Sixteen-hours after the start of the Venetian $1,100 Main Event, 2020 Mid-States Poker Tour, a champion was finally crowned. Twenty-one year old Landon Tice walked away with the life-changing $201,529 first-place prize.
In what was only his third live poker tournament, Tice landed his first big win, outlasting 1,123 other entrants. The total prize pool for the tournament was more than $1 million.
Before this tournament, the 21-year-old from Boca Raton, Florida had just three online cash tournaments under his belt. Tice started competing in poker with micro-stakes cash games. He worked his way up, finally adding the MSPT championship to his list of wins.
“You know, It feels good,” said Tice. “It feels really good!”
It was a hard, heads-up play against Brandon Lombardo that topped off the four-hour-long final table. A three-to-one underdog, Lombardo sat down at the table and held his ground. For a short time, Lombardo even found a double and took the chip lead. But, that lead was short-lived, with nearly-even stacks and Tice making two pair on the river. Tice finally doubled to short Lombardo, who called his shove with top pair.
Crazy Action on Day 2
Out of the 1,123 entries across two starting flights, only 145 players returned on the morning of Day 2. In just the first level of play, 17 were eliminated. That left the 128 remaining players set to make it into the money. The elimination rate remained steady and the player field rapidly shrunk. By the second break of the day, only 45 players remained and two hours later at the second break, only 24 were left for the final three tables.
By the three final tables, plenty of well-known players were left, including Frank Funaro, Nick Pupillo, Sean Yu, Jason Seitz, and the 2019 Player of the Year Mike Shin. However, everyone failed to reach the final table, with Shin falling out in ninth place.
At the final table, Andrew Rodgers was the first to leave the final table. Several short stacks players were hanging in there, including David Larson, who was below one big blind with 15 players left. But Larson was unable to move ahead with king-ten against Byung Shin’s pocket queens. But just a hand later, Shin has his stack padded all-in with pocket nines against Tice’s ace-king; Tice ultimately hit a king on the flop sending Shin packing from the table in sixth.
Tice sent Abraham Hichman packing in fifth, just fifteen minutes later. For that moment, play slowed down. Sara Stohler hung in for two full levels of four-handed play, but also eventually lost to Tice. Tice went on to knock out third-place Jesse Vilchez to take a three-to-one chip lead into his head-on play with Lombardo.
However, Lombardo played hard, giving Tice a run for his money. For almost a full level, Lombardo stayed afloat, trading pots before finding a double. After that, he kicked out Tice with a pair of eights. Some rumors of chopping popped up, but proposed numbers didn’t work for either party, and play continued. Just a few minutes later, Tice got a double and claimed the championship, along with the life-changing prize of $201,529.
Tice is not letting up on the grind, and is expected to return to the Venetian for the $1,600 Main Event.
“I’m just going to keep on playing poker,” Tice said.
GTD MSPT Main Event
The $400K GTD MSPT Main Event, which took place at Venetian on November 19-23, required a $1,600 buy-in.
The tournament started players with 30,000 chips and 60-minute play levels. There were also three starting flights instead of just two, starting on Day 1. Days 1b and 1c took place on Friday, November 20, and Saturday, November 21.