Johnnie Vibes’ Backing Leads to Big Payday for Friend in MSPT Main Event


24 Jan

A friend of Johnnie “Vibes” Moreno got his 2023 off to an amazing start thanks to the generosity of the professional poker player and vlogger. Moreno backed his friend, Corey Peeples, into the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Main Event at California’s Sycuan Casino and Peeples made the most of it, finishing in fourth place and taking home $41,518 in winnings.


Peeples, a bartender from the San Diego area, had little tournament experience but had played cash games for up to 30 hours a week before opting for more stable employment. Despite juggling personal life, including parenting and family duties, Peeples was able to make it to the final table and secure his $41,518 payday.

Moreno, who used to live above the bar where Peeples works, earned $16,000 for his role as backer and a second unnamed bartender earned $4,000 for covering Peeples’ work shifts.

This is one of the best poker feel-good tales in recent memory, and it all started with Moreno’s spontaneous decision to put up his long-time friend’s entry fee into the Sycuan main event. Peeples has been an avid follower of Moreno’s vlogs about his life in the poker world, and he has always dreamed of competing in a major tournament like the MSPT main event.

Peeples had to juggle his personal life around just to be able to play in the tournament, including free time from both his job and family duties. Yet he was able to pull it all together and take a seat at the tables.

From there, he reached the final table in the middle of the remaining pack before busting in fourth for the massive payday. It wasn’t the $124,000 winner’s prize, but it was an amazing run nevertheless, and for Peeples, it meant more than $20,000 in unexpected winnings.

Moreno’s share as the backer came to more than $16,000 (minus the $1,100 buy-in), while the unnamed second bartender pocketed more than $4,000.

Moreno was extremely proud of his friend’s accomplishment and said:

“Corey did the heavy lifting here. He made this a newsworthy story!”

Peeples shared that it was a dream come true to be able to play in such a big tournament and that he couldn’t have done it without Moreno’s support. He also said that it was a challenging experience but he was thrilled to have made it to the final table and come away with such a big prize.

Moreno’s decision to back his friend in the tournament not only changed Peeples’ life but also showed that with a little bit of support and encouragement, anyone can have their day in poker.

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