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Hank Mlekoday Wins 2019 Minnesota State Poker Championship

Hank Mlekoday

Over the last two weeks of March, Canterbury Park just south of the Twin Cities played host to the 2019 Minnesota State Poker Championship, a series of tournaments that culminated with a $1,100 buy-in Main Event this past weekend.

That tournament drew 180 runners from across the Midwest, which generated a $174,600 prize pool. The final table was filled with some of Minnesota’s best, but in the end, it was Hank Mlekoday of Minneapolis who claimed the title and accompanying $47,144 first-place prize.

The win brought Mlekoday’s lifetime tournament earnings up to $460,068. It was his second-largest cash behind $50,752 he won for finishing 145th in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event. Other highlights on his poker résumé include 16th in the 2016 WSOP Colossus II for $44,740, seventh in the 2018 WSOP Circuit Planet Hollywood Main Event for $28,621, and 470th in the 2009 WSOP Main Event for $25,027.

2019 Minnesota State Poker Championship Final Table Results

PlacePlayerPrize
1Hank Mlekoday$47,144
2Jeff Minnerly$29,507
3Jeremy Dresch$20,952
4Umut Ozturk$14,841
5Sandeep Cherukuri$11,349
6Kou Vang$8,905
7Dedric Henderson$6,809
8Eric Eelkema$5,238
9Kevin Fowler$4,190

Others to cash the Main Event were Matt Hamilton (11th - $3,317), Vlad Tkachuk (14th - $2,794), Joe Barnard (15th - $2,794), Ian Matakis (16th - $2,444), and 2017 MN Poker Mag Player of the Year Todd Melander (17th - $2,444).

Hamilton and Hersch Victorious

Hank Mlekoday Wins 2019 Minnesota State Poker Championship 101
Matt Hamilton (left) and Joshua Hersch

While the Main Event was the main attraction, the Minnesota State Poker Championship was comprised of several other tournaments including a Crazy Pineapple, Tag Team, and both Seniors and Ladies Events.

In terms of prize pools, the two biggest tournaments outside the Main Event were a pair of $350 buy-in events. The first was the Black Chip Bounty which attracted 121 runners and created a $37,168 prize pool. Matt Hamilton wound up winning that event for $7,047 plus a bunch of bounties.

Meanwhile, the $350 Monster Stack NLH drew 213 entries and created a $61,983 prize pool. Joshua Hersch claimed that title and was rewarded with a $15,493 top prize for his efforts.

2019 Minnesota State Poker Championship Side Event Results

EventEntriesPrize PoolWinnerPrize
$125 NL Crazy Pineapple91$8,736Ray Luterbach$2,655
$350 Mix55$16,555Louis Hillman$5,794
$250 Seniors NLH113$23,504Stephen Shanks$7,050
$350 Black Chip Bounty121$37,168Matt Hamilton$7,047
$250 6-Max NLH109$22,672Rob Maier$6,802
$250 Tag-Team NLH179 (55 teams)$17,184Raymond Cabillot & Bulut Ozturk$5,241
$125 Ladies NLH35$3,600Phalla Phan$1,332
$350 Monster Stack NLH213$61,983Joshua Hersch$15,493
$150 Double Stack NLH208$24,960Dan Sherman$6,491
$1,100 Main Event180$174,600Hank Mlekoday$47,144

Images courtesy of Canterbury Park.

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  • Hank Mlekoday topped 180-entry field to win the 2019 Minnesota State Poker Championship for $47,144.

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