime earnings have come at the cardroom, including his former best cash of $4,423, which came from finishing ninth in the 2009 Twin Cities Poker Open.

Kim said he doesn't have any immediate plans for the money other than to help with his 19-year-old son's college education.

Final Table Results
1. Jonathan Kim (Minneapolis, MN), $107,659
2. Sam Hanson (Hudson, WI), $65,050
3. Jason Bender (Keota, IA), $42,391
4. Alan Carty (Eden Prairie, MN), $29,382
5. Sam Rubin (Minneapolis, MN), $22,429
6. Loki Abboud (Mendota Heights, MN), $17,270
7. Ken Pates (Brooklyn Park, MN), $14,355
8. Todd Fisher (Arlington, MN), $11,887
9. Zeph Baer (St. Paul, MN), $10,048
10. Kou Vang (Maplewood, MN), $7,626

Day 2 saw 78 players return to action, but 33 of them needed to leave empty handed before the money was made at the top 45. Among those to miss out on a payday were Minnesota Poker Hall of Famer Mike Schneider, MSPT Pro Matt Kirby, and bubble boy Scotter Clark.

Notables who walked away with a cash were Day 1a chip leader Jim Boone (41st, $2,243), two-time MSPT champ Jeremy Dresch (19th, $3,364), Blue Shark Optic's Erick Wright (13th, $5,832), and World Series of Poker bracelet winner John Reading (12th, $7,626).

Kim got off to a hot start at the final table when on Hand #12 he looked down at pocket kings and chip leader Sam Rubin picked up pocket queens. The latter player flatted preflop, but fell for the fast play of Kim, who flopped top pair and bet it. He then shoved the turn and Rubin check-called drawing dead. That gave Kim the chip lead and he never looked back, especially after his Big Slick overcame the queens of his most experienced competition, Kou Vang, in 10th place.

"I wanted him to think I didn't have it, tried to induce action," Kim said of the big hand against Rubin. "It was a bit of reverse psychology. I was obviously running hot, and once I had half the chips in play I was very aggressive. Pedal to the metal."

That does it for Season 7 of the MSPT. We'll now be on break for the holidays, but don't worry, Season 8 is just around the corner. We'll kick things off on 5-8 January with a $350 buy-in, $100,000 guarantee Regional Event at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Then, we're headed down to BestBet Poker, Simulcast and Racing - Jacksonville for a week full of poker including both a MSPT Regional and Main Event. For our full Season 8 schedule, visit the front page of the website.

For more details and hand highlights, visit the MSPT Live Blog.

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