$

Awarded to date

Grand Falls Casino

August 18 - 26, 2018

 
  • Level: 28
  • Blinds: 30000 / 60000
  • Ante: 10000
Two-Time South Dakota State Poker Champ Ryan Skluzak Wins MSPT Grand Falls Main Event
Created (8/26/2018 8:29:00 PM by Chad Holloway)

The $1,100 MSPT Grand Falls Main Event attracted 226 runners to the luxury venue and golf resort in Larchwood, IA, near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The title came down to two players who’ve had their fair share of success in the area in two-time South Dakota State Poker champ Ryan Skluzak and MSPT Season 9 Grand Falls Regional Champ Aaron Johnson.

The duo engaged in an epic, 2.5 hour-long heads-up match during which each held a big chip lead. In the end, Skluzak prevailed to capture the title and $54,427 first-place prize.

“The whole time we were at the final table I was thinking it could come down to Aaron and I,” Skluzak said after the win. “That’s kind of what I wanted. I don’t get to play too many tournaments and I always like to play against the best. I feel like Aaron is definitely one of the best. This win is nice, really nice.”

Skluzak, a 43-year-old who works in agricultural retail sales, was rooted on by his wife of 14 years and mother of his three kids including Breanna Skluzak, who also played the event.

“I do,” Skluzak said when asked if he thinks he is the best poker player in South Dakota. “I’ve had that discussion with some of my buddies. Call it what you want, but I do. My name doesn’t get brought up much because I don’t play too much, but I’d play against anybody. I never play to sneak into the money, I play to win.”

It was Skluzak’s fourth victory in 26 months. Back in February, he won his first World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring for $41,888, and in April 2017 topped a field of 136 players to win the South Dakota State Poker Championship at Deadwood’s Silverado Casino for $37,500. He won that same event in 2016 for $25,000.

Final Table Results
1st – Ryan Skluzak (Kimball, SD) $54,427
2nd – Aaron Johnson (Red Wing, MN) $33,834
3rd – James Girouard (Sioux Falls, SD) $24,385
4th – Alex Winter (Roseville, MN) $18,071
5th – Randy McQueen (White Lake, SD) $13,499
6th – Henry Terwee (Larchwood, IA) $10,233
7th – Bruce Luick (Fairmount, ND) $8,056
8th - Mark Meeder (Sioux Falls, SD) $6,314
9th – Trevis Devericks (Sioux Falls, SD) $5,008
10th – Jon Midler (St. Paul, MN) $3,919

Day 2 saw 27 players return to action, but three of them left empty handed before the money was made. They included 2018 MSPT Iowa State Poker Champ Brian Soja, Scott Jamison, and bubble boy Tucker Hummel.

Among those to cash but fall short of the final table were Day 1A chip leader Luke Blindert (22nd - $2,090), Day 1B chip leader Pierce Acuff (19th - $2,417), Eric Eelkema (17th - $2,939), Corey Skogrand (13th - $3,266), and final table bubble boy Justin Saathoff (11th - $3,919).

Final table action kicked off in a big way thanks to back-to-back pocket aces. In the first hand, Jon Midler flopped top pair with ace-six and got it in against Johnson, who held pocket rockets. The bullets held and Midler was first to fall.

In the very next hand, Trevis Devericks got his short stack all in with nines only to run them smack dab into the aces of Henry Terwee. No nine came and Devericks, who finished 12th in the same event one year prior, had to settle for ninth place.

Mark Meeder was the next to go after three-betting all in with pocket threes and losing a flip to the ace-eight suited of Bruce Luick, who followed him out the door a short time later – the result of missing an open-ended straight draw against Skluzak’s flopped trips.

Terwee took his leave in sixth place after jamming ace-ten into Johnson’s pocket queens, and then Randy McQueen fell after running fours into Skluzak’s eights. A short-stacked Alex Winter then shoved with king-jack suited but failed to get there against Skluzak’s ace-seven, and James Girouard busted when his ace-seven was bested by Johnson’s king-queen.

Heads-up play began with Skluzak holding a lead over Johnson, but it changed hands over the course of the next 150 minutes. At one point, Johnson had a 14-1 lead over Skluzak, who proceeded to battle back into the chip lead.

