Another for Ari: Engel Takes Down MSPT Potawatomi

  • Mo NuwwarahMo Nuwwarah
Ari Engel

Poker's perhaps most consistent grinder added another one to the trophy case on Monday, as Canadian Ari Engel took down Mid-States Poker Tour Potawatomi for $114,876.

It's his second trophy inside of a month after claiming a PokerStars spade trophy last month in a side event at PokerStars Championship Panama.

Engel is also an eight-time WSOP Circuit ring winner, a former HPT champ, and the 2016 Aussie Millions champ, his crowning achievement in the live poker arena.

Official Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHometownPrize
1Ari EngelLas Vegas, NV$114,876
2Carlos MonteiroMinneapolis, MN$69,405
3Keith HeineHillsboro, MO$45,232
4George DietzOak Park, IL$31,352
5Jim JuvancicWestchester, IL$23,933
6Alex ZiskinVernon Hills, IL$18,428
7Brad JansenWest Bend, WI$15,317
8Dan CrawfordArlington, WI$12,684
9Patrick McCulloughGrand Rapids, MI$10,722
10Rich AlsupNew Hope, MN$8,137

MSPT Potawatomi drew 495 entries this time around, with 45 places paid. Nadya Magnus, Aaron Johnson, Kenny Nguyen, Carter Myers, and Jeremy Dresch were some of the players advancing into the money but going bust before the start of the final table.

Engel almost found himself among that group, but he was fortunate to catch when he got almost all of his 15 big blinds in preflop with {k-Clubs}{q-Spades} and flopped a king against a player with {a-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} when about 20 players remained.

Engel then flopped a set of twos against an opponent with pocket fives, enabling him to go into the final table essentially tied for the chip lead, according to the live updates.

One notable competitor to reach the final table was 2016 MSPT Player of the Year Rich Alsup, but he saw his run end in 10th when he couldn't overcome ace-queen with ace-eight. Engel then got lucky with sevens against eights to send out Patrick McCullough.

With six players left, Alex Ziskin got it in there with nines against the ace-king of Jim Juvancic, with big slick prevailing. Ziskin, a 2016 bracelet winner, had the second-most earnings at the final table after Engel.

Juvancic then shoved over an Engel raise with 10 big blinds holding {k-Clubs}{q-Hearts}, but Engel had him crushed with {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades}. An ace appeared on the flop to all but end it, and another on the turn did Juvancic in for good.

George Dietz looked like he'd finally slow down the Engel train, getting it in good with {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds} against {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}. The board ran out {2-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{k-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} though, giving Engel a flush and another knockout.

After Keith Heine busted out, it was heads up between Engel and Carlos Monteiro. The two got in a flip with Engel holding ace-jack and Monteiro pocket eights, and Engel flopped trip aces to bring the trophy home.

It was a perfect end for Engel after a hectic poker journey across the U.S. that saw him hit three different tournaments in the span of just a few days.

After taking eighth in the $25,000 Super High Roller at Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open for $78,300, Engel jetted over to WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Council Bluffs for the $1,100 event. He bricked that, then headed right on over to Potawatomi and ended up shipping a six-figure win.

“There’s a Jewish holiday that starts tomorrow night, so I didn’t want to play any tournament that went into Monday,” Engel explained to MSPT staff.

Mission accomplished.

Photo courtesy of MSPT

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