The PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour awarded one of the largest prizes in Wisconsin history this week after a spectacular turnout at Ho-Chunk Gaming in Baraboo, Wisconsin. After the inaugural event in September, the MSPT at Ho-Chunk became a stop that players all over Wisconsin were eagerly awaiting. The satellite action started early with some of the biggest satellite fields the MSPT has ever seen. Qualifiers were full for weeks ahead of the event, and over 100 players won their way into the event before the weekend even started.
Daniel Bekavac from Chicago, Illinois, was the eventual winner after more than 13 hours of action on Day 2. Bekavac earned $76,668 for the win along with the RF Moeller Diamond championship bracelet for his win. Bekavac beat Minnesota pro Ryan Hartmann in a tough heads-up battle, with Hartmann earning $41,949 for his runner-up finish.
Final Table Results
|1||Daniel Bekavac||Chicago, IL||$76,668|
|2||Ryan Hartmann||Minneapolis, MN||$41,949|
|3||Patrick Steele||Chelsea, MI||$27,773|
|4||Jeremy Dresch||Fridley, MN||$18,805|
|5||Larry Ormson||Elroy, WI||$14,465|
|6||Judi Gumila||Palos Hills, IL||$11,572|
|7||John Orr||Middleton, WI||$10,126|
|8||Ryan Ethridge||Madison, WI||$8,679|
|9||Jon Tepp||Waunakee, WI||$7,233|
Compared with the previous MSPT event held at Ho-Chunk, the field was increased significantly from 244 to 300 entries — an even bigger jump than expected. The excellent staff from the Ho-Chunk poker room worked long hours to make sure the event went off without a hitch. Extra tables and dealers were set up to accommodate the huge field of 179 players on Day 1b after 121 players came out for Day 1a. An eventual prize pool of $299,800 was well worth the trouble, and the top 36 players shared the wealth, with pros and amateurs from all over the Midwest fighting it out.
Jeremy Dresch earned his fifth MSPT cash and fourth MSPT final table. Dresch already had one bracelet and two runner-up finishes on his résumé before placing fourth here for $18,805 — giving him $126,834 in career MSPT earnings.
Patrick Steele of Chelsea, Michigan played his first-ever MSPT event at FireKeepers just two weeks ago where he placed fourth for $18,364. He finished one step closer to a title this time, placing third for $27,772.
The Main Event was run in a separate space from the poker room, leaving the poker room open for a horde of cash-game players who were also in town for the event, hoping to make their fortune in the side games. Big games including deep-stacked pot-limit Omaha that ran well into the morning hours some local pros padding their pockets quite a bit.
MSPT founder Bryan Mileski was impressed with the location and staff:
"This location is so much fun, and the action is incredible. I'm really looking forward to Ho-Chunk becoming a staple on the tour and seeing these players multiple times a year for the foreseeable future. The staff is great, and after two events, they really know how to run an MSPT event and create a great environment for the players. Wisconsin has so many great players that they really deserve some big events like the MSPT, and Ho-Chunk is a great place for it."
PokerNews' own Chad Holloway played in the event, but failed to cash. He did take some time to provide some updates throughout the event, and those can be found over on The Muck.