In the final hand of the tournament, Johnson three-bet all in holding ace-king suited and Skluzak called with pocket nines. The board ran out ten high and Johnson had to settle for his second runner-up finish of the season (he took second in the 2018 MSPT South Dakota State Poker Championship in Deadwood) for $33,834.

It was the third Grand Falls stop in a row that Johnson struck it big. In 2017, he placed fourth in the Main Event for $34,183, and back in May won the MSPT Grand Falls $350 Regional Event for $21,268.

Johnson also received 1,000 Player of the Year points to extend his lead atop the Kimo Sabe Mezcal MSPT Season 9 POY leaderboard with 5,117 points.

Season 9 of the MSPT continues with a $1,100 Main Event September 7-9 at The Venetian Las Vegas followed by a $300K GTD Main Event at Minnesota’s Canterbury Park the weekend of September 13-16.

  • Level: 28
  • Blinds: 30000 / 60000
  • Ante: 10000
Aaron Johnson Eliminated in 2nd Place ($33,834)
Created (8/26/2018 8:19:10 PM by Chad Holloway)

Ryan Skluzak raised to 130,000 on the button and called when Aaron Johnson three-bet all in for around 1.2 million.

Skluzak:
Johnson:

It was a flip but Johnson needed to improve to stay alive. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t as the board ran out a lowly .

Aaron Johnson - Eliminated in 2nd place for $33,834

  • Level: 27
  • Blinds: 25000 / 50000
  • Ante: 5000
Three Streets Of Value For Aaron Johnson
Created (8/26/2018 7:52:28 PM by Brandon Temple)

Aaron Johnson limped the button and Ryan Skluzak checked his option in the big blind.

Skluzak check-called a bet of 55,000 on the flop, then check-called a bet of 85,000 on the turn.

Skluzak checked a third time on the river, and Johnson emptied the clip with a bet of 135,000. Skluzak took his time, then made the call.

Johnson tabled for queens-up, and Skluzak said, “I just had the ten, good hand,” before mucking.

Ryan Skluzak - 2.68 million (54 bb)
Aaron Johnson - 1.84 million (37 bb)

  • Level: 27
  • Blinds: 25000 / 50000
  • Ante: 5000
Ryan Skluzak Gets Paid on River
Created (8/26/2018 7:46:27 PM by Chad Holloway)

Ryan Skluzak raised to 125,000 on the button and Aaron Johnson called to see a flop. Johnson checked and Skluzak continued for 140,000.

Johnson check-raised to 430,000 and Skluzak called before action went check-check on the turn.

Johnson then checked the turn and called when Skluzak bet 300,000. Skluzak tabled the for a king-high flush and Johnson mucked.

Ryan Skluzak - 3,100,000 (62 bb)
Aaron Johnson - 1,400,000 (28 bb)

  • Level: 27
  • Blinds: 25000 / 50000
  • Ante: 5000
Ryan Skluzak Takes The Chip Lead
Created (8/26/2018 7:37:56 PM by Brandon Temple)

Aaron Johnson raised to 125,000 from the button, and Ryan Skluzak called in the big blind.

Skluzak checked a flop to Johnson, who bet 110,000. Skluzak woke up with a check-raise to 250,000, and Johnson called after some thought.

The turn was checked again by Skluzak, and Johnson fired 275,000. Skluzak tanked for about a minute before jamming for 1.46 million. Johnson thought briefly before chucking his hand away, and Skluzak, who was down to 300,000 earlier in this heads-up match, takes over the chip lead.

Ryan Skluzak - 2.52 million (50 bb)
Aaron Johnson - 2 million (40 bb)

  • Level: 26
  • Blinds: 20000 / 40000
  • Ante: 5000
Aaron Johnson With The Limp-Call
Created (8/26/2018 7:16:04 PM by Brandon Temple)

Aaron Johnson limped the button, and Ryan Skluzak raised to 140,000 from the big blind. Johnson thought for a moment, then called.

Both players checked the flop, and Skluzak checked again. Johnson bet 180,000, and Skluzak gathered the chips needed to call. He thought for a moment, then changed his mind and kicked his hand to the muck.

