Potawatomi Casino: March 31 - April 8, 2018


Potawatomi Hotel & Casino - Milwaukee, WI

April 6-8, 2018

Main Event: 635 Entrants

Greg Himmelbrand Becomes 10th Player to Win Multiple MSPT Titles, Takes Down Potawatomi Casino Main Event for $125,958!


The first MSPT Potawatomi of Season 9 – the eighth Main Event held in downtown Milwaukee since 2014 – attracted 635 entries (312 on Day 1A, 323 on 1B) and saw poker pro Greg Himmelbrand walk away the victor for $125,958. Not only that, he captured his second MSPT title in just his third-ever event to become the tenth player to win multiple titles in the tour’s nine-season history.

“Feeling good,” Himmelbrand said after the win. “This is the third one of these I’ve played and I’ve won two. It’s pretty sick. I heard Milwaukee was a cool city so I wanted to check it out. The tour is run really well. I like how interactive everyone is, so I love to come out and play when I can. With the big prize pools, I’m always down.”

The 35-year-old Himmelbrand, who is based out of New York but previously attended the Ohio State University, previously won the MSPT Maryland Live! back in 2015, good for $72,910. The win, which was the third largest score of his career, helped move the grinder past $1.6 million in lifetime poker earnings.

Day 2 saw 113 players return to action, but with only 72 slated to get paid, 41 would leave empty-handed. They included 2016 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Champion Andy Rubinberg, MSPT Season 7 Meskwaki champ Keith Heine, and bubble boy Mark Morris, who fell in 73rd place when his ace-king failed to win a race against Devin Looney’s pocket nines.

Once the bubble burst, the in-the-money finishes came quick and included World Poker Tour champ Ravi Raghavan (12th - $9,217), Minnesota’s Kou Vang (28th - $2,704), Chip Leader Coaching member Mike Younan (41st - $2,396), World Series of Poker Circuit Potawatomi Main Event champ Keven Stammen (44th - $2,396), MSPT Season 7 Player of the Year Rich Alsup (53rd - $2,273), and Martin Yates (72nd - $2,028).

Final Table Action

Himmelbrand actually began the final table as the short stack with just 560,000 going into Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000), while both Kevin “Bel0wA0ve” Saul and MSPT Season 8 Potawatomi Regional Event champ Craig Trost both had 2.1 and 2.8 million respectively.

Madison’s Cole Tautges was the first to go after getting his last 10 big blinds in with the A♦J♥ only to run it into the A♣Q♠ of Himmelbrand, who by that time had worked his stack up a bit. After that, Trost dispatched Steve Alonzo in ninth place after both players flopped two pair. Unfortunately for Alonzo, his kings and fours were no good against Trost’s kings and queens.

Former MSPT champ Ken Baime, who took down the Season 5 stop at Majestic Star Casino, took his leave in eighth place after jamming his short stack with the K♠10♥ and failing to get lucky against Trost’s A♥K♥ on an A♣4♦9♣2♠3♥ run out.

Umut Ozturk, who was at his second final table of the season, bowed out in seventh place after his ace-queen didn’t win a race against Matthew Buhler’s pocket sixes. The finish gave Ozturk 1,000 Kimo Sabe Mezcal MSPT Season 9 Player of the Year points, which along with the 600 he earned at Canterbury Park tied him in fifth place on the leaderboard.

It was at this point that Himmelbrand really caught fire and went from a shorter stack to the big one. During this time, Buhler once again picked up pocket sixes and held against Josh Hergott’s ace-nine of diamonds to bust the latter in sixth place.

Saul was the next to go after three-bet shoving with the 4♣4♥ and failing to win a flip against the K♥Q♣ of Trost, who made trips after the board ran out Q♠A♠2♣2♥Q♥. Saul earned $31,951 for his fifth-place finish.

In the very next hand, James Karamanis, a lawyer who graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison, shoved his last 10 bbs from the small blind holding the K♥J♦ and Himmelbrand called with the K♦10♣ out of the big. Karamanis was primed to double and looked good on both the Q♠K♠2♠ flop and K♣ turn. The only way he’d lose was to a ten on the river, and unfortunately for him, that’s what came when the 10♣ spiked.

Trost then lost a huge flip with ace-queen against Himmelbrand’s pocket fives and was left with crumbs. Buhler busted him in third place shortly thereafter, good for $57,144. That allowed Himmelbrand to take a more than 2-1 chip lead into heads-up play against Buhler, a member of the popular Madison Poker Community Facebook group.

In what would be the final hand of the tournament, which took place in Level 32 (80,000/160,000/20,000), Himmelbrand raised to 360,000 on the button with the Q♦2♦ and Buhler defended with the J♣10♦.

When the flop came down Q♣7♣5♣, Buhler check-called a bet of 375,000 and the dealer burned and turned the Q♥. Buhler checked, Himmelbrand bet 700,000, and Buhler check-raised all in for 3.305 million.

