Jeff Birt Wins Record-Breaking MSPT Columbus Main Event

Jeff Birt Wins Record-Breaking MSPT Columbus Main EventLatest stop on the Mid-States Poker Tour was the Running Aces Casino in Columbus, Minnesota which ran from September 16-24, and culminated in its $1,110 Main Event. The turnout for the tournament then proved to be the largest in the venue’s nine-year history of hosting the competition, with 383 players helping to create a prize pool of $370,010. Two days later, and it was Minnesota resident Jeff Birt who would eventually triumph over the field to claim the title, and a first place prize worth $81,402.
Following a victory which pushes his lifetime earnings to $132,093, the 50-year-old businessman stated:
“This is my passion… I thought I played pretty well. I was short stacked, I just had to pick the right spots, be patient, and let the cards come to me. It’s been a long time coming. It was a good time, enjoyable.”
The MSPT Columbus Main Event featured 45 money spots, and amongst the recognizable pros booking a return on their buy-ins was Luke Bohnen in 41st ($2,035), Saad Ghanem in 35th ($2,220), John Reading in 25th ($2,590), Peixin Liu in 19th ($3,478), Keith Heine in 18th ($4,070), and Ahmed Taleb in 15th ($4,810).
After reaching the final table of ten, Jeff Birt then managed to progress all the way through to heads-up play where he enjoyed a chip advantage over truck driver Tony Lacey. Birt maintained his lead thereafter, and on the final hand the two players saw a 4-J-6 flop with Birt check-calling his opponent’s bet. An A on the turn saw Birt subsequently check-raise Lacey’s bet, resulting in Lacey pushing all-in for his remaining chips.
Making the call, Birt (A-8) was in good shape against Lacey (A-2), and with a J falling on the river, Lacey had to settle for a consolation prize worth $50,325, while Birt was crowned the winner. Commenting on his play after the tournament, Birt said:
“I know a lot of people would’ve shipped it with a lot of hands I laid down, but that’s not my style. I try to pick the better spots. The very next hand you could have pocket aces and double up, so I don’t always believe in getting it in. I had a couple of lucky spots, but I think I played well.”
Final Table Results:
1: Jeff Birt $81,402
2: Tony Lacey $50,325
3: Steve Webb $36,631
4: Vlad Tkachuk $27,011
5: Xong Lee $20,351
6: Steve Wazwaz $15,540
7: Freddie West $12,210
8: Durwin Matuska $9,620
9: Alex Moua $7,030
10: Harold Brenden $5,920

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