Aaron Johnson - 3 million (75 bb)
Ryan Skluzak - 1.52 million (38 bb)

  • Level: 26
  • Blinds: 20000 / 40000
  • Ante: 5000
Ryan Skluzak Doubles Through Aaron Johnson
Created (8/26/2018 6:56:50 PM by Brandon Temple)

Aaron Johnson raised to 115,000 from the button, then called the three-bet shove to 830,000 from Ryan Skluzak in the big blind.

Johnson:
Skluzak:

Johnson flopped even more outs when the flop gave him an open-ended straight draw to go with his king and ten outs. He missed on the turn, and Skluzak jumped right back into the heads-up match when the hit the river, giving him the winner with eights and threes.

Aaron Johnson - 2.85 million (71 bb)
Ryan Skluzak - 1.65 million (41 bb)

  • Level: 25
  • Blinds: 15000 / 30000
  • Ante: 5000
Ryan Skluzak Gets It In
Created (8/26/2018 6:45:49 PM by Chad Holloway)

Aaron Johnson moved all in from the button and Ryan Skluzak called off for 301,000.

Skluzak:
Johnson:

Skluzak was ahead and held as the board ran out .

Aaron Johnson - 3,900,000 (130 bb)
Ryan Skluzak - 600,000 (20 bb)

  • Level: 25
  • Blinds: 15000 / 30000
  • Ante: 5000
Aaron Johnson Takes A Huge Chunk From Ryan Skluzak
Created (8/26/2018 6:40:17 PM by Brandon Temple)

Ryan Skluzak raised to 80,000 from the button, and Aaron Johnson called in the big blind.

Both players checked the flop, and Johnson bet 105,000 on the turn. Skluzak called.

Johnson checked the river over to Skluzak, who bet 200,000. Johnson woke up with a check-raise to 770,000, which sent Skluzak into the tank. After about ninety seconds, he slid in a call.

Johnson tabled for Broadway, and Skluzak mucked.

Aaron Johnson - 4.2 million (140 bb)
Ryan Skluzak - 320,000 (11 bb)

  • Level: 24
  • Blinds: 12000 / 24000
  • Ante: 4000
Aaron Johnson Into the Lead
Created (8/26/2018 6:16:00 PM by Chad Holloway)

Ryan Skluzak raised to 62,000 on the button and then called when Aaron Johnson three-bet to 195,000. Johnson continued for 140,000 on the flop and called when Skulzak raised to 400,000.

Both players checked the turn and then Johnson checked the river. Skluzak bet 530,000 and Johnson thought long and hard before calling.

“Nothing,” Skluzak admitted. Johnson then tabled the for ace high. It was good as Skluzak mucked.

Aaron Johnson - 3,000,000 (125 bb)
Ryan Skluzak - 1,500,000 (62.5 bb)

 
 
Player Name
City
State
Country
Chips
Progress
SD 
4,520,000
4,520,000 
MN 
0
Busted 
 
Fargo 
ND 
0
Busted 
 
Rank
Player Name
City
State
Country
Amount
Points
1
SD 
$54,427 
1,200 
2
MN 
$33,834 
1,000 
3
SD 
$24,385 
900 
4
MN 
$18,071 
800 
5
SD 
$13,499 
700 
6
IA 
$10,233 
600 
7
ND 
$8,056 
500 
8
SD 
$6,314 
400 
9
SD 
$5,008 
300 
10
MN 
$3,919 
200 
11
SD 
$3,919 
200 
12
Forman 
ND 
$3,919 
200 
13
MN 
$3,266 
150 
14
SD 
$3,266 
150 
15
SD 
$3,266 
150 
16
SD 
$2,939 
100 
17
MN 
$2,939 
100 
18
SD 
$2,939 
100 
19
IA 
$2,417 
75 
20
WI 
$2,417 
75 
21
SD 
$2,417 
75 
22
SD 
$2,090 
50 
23
SD 
$2,090 
50 
24
MN 
$2,090 
50 
LEVEL INFO
Level
28
Blinds
30000 / 60000
Ante
10000
TOURNAMENT INFO
Entries
226
Players Remaining
1
Average Chip Stack
4,520,000
Total Chips
4,520,000
TOP 10 CHIP COUNT
RANK
PLAYER
CHIPS
4,520,000
0
0
0
10 
0
SEASON TOP 10 POY POINTS
RANK
PLAYER
CHIPS
5,617
4,400
4,300
3,650
3,100
3,000
2,750
2,500
2,350
10 
2,292