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Marc Bernal Wins The Inaugural Mid-States Poker Tour Chicago Main Event

Bernal Scored The Top Prize Worth $130,822 Along With His First Mid-States Poker Tour Title


Marc Bernal – Photo Credit: Mid-States Poker Tour

Marc Bernal claimed the top prize at the inaugural Mid-States Poker Tour Chicago main event on August 13 at the Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago. The $130,822 in prize money he took home at the top of the prize pool was the largest cash of his career. Bernal now holds just under $500,000 in tournament earnings, and this is his third poker tournament victory.

“Elated, I feel as though that is a good way to describe how I’m feeling right now,” Bernal told reporters after the win. He continued by describing the atmosphere at the final table: “History adds a lot, we are all for the most part PLO players, and even though the games themselves are very different, the tendencies are the same. The final table was more friendly, which made it a lot more fun. Honestly the competition between the final five of us was more friendly than it was competitive. A lot easier to handle the swings because of that.”

The $1,110 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament had three starting flights and attracted 841 runners to build up a prize pool of $814,270. The top 90 players cashed for at least $2,117 in prize money. Day 2 saw a field of 101 players return to play all the way down to a champion.

The final table was reached a little after 8 pm, and Bernal was third in chips when cards got into the air between the final nine. One of the biggest names at the final table was the first to fall when Kyle Julius busted in ninth place, and then Bernal recorded his first knockout when he took down Rob Wazwaz in eighth place.

The chip counts fluctuated quite a bit during an extended four-handed battle that saw Bernal drop to the lowest stack in play at one point, but a timely double up started his climb back to the top. Bernal took out Kevin Andriamehefa in fourth place, and he kept the momentum rolling by busting Michael Puccio in third place as well.

Bernal held more than a 2:1 chip advantage at the start of heads-up play against Todd Sladek, but their roles reversed after Sladek woke up with pocket aces in a big hand. Bernal was able to get back out in front a short time later before the final hand of the tournament transpired.

Sladek was all in preflop with QDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit in the hole, and Bernal had him covered holding KHeart Suit9Heart Suit. The board ran out AClub SuitAHeart Suit3Diamond Suit10Heart Suit7Club Suit, and Sladek was eliminated in second place, good for $98,823 in prize money. Sladek came very close to his first six-figure score thanks to the deep run, and his career earnings are now above $450,000.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Marc Bernal $130,822 912
2 Todd Sladek $98,823 760
3 Michael Puccio $98,823 608
4 Kevin Andriamehefa $53,742 456
5 Maxx Holland $40,714 380
6 Mo Nuwwarah $30,942 304
7 David Gutfreund $23,614 228
8 Rob Wazwaz $18,728 152
9 Kyle Julius $14,657 76

The next stop for the MSPT takes the tour to the Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa for a $1,110 buy-in main event that runs from August 18-20.