partypoker Sunday LIVE
Main Event

Event Info

Prize Pool $50,000
Players 200

Level Info

Level 21
Blinds 60,000 / 120,000
Ante 0

Players Info - Day 1

Players Left 1
Entries 202
Main Event
Day 1 Completed

Thomas Gjerde Wins 2020 FPN King Slayer National Championship Main Event

jessefullen • Level 21: 60,000-120,000, 0 ante
Thomas Gjerde
Thomas Gjerde

On Sunday night, Thomas Gjerde became $25,000 dollars richer after topping a 202-entry field to win the 2020 Free Poker Network (FPN) King Slayer National Championship Main Event, a tournament that was open to state tournament qualifiers, League Champ Championship qualifiers, satellite qualifiers, and others.

Gjerde has been a passionate lover of poker for over 51 years and his visit to the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas proved to be one of the greatest pages in his poker story. Gjerde has been playing poker longer than most of the people in the room had been alive.

Gjerde learned the game from his parents when he was 12 years old. They needed one more player in their home game to fill up the table and young Gjerde was called in. The 71-year-old Gjerde sat gratefully for that first invitation that led to a game he can't stop playing.

Gjerde finished second this past summer in an FPN Main Event that awarded a $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event seat to the top spot. After coming so close, Gjerde knew this deep run could end in a similar way but he kept focused and picked the right spots to make moves. Gjerde plays out of VFW and Spurs Bar in Willmar, Minnesota.

FPN King Slayer Final Table Results

1Thomas GjerdeUnited States$25,000
2Gary LanceUnited States$5,000
3Ben FarnerUnited States$1,500
4Kathy EastonUnited States$1,000
5Dustin JohnsonUnited States$860
6Jacob JobmanUnited States$600
7Steve SpratlenUnited States$500
8Marylin RaganUnited States$500
9Neal KuklaUnited States$500

When asked what words Gjerde had for players back at home, he said: "Don't worry about getting old. I'm 71 and Farner who finished third is 73. We can beat these young guys." When asked what Gjerde wants to do with his winnings all he could talk about were all the poker tournaments back home.

The Free Poker Network (FPN), which dates back to 2005, is a free-to-play bar poker league hosted at venues in a dozen states across the county. More than 7,000 active players participate at approximately 200 locations. All weekend, hundreds of players were in town for the league, which was created by Brook Lyter, who back in 2006 finished runner-up to Steve Paul-Ambrose in the World Poker Tour PCA in the Bahamas for $681,500.

On Friday night, the invite-only League Champ Championship took place. It was only open to league champs and Tournament of Champions winners who competed for a $10,000 first-place prize with the top 15 percent advancing to today's King Slayer Championship Main Event. Fargo, North Dakota's Cory Retzlaff, who plays regularly at Prairie Brothers Bar, finished as the last player standing in that tournament to claim $10,000 in cash plus a Main Event seat.

As organizers and players like to say, “The Free Poker Network offers a fun and safe atmosphere for players to learn how to play tournament poker and grind out wins, earn achievements, and most importantly, make a lot of poker friends.”

That wraps up PokerNews coverage of the 2020 FPN King Slayer National Championship Main Event. Congrats Thomas and to all players for a fun weekend!

Tags: Thomas Gjerde

Gary Lance Eliminated in 2nd Place ($5,000)

jessefullen • Level 21: 60,000-120,000, 0 ante
Gary Lance
Gary Lance

Heads up play lasted only a few minutes tonight. Gary Lance received {a-Hearts}{4-Spades} on the button and went all in for just over 1,000,000 chips. Seventy one year old Thomas Gjerde with a decent chip advantage made the call turning over {k-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}. Lance looked like he was set to double up and take the chip lead but the flop of {3-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{9-Spades} put a strong fear in Lance's excited rail.

Gjerde didn't have to wait long for the good news as the {a-Diamonds} appeared on the turn. Lance was drawing dead as the {q-Diamonds} river was shown. Gjerde won the hand with a flush on the turn card sending Lance home with $5,000.

Gary Lance US Busted

Tags: Gary Lance

Ben Farner Eliminated in 3rd Place ($1,500)

jessefullen • Level 21: 60,000-120,000, 0 ante
Ben Farner
Ben Farner

Ben Farner went all in first to act and was called by Thomas Gjerde.

Farner: {5-Diamonds}{5-Spades}
Gjerde: {q-Hearts}{j-Spades}

A flop of {3-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{q-Clubs} put Farner in a bad spot desperately needed one of the two remaining fives in the deck.

The {9-Spades}{2-Spades} turn and river didn't help him and Farner was out in third.

Ben Farner US Busted

Tags: Ben Farner

Kathy Easton Eliminated in 4th Place ($1,000)

jessefullen • Level 21: 60,000-120,000, 0 ante
Kathy Easton
Kathy Easton

Gary Lance shoved all in from late position and Kathy Easton directly to his left made the call.

Lance: {k-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}
Easton: {k-Spades}{10-Spades}

Easton looked primed to take Lance down to nearly nothing until the flop came.

{3-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{6-Clubs} on the flop put Easton behind looking for a ten or running straight cards.

{6-Diamonds} on the turn made chop outs available but the {10-Diamonds} river card gave Lance a flush and sent Easton home in Fourth place.

Kathy Easton US Busted

Tags: Kathy Easton


Jacob Jobman Eliminated in 6th Place ($600)

jessefullen • Level 19: 30,000-60,000, 60,000 ante
Jacob Jobman
Jacob Jobman

Jacob Jobman went all in on the button hoping to steal the blinds. Dustin Johnson flat called from the small blind but Thomas Gjerde pushed a much larger stack into the middle and Johnson folded.

Jobman: {8-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}
Gjerde: {j-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}

Shouts of "One Time!" came from the rail but a flop of {7-Spades}{4-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} wasn't much help for Jobman.

The {q-Diamonds} turn card meant Jobman was drawing dead with a meaningless {4-Clubs} on the river.

Jacob Jobman US Busted

Tags: Jacob Jobman

Steve Spratlen Eliminated in 7th Place ($500)

jessefullen • Level 19: 30,000-60,000, 60,000 ante
Steve Spratlen
Steve Spratlen

Kathy Easton called Steve Spraten's big blind but he quickly shoved his remaining few chips into the middle without looking at his cards. Easton snap called Spratlen's all in and the cards were on their backs.

Spratlen: {2-Hearts}{9-Hearts}
Easton: {a-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}

The board ran out {6-Spades}{3-Spades}{8-Spades}{a-Spades} and Spratlen's rail begged for a spade but the {k-Clubs} river card meant the end of Spratlen's run.

Steve Spratlen cashes for $500

Steve Spratlen US Busted

Tags: Steve Spratlen