$

Awarded to date

Ho-Chunk Gaming WI Dells

February 13 - 21, 2016
Main Event: 489 Entrants
Winner: Andrew Rubinberg
recap_icon

EVENT RECAP

Wisconsin State Poker Championship

Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells - Baraboo, WI

February 19-21, 2016

Main Event: 489 Entrants

Andy Rubinberg Wins MSPT Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells, $120,808!

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

The 2016 Wisconsin State Poker Championship, hosted by the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells, proved poker in the Badger State is alive and well. A massive 489 entrants – up from 463 in the inaugural event last year – ponied up the $1,100 buy-in to take their shot at poker glory.

That created a $489,000 prize pool, more than twice the advertised $200,000 guarantee, which was awarded to the top 45 finishers. On Day 2, 91 players returned looking for their slice of the pie – specifically the $120,808 first-place prize -- but three dozen of them left empty handed