Ho-Chunk Gaming WI Dells: September 20 - 28, 2014


Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells - Baraboo, WI

September 20-28, 2014

Main Event: 349 Entrants

Ben Berlowski Wins MSPT Ho-Chunk Gaming WI Dells, $90,632

Watch the full final table video (large file, may take a few minutes to load)

The Mid-States Poker Tour Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dellsattracted 349 entries, and after three days of intense play, Benjamin Berlowski, who was the Day 1b chip leader, emerged victorious to capture the $90,632 first-place prize.

At 9:45 p.m. on Day 1b, the last level for entries and reentries, Berlowski decided to give the tournament a shot. About 26 hours later, the Janesville, Wisconsin, native walked out the door with a brand new MSPT trophy after finishing off Andrew Rubinberg in a short heads-up match.

Day 2 began with 61 hopefuls vying for the big money, including heavy hitters such as past champions Matt Kirby, Jason Zarlenga, Drake Bronk, and Jason Sell. Berlowski entered the day in good shape, having bagged the top stack on Day 1b with 240,000, and the field was whittled down to the money as the tournament waved goodbye to Sell, Bronk, MSPT Running Aces champion Ken Pates, Justin Filtz, and Mike Mustafa, among others.

Current MSPT Player of the Year leader Mike Deis came agonizingly close to extending his lead, but he bubbled out of the tournament when he was unable to improve all in preflop with Q♥J♠ against the A♦10♠ of Nick Pupillo.

Once in the money, tour pros Kirby (36th - $2,081) and Matt Alexander (17th - $2,870) fell, as did Zarlenga (23rd - $2,350), Jason Mirza (22nd - $2,350), Lance Harris (20th - $2,350), Tony "Lazer" Lazar (15th - $3,608), and Todd "sharkslayerr" Breyfogle (13th - $3,608).

Along the way, one of the defining pots of Berlowski's tournament cropped up when he limped in from early position and then called a raise to 41,000 from button Kris Ehlen. The flop came 5♦6♦2♣, and Berlowski check-raised after Ehlen bet 35,000. Ehlen said he was all in, and Berlowski quickly called.

Ehlen: QxQx 
Berlowski: 5♥5♠

Berlowski had flopped a set, and no queen appeared on the 8♣ turn or 2♦ river to save Ehlen, who finished in 24th place for $2,350.

When Mark Soik busted in 11th, the final table participants filtered out for their dinner break before returning to determine a champion.

Minnesotan Rob Wazwaz bowed out first when he got his short stack all in with the A♠J♠ and failed to catch the 9♣9♦ of Chicago mixed-game player and bracelet winner Nick Kost. Erich Ponath went next when his aces were outdrawn by Rubinberg, and local player and MSPT regular Ken Payne quickly followed in eighth when he too lost with bullets. Another quick elimination followed with Kraig Benson in seventh, who turned a straight only to see Berlowski turn over a flush.

Anselmo Villareal was next out the door in sixth when he lost a race to Kost, and five-handed play finally brought some back-and-forth rather than rapid eliminations. Eventually, Pupillo busted in fifth after losing most of his chips in a race to Michael Ross, the score coming about a month after he took seventh at MSPT Tropicana Evansville.

Ross couldn't sustain the momentum, bowing out in fourth in a massive pot. Berlowski had called a standard open from Ross, and then called a continuation-bet on a Q♥9♣5♥ flop. An A♦ turned, and the two got it all in for about a 3 million chip pot in Level 25 (15,000/30,000/4,000). Ross had A♥8♥ for top pair and the nut flush draw, but he needed to catch against Berlowski, who had another set of fives. A 6♠ river was no help for Ross, who stuck around to support fellow Chicago grinder Kost.

Three-handed play saw the most critical pot of the tournament develop during that same level. Kost raised to 70,000 from the button and was called by Berlowski. Rubinberg shoved all in for 412,000, and Kost reraised another 412,000. Berlowski announced a call after thinking for a couple of minutes. The dealer spread a flop of 9♥3♥6♦, which both players checked. A 4♥ turned and Berlowski shoved all in.

"Pair of fours any good?" Kost asked. He mucked.

It turned out they were; Berlowski showed A♣K♥ for ace-high with a king-high heart draw, while Rubinberg had A♠3♠ for a pair of threes. A J♣hit the river, and Kost pulled his hat low over his head in frustration. Kost never recovered, busting a short time later when he found nothing on the board with A♠K♣ against the J♠J♥ of Berlowski.

At that point, Berlowski had about a four-to-one chip lead, and he sent Rubinberg packing in about 20 minutes. Rubinberg took home more than $50,000 as a consolation prize.

Season 5 of the MSPT will continue from October 11-19 at FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan. For more information visit msptpoker.com.


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Ben Berlowski Green Bay WI $90,6321,400
2 Andrew Rubinberg Chicago IL $50,3511,200
3 Nicholas Kost Chicago IL $31,3181,100
4 Michael Ross Chicago IL $25,1751,000
5 Nicholas Pupillo Addison IL $19,805900
6 Anselmo Villarreal Greenfield WI $16,280800
7 Kraig Benson Belgium WI $13,091700
8 Kenneth Payne Baraboo WI $9,902600
9 Erich Ponath Sheboygan WI $6,713500
10 Rob WazWaz Minneapolis MN $4,364400
11 Mark Soik Stevens Point WI $4,364400
12 Jeff Tonglet Bloomingdale IL $4,364400
13 Todd Breyfogle Hopkins MN $3,608300
14 Thane Fliginger Fargo ND $3,608300
15 Tony Lazar Plymouth MN $3,608300
16 Don Coy Turtle Lake ND $2,870200
17 Matt Alexander Minneapolis MN $2,870200
18 Monty Schmidt Madison WI $2,870200
19 Frank Cerminara Sr Kenosha WI $2,350100
20 Lance Harris Apple Valley MN $2,350100
21 Joe Matheson Andover MN $2,350100
22 Jason Mirza Fitchburg WI $2,350100
23 Jason Zarlenga Lansing MI $2,350100
24 Kristopher Ehlen Blair WI $2,350100
25 Jack Torcolese Niles IL $2,350100
26 Shane Nelson Minneapolis MN $2,350100
27 Sam Hanson Hudson WI $2,350100
28 Jeff Petronack Hugo MN $2,08150
29 Alex Barill Grosse Ile MI $2,08150
30 Kevin Fiedler Oshkosh WI $2,08150
31 Alexander Horodysky Homer Glen IL $2,08150
32 Daniel Goepel Hartland WI $2,08150
33 Thomas Orr Waupaca WI $2,08150
34 Zachary Tabak Madison WI $2,08150
35 Cody Brinn Chicago IL $2,08150
36 Matt Kirby Bemidji MN $2,08150

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