The action was fast and the denouement dramatic as Connor Stuewe conquered the final table of the $1,600-entry Mid Stakes Poker Tour (MSPT) Venetian Main Event. A three-way deal came after a final table where the chip leader was chopped down and a WSOP bracelet winner had a huge impact on the destiny of the title.

Jaffee Leader as Final Table Begins

The final nine gathered with Jared Jaffee holding the chip lead, but with his stack only worth 67 big blinds, there was still time for everything to change and so it proved. The first player out went with the chip stacks proving pivotal, however, as Errol Samuel, who had entered the final table with just nine big blinds to his name, couldn’t double back into the reckoning. Samuel shoved for those nine bigs with ace-jack and ran into Peter Lynn’s ace-king to bust for $19,203.

Next to go was Jared Strauss in a surprise exit. Strauss had begun the final with 39 big blinds, third in chips, but fell down the pecking order and shoved for around eight big blinds with pocket sixes. He was flipping for his tournament life against Connor Stuewe’s king-queen, however, and a king on the turn ended Strauss’ hopes of a recovery, sending him home in eighth place for $24,079.

Just 20 minutes later, the field was down to six. CJ Peake busted in seventh place for $30,973 after getting just six big blinds into the middle with ace-ten. Again it was a situation where the short stack was dominated and Lynn was again the scythe chopping down another opponent, his ace-jack easily claiming another victim as an eight-high board condemned Peake to the rail.

David Jackson Takes Out the Leader

With six players remaining, the momentum had changed, and the chip lead had done so with it on a number of occasions. Lynn had knocked out two players in the first three eliminations but found himself walking toward the cash desk after busting in sixth for $41,135. Lynn was down to fumes by the time he moved all-in with jack-ten and had the fortune of flipping for his tournament life, only to run dry against Stuewe’s pocket threes as the latter won two crucial coinflips in a row.

It was the chip leader at the start of the final who busted next. Jared Jaffee crashed out in fifth place for $55,052 when his last six big blinds went into the middle with the drawing hand of jack-queen of hearts. He was crushed by an absolute monster, however, as WSOP bracelet winner David Jackson had pocket aces. A board without either a jack or a queen had already doomed Jaffee by the time the river fell and he made his way from the room.

It has already been a busy week on the MSPT after the earlier $1,100-entry Venetian Main Event saw Dylan Linde pipped to the top prize. Jackson was on a roll and determined to win the next Main Event on offer in this tournament.

Pupillo Exit Leads to Dramatic Deal

After taking out Jaffee, Jackson added the talented poker professional Nick Pupillo to his list of victims. Pupillo made the right call, putting himself at risk but going into a huge run-out looking to bag a massive pot with pocket tens. It was Jackson who had shoved light with king-eight of diamonds, but the board was a dream, a king on the flop eventually not making any difference as he made a runner-runner straight on the river. Pupillo was out for a score of $75,017.

With three players left, the chip stacks balanced up a little and talk of a deal always looked likely. When it came, Aaron Massey was happy to accept a little less ($139,852), with David Jackson only falling short of the winner’s prize by a couple of thousand. All three men virtually doubled the fourth-place prize money so will feel delighted with the tournament’s conclusion.

With a biggest-ever career cash of $33,900 and a live poker career total of $113,545 prior to this event, Connor Stuewe’s first major title of this size has eclipsed his entire live earnings in one hit, with the top prize of $156,520 representing life-changing money. David Jackson may have fallen short of the title after the ICM deal, but the ruthless career pro won’t care one bit, with another $154,589 going into his coffers and bringing his lifetime poker winnings at the live felt to over $3.8 million.

MSPT $1,600 Venetian Main Event Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize  
1st Connor Stuewe U.S.A. $156,520*  
2nd David Jackson U.S.A. $154,589*  
3rd Aaron Massey U.S.A. $139,852*  
4th Nick Pupillo U.S.A. $75,017  
5th Jared Jaffee U.S.A. $55,052  
6th Peter Lynn U.S.A. $41,135  
7th CJ Peake U.S.A. $30,973  
8th Jared Strauss U.S.A. $24,079  
9th Errol Samuel U.S.A. $19,203  


* denotes three-handed deal

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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