Running Aces Harness Park: February 4 - 19, 2012


Columbus, Minnesota

Main Event - $309,600 Prize Pool, 311 Entrants

Congratulations to Rodger Johnson for taking home the RF Moeller Diamond Championship Bracelet adn $79,185!


Rodger Johnson of Grand Forks, ND just took down the largest BLUFF Mid-States Poker Tour event to date at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, MN to earn $79,185 and the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet!

Johnson – who’s in the farming and banking business – took first in the 311-player field but he’s not the first in his family to win a bracelet.  His brother Brian Johnson took down Season 1, Event 4 at Northern Lights Casino in Walker, MN back in June of 2010.

Johnson had only played one BLUFF Mid-States Poker Tour event previously.  He travels all over to play when he can. 

“I come to Minneapolis to play some.” He stated. "I saw it on the internet so I came down.  I get out to play quite a bit.  I’m actually going to Vegas in March to play the Wynn Classic.  Then I’ll be back for the MSPT in Iowa.”

Johnson’s friend Todd Innes - also from Grand Forks - finished twenty-second for $2,390.  Innes didn’t stick around to sweat his buddy though as they took different forms of transportation.  Innes drove down whereas Johnson took a plane, he’s also a pilot.

Johnson was a direct-buy into Day 1B.  He entered Day 2 at sixteen big blinds with 32,000 chips.  At one point he was all-in with queen-nine off suit versus ace-jack for his last 15,200.

“I won that hand,” Johnson said, “Then started picking up some cards.  But I played the entire tournament, both days, without picking up aces.” 

Johnson began the final table with 525,000, just below average.  As play progressed he found himself short-stack and in serious danger of hitting the rail.

With the blinds at 20K/40K, he faced a 3X raise in front of him that was more than his 115K stack.  He got it all-in with ace-three suited in a three-way pot and hit his flush to triple up.  

“I had a suited-ace with a raise in front of me for more than my current stack.” Stated Johnson.  “A suited-ace was good enough.  My hope was to triple-up.”

After that it was a fairly smooth flight.  He rolled to a large chip lead and squared off against Erick Wright.  Johnson encountered some minor turbulence early in the heads-up battle.

“I just smooth called ace-king figuring he would push.” Johnson said.  “It went down exactly like I wanted except he flopped a ten to pair his queen-ten.  He rivered a queen for two-pair.  Something like that can change the momentum completely.”

Not too long after, Johnson flopped a set of nines and got Wright to bluff the flop with king-high.  Johnson instantly called the shove and that was it!

Wright again proved he’s a force to be reckoned with.  Wright cashed for more than $100,000 in tournaments during 2011 including a win at the Twin Cities Poker Open for $41K, a win at the Running Aces Anniversary tournament for $19K and second in the Great Minnesota Freeze Out for $23K.  Wright earned over $43K here for his runner-up finish.

Johnson has an impressive resume as well.  In early 2010 he placed second in two Wynn Classic events just days apart for $25K and $39K.  He also has two Heartland Poker Tour final tables, placing second and fifth.

“My brother and I have a little competition going about who’s got the larger cash.” Johnson said.  “His was over $50K, he’s had me beat until now.  This gives me a lot of room.  Brian is the COO of our bank now and has four kids so he’s got to stay a little closer to home.”

The next stop for the BLUFF Mid-States Poker Tour is at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, IA March 24 – April 1.  That event is $300,000 GUARANTEED!!

Will the BLUFF MSPT break 400? 

Visit for a complete list of upcoming events as well as hotel information and structures.

See you in Iowa!



Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Rodger Johnson Grand Forks ND $79,1851,400
2 Erick Wright Shoreview MN $43,3281,200
3 Elias Monette Minneapolis MN $28,6861,100
4 Leo Fussy St. Cloud MN $19,4231,000
5 Sam Hanson Hudson WI $14,941900
6 Rob Westrom St. Paul MN $11,952800
7 David Westrom Delano MN $10,458700
8 Jeff Grobe Madison WI $8,964600
9 Tom Westbrock St. Paul MN $7,470500
10 Chris Clasen Stillwater MN $5,976400
11 Chad Felix Stacy MN $5,976400
12 Brenden Sandy Thief River Falls MN $5,976400
13 Josh Oien Blaine MN $4,183300
14 Tony Swanson Lino Lakes MN $4,183300
15 Kevin Reichel Isanti MN $4,183300
16 Paul Schroeder Nevis MN $2,988200
17 Ryan Hartmann Minneapolis MN $2,988200
18 Dan Kraft Zimmerman MN $2,988200
19 Hank Mlekoday Minneapolis MN $2,390100
20 Shane Coen Marine on St. Croix MN $2,390100
21 Richard Cockrell Oakdale MN $2,390100
22 Todd Innes Grand Forks ND $2,390100
23 Chris Keller (ND) Bismarck ND $2,390100
24 Matt Leshovsky Elk River MN $2,390100
25 John Hayes St. Paul MN $2,390100
26 Steve Johnson (MN) Red Lake MN $2,390100
27 Brian Soja New Brighton MN $2,390100
28 Matt Alexander Minneapolis MN $1,49450
29 Matt Jenkin Champlin MN $1,49450
30 Jason Hartwig Wausau WI $1,494100
31 William Records St. Paul MN $1,494100
32 Jocelyn Bendijo Ramsey MN $1,49450
33 Ryan Arnold St. Cloud MN $1,49450
34 Tara Dunn Minneapolis MN $1,49450
35 Eric Grave Tea SD $1,49450
36 Tracy Blackwell Monticello MN $1,49450

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