A regular in local cash games, Luke Arora doesn’t venture onto the tournament scene often. But he made an exception for the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Running Aces Main Event in Minnesota, and he made it count. Arora dominated MSPT Team Pro Matt Alexander to score his first MSPT title and $83,773. He also had to defeat MSPT regulars Jeff Fielder, Mark Sandness, Jeremy Dresch and Tyler Caspers.
“He’s a really good player, I just ran hot against him,” Arora said of Alexander after his win. “I just ran hot from the final table on.”
It took a few eliminations for the eventual winner to make his mark at the final table. Eventually, he put his pocket eights in play against Dresch’s pocket fours, re-raising 496,000. The 5♢, 5♤, 10♢, 6♤, A♢ board didn’t give anyone the set and Arora took the hand, upping his stack to about a million. The now short-stacked Dresch busted soon after in sixth.
Arora scored another big pot against Nathan Baum while holding an A♧, 8♢. A flop of J♢, 10♡, Q♡ gave Baum (Q♧, 10♢) two pair. Fortunately for Arora, he was able to make his straight with a river king.
Baum survived a while longer. After Fielder went home in fifth, Baum eliminated Sandness in fourth, but that was all she wrote. He went up against Alexander holding an A♡, 6♧ and managed to score a pair on the 6♤, Q♡, 4♤ flop. A 9♢ on the turn failed to help Alexander’s 10♤, 8♤, but a 3♤ on the river gave Alexander the flush and sent Baum away with $32,604.
Both of the final two players had large stacks to start heads-up play, but Arora pulled ahead early. The final hand saw Alexander holding J♢, 9♤ against Arora’s J♤, 8♡. The 6♤, J♧, 8♧ flop put the weaker hand ahead and, when two blanks hit the board thereafter, Arora took the title.
Final table results:
(Photo credit: slgckgc, Creative Commons)
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