"I was the chosen one for this one"--Bryce McVay wins Moneymaker Tour Main Event

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: November 07, 2023 18:00 PST

Sometimes the poker gods pick you.

Bryce McVay can testify to this truth following his victory in the Moneymaker Tour Main Event at Palm Beach Kennel Club. McVay began the six-handed final table second in chips, only slightly behind eventual runner-up Ian O'Hara.

Over the course of the next four hours, McVay would go to work, collecting chips until he had them all. McVay collected $98,074, along with the Moneymaker Tour trophy, for his efforts.

McVay outlasts, runs better than the field

The Moneymaker Tour returned to its roots at the Palm Beach Kennel Club from October 25th-November 6th.

The $1,500 Main Event at PBKC concluded the series. The event offered players three Day 1 starting flights to choose from and drew a field of 342 entrants, generating a prize pool of $461,700.

Craig Pollak was the first casualty of the final table. Pollak entered the final frame of play with a comfortable stack, but got unlucky in a big pot when his pocket queens fell to the king-queen of Sean Shah. The loss dealt a big blow to Pollak's chip stack, but he managed to hang around on the short stack. Eventually, he committed his chips with ace-jack, but ran into the pocket tens David Comeron. The ten-high flop left Pollak drawing to runner-runner outs, but couldn't get there.

Jack Grout would bow out next, falling in fifth place. McVay scored the knockout this time around when his pocket threes held up against Grout's ace-jack.

McVay pulls away

When play reached four-handed, McVay held a dominant chip lead and began to ramp up his aggression, open raising frequently and pressuring his opponents as they hung on for the pay jumps. Comeron fell next, exiting in fourth place after his flopped second pair plus flush draw failed to improve against Sean Shah's top pair.

Shah made his exit in third place, not long after Comeron. Again, McVay managed to score the knockout, this time outdrawing his opponent's pocket pair. The hand saw Shah open the action with pocket jacks. McVay, holding ace-queen, put in a three-bet. Shah then elected to move all-in and McVay made the call to put him at risk. The ace-high flop spelled disaster for Shah and he couldn't find the two-outer to survive. The third place finish may have stung for Shah, but after entering the final table on the shortest stack, the pay jumps acquired should help ease his pain.

McVay took a massive chip lead into the heads-up match against O'Hara. The sizable deficit meant O'Hara would need to gamble it up to even the playing field and it didn't take long for him to find a hand he was willing to go with. O'Hara made his move with ten-nine suited, but McVay woke up with a real hand, ace-jack suited. The runout didn't connect with either player's holding and McVay took the pot, and the title, with just ace-high.

Moneymaker Tour Palm Beach Kennel Club Main Event payouts

Place Player Prize (USD)
1 Bryce McVay $98,074
2 Ian O'Hara $68,696
3 Sean Shah $44,166
4 David Comeron $28,603
5 Jack Grout $22,046
6 Craig Pollak $18,237

Featured image courtesy of Moneymaker Poker Tour