Matt Shepsky Wins 2018 Chicago Poker Classic for $195K, Increasing Lifetime Earnings Over $1M

Over the past week and a half, the 2018 Chicago Poker Classic attracted some of the Midwest’s best to Horseshoe Hammond next door in Indiana. The festival culminated on Monday with the final table of the $2,000 Main Event, and in dramatic fashion, the title and a fresh BMW came down to the river.

Along with six-figures in prize cash, Matt Shepsky was awarded a fresh BMW all thanks to a fortuitous river card. (Image: Chicago Poker Classic)

Dreams Drowned on River

The Main Event boasted a $1 million guaranteed prize pool, which it surpassed by bringing 646 entries over two beginning flights. Of those, 91 advanced to Sunday’s Day 2, and they were cut down to the final ten years before Monday’s finale.

Finally, Illinois’ Matt Shepsky and Wisconsin’s Eddie Blumenthal made it to heads-up play with the prior holding a 4/1 chip lead. An early double for Blumenthal evened the stacks, and both chosen for an even chop while leaving the car and $10,000 in prize money up top.

In what could be the final hand of the tournament, the two players put in 300,000 preflop and saw a flop of 9♠5♣2♣. Shepsky checked, Blumenthal bet 300,000, and Shepsky check-raised to 875,000.

Blumenthal, who is a month removed from winning his first WSOP Circuit ring and the Casino Championship in Potawatomi Casino, made the call and the 8♠ peeled off on the turn. Shepsky bet 1.3 million and then called off when Blumenthal moved all in.

Blumenthal tabled the 2♠2♦ to get a setup while Shepsky the A♣4♣ for flush and straight draws. Blumenthal was one card away from the likely win, but it was snatched away when the 6♣ spiked on the river to provide Shepsky the flush.

“I usually feel good heads up and then I was like, ‘What the hell’s going on? I can’t win a hand’ And then, it ended up working out in the end,” Shepsky told officials after the win.

It marked the second-largest score of Shepsky’s career after he won the 2015 Heartland Poker Tour Golden Gates Main Event for $227,864. Additionally, it marked his second win at Horseshoe Hammond seeing as he took down the $660 buy-in 2015 WSOP Circuit Summer Warm-Up Series Main Event for $47,200.

The win also attracted Shepsky’s life tournament earnings around $1,044,338, making him poker’s latest millionaire.

Others to money the 2018 Chicago Poker Classic Main Event were Joe Elpayaa (11th for $17,691), WSOP bracelet winner Jean Gaspard (15th for $14,399), Howard Hankin (47th for $3,832), and Allen Kessler (68th for $3,212).

Final Table Results
1 Matt Shepsky $195,367
2 Eddie Blumenthal $185,366
3 Al Motiwala $106,744
4 Bob Dokhanchi $79,381
5 Michael Moncek $59,831
6 Aaron Steury $45,697
7 Mark Oushanna $35,360
8 Joseph Saltanovitz $27,719
9 Chris Carrigeer $22,005
10 Frank Cerminara $17,691

Famed Poker Author McManus Among CPC Winners

The 2018 Chicago Poker Classic Main Event was the premiere event on the schedule, but it was far from the only one. The festival really kicked off a week earlier with Event #1: $360 NLH $500K GTD, a tournament that drew 2,099 entries. The final five players — that comprised Yoon Kim, Victor Gitterle, James Boblak, and Steve Federspiel — chosen to even chop at $49,927 apiece with Greg Koutelidakis being named champ.

Nick Jivkov (Image: CPC)

In Event #3: $360 NLHE w/ $100 bounties, 281 players created a $55,638 prize pool. The final four players — Ryan Svoboda, Tony Vucinaj, Ben Ponzio, and Phongsak Saetia — chopped for $8,003 each. A final hand was dealt to determine the winner, and it was Svoboda who walked off with the trophy.

Event #6: $600 Deepstack 8-Max, that brought 131 players, saw WSOP bracelet winner and MSPT champ Nick Jivkov, a member of Chip Leader Coaching, finish as the last player standing for $18,852. Jivkov also made two other final tables during the 2018 Chicago Poker Classic.

“I ran pretty good in the end when it counted,” Jivkov told CPC official after the win. “It feels good to win it outright with no deals, and really, this seems really good because it’s my first at home win.”

“Positively Fifth Street” and “Cowboys Full” author Jim McManus topped a field of 303 entrances to win first of 2 Special $200 NLHE side events at #ChicagoPokerClassic for $11,042 & $2K Main Event seat. Jeff Dezort won the other $200 Special occasion for $10,000 after a four-way deal.

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