“Ughhhhh, this is so dumb,” a frustrated Himmelbrand said. He then thought through the hand for a bit before calling. That meant Buhler needed to catch a non-deuce club on the river to survive, but it wasn’t meant to be as the 9♥ bricked. Buhler took home $76,806 for his efforts, a far cry better than his previous best score of $4,546.

“The only hands I’m beating are naked club bluffs,” Himmelbrand reflected on the final hand. “I would have called earlier, I even said I might be nit rolling, but the problem was he double checked his cards deliberately, so it made me hesitate a bit thinking he might’ve flopped a flush. I just thought he has one club enough of the times for me to call.”


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Greg Himmelbrand Bayside NY $125,9581,700
2 Matthew Buhler Sun Prairie WI $76,8061,500
3 Craig Trost Madison WI $57,1441,400
4 James Karamanis Barrington IL $42,3971,300
5 Kevin Saul Aurora IL $31,9511,200
6 Joshua Hergott Highland Park IL $23,9641,100
7 Umut Ozturk Saint Paul MN $18,4341,000
8 Kenneth Baime Glenview IL $14,747900
9 Steve Alonzo Beloit WI $11,060800
10 Cole Tautges Madison WI $9,217700
11 David Lojeski Racine WI $9,217700
12 Ravi Raghavan Northbrook IL $9,217700
13 Boulos Estafanous Chicago IL $7,373600
14 Bradley Jansen West Bend WI $7,373600
15 Leonard Lewandowski West Allis WI $7,373600
16 Joseph Maxwell Cary IL $6,145500
17 Todd Sladek Glen Ellyn IL $6,145500
18 Tyson Boulter Arlington Heights IL $6,145500
19 James Casen Chicago IL $5,284400
20 Alan Cutler Northbrook IL $5,284400
21 Steven Pike Madison WI $5,284400
22 Voytek Glab Des Plaines IL $4,424300
23 Chad Folkens Janesville WI $4,424300
24 Bobby Thompson $4,424300
25 Ray Maynard Milwaukee WI $3,564250
26 Michael Berry Waterloo WI $3,564250
27 Paul Saharsky Green Bay WI $3,564250
28 Kou Vang Maplewood MN $2,704200
29 Paul Elfelt Brookfield WI $2,704200
30 Michael VanderWoude Crown Point IN $2,704200
31 Charles Rushman Oconomowoc WI $2,704200
32 Aaron Johnson Red Wing MN $2,704200
33 Dave Hebeda Caroc Stream IL $2,704200
34 Jefferson Lasecki Chicago IL $2,704200
35 Audrius Macenis Palentine IL $2,704200
36 Devin Looney Grand Blanc MI $2,704200
37 Jesse Allen (MI) Marquette MI $2,396150
38 Jason Sell Plymouth MN $2,396150
39 Erik Silgman Madison WI $2,396150
40 Rob WazWaz Minneapolis MN $2,396150
41 Michael Younan Chicago IL $2,396150
42 Jeff Huppert Oshkosh WI $2,396150
43 Shiva Dudani Chicago IL $2,396150
44 Keven Stammen Coldwater OH $2,396150
45 Antonio Carbonara Chicago IL $2,396150
46 Ken Felten Island Lake IL $2,273100
47 Greg Movrich Mequon WI $2,273100
48 Matthew Hamilton Minneapolis MN $2,273100
49 Peter Dong Kim Winfield IL $2,273100
50 Loki Abboud Mendota Heights MN $2,273100
51 Steve Stolzmann Sheboygan WI $2,273100
52 Michael Wolff (WI) Madison WI $2,273100
53 Richard Alsup New Hope MN $2,273100
54 Emmanuel Jadol-on Milwaukee WI $2,273100
55 Gerald Siemienas Arlington Heights IL $2,15175
56 Darren Hendrickson Faribault MN $2,15175
57 Andy Tran Eau Claire WI $2,15175
58 Darwin Sampson Madison WI $2,15175
59 Ben Rock Marshfield WI $2,15175
60 Patrick Owens Verona WI $2,15175
61 Richard Rosas Chicago IL $2,15175
62 Konstantin Mikhailov Brookfield WI $2,15175
63 Jim Casement Fort Collins CO $2,15175
64 Aaron Cole Appleton WI $2,02850
65 Michael Partipilo Chicago IL $2,02850
66 James Miller West Olive MI $2,02850
67 Aaron Syphard Edgerton WI $2,02850
68 John Capozzi Burlington WI $2,02850
69 Kirby Rogers Verona WI $2,02850
70 Frank Swierczynski Plainfield IL $2,02850
71 Jason Chappell Glendale Heights IL $2,02850
72 Martin Yates Franklin WI $2,02850

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