The PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki Casino in Tama, Iowa attracted a field of 296 entries, and after three long days of play, Jesse Spooner, a Process Engineer from Easton, Missouri, emerged victorious to capture the $81,060 and the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet.
Spooner direct-bought into the $1,100 Main Event, and his path to victory was a rocky one. He survived Day 1 with a below-average stack of 43,800 – placing him 65 of 90 advancing players. He also arrived at the final table as the short stack with just nine big blinds. Fortunately, he doubled through Jason Sell early, and before long found himself with the chip lead.
While a Missourian took down the title, the Main Event was saturated with players from Minnesota; in fact, 12 of the 27 players who cashed and six of the 10 at the final table were from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Here are some final table highlights:
- Microelectronic Design Engineer Joe Matheson earned his fifth MSPT cash, third final table and was looking for his second career RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet. Matheson earned a win at MSPT Running Aces in 2010. His great run this time would end in seventh place for $11,001.
- Dan Schmidt of South St. Paul dominated Day 1 action, entering Day 2 as the overall chip leader. He had a bumpy road on Day 2 but still managed to make his way to the final table. Schmidt grinded to a sixth-place finish for $13,027.
- Jeff Bryan from Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska has the largest career score of any players at the final table. Bryan placed 27th in the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event for $333,000. He would add another $17,370 to his bankroll at Meskwaki for his fifth-place run.
- Jason Sell of Plymouth, Minnesota without a doubt ran the worst at the final table after arriving with the chip lead at 1.3 million. He had trouble getting a hand to hold up and was eventually sent home in fourth place with $20,260. It marked Sell’s third career MSPT cash.
- Ryan “Hustler” Hartmann of Minneapolis moved into a tie for third all-time in MSPT cashes after he accumulated his sixth by finishing third for $27,503. His highest MSPT finish was runner-up at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells in March for $41,949.
Spooner maneuvered through the final table like a seasoned pro, and by the time he reached heads-up play he held a 9-to-1 chip lead over Tom Tracy, a Supply Chain Manager out of Apple Valley, Minn. Even so, Tracy was not interested in going quietly. In the first hand between the two, Tracy was all in with the against Spooner's . It was a flip, and one that Tracy would win after the board ran out .
Tracy played fantastic to fight all the way back, even becoming the chip leader at one point, but Spooner was able to overcome the onslaught to regain the chip lead. On the 140th hand of the final table, the chips went all-in pre-flop and Tracy excitedly flipped up the , which had the of Spooner crushed. Unfortunately for Tracy, the flop paired Spooner’s four and made him a big favorite. Neither the turn nor river helped Tracy and he had to settle for runner-up and $43,420, which was his second career MSPT cash.
Congratulations to Jesse Spooner on winning the PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour Meskwaki Casino for $81,060!
Beginning Saturday, Nov. 2, the PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells in Baraboo, Wisconsin kicks off a week of festivities that culminates with a $1,100 Main Event on Nov. 8-10. Located just minutes from Wisconsin Dells — one of the top tourist and waterpark towns in the nation — Ho-Chunk proved to be a tremendous success in its inaugural year on the MSPT schedule.
For further information, you can head over to the MSPT website and also the Ho-Chunk website. Don't forget to follow Ho-Chunk on Twitter and like their Facebook page. You may also call (800)-746-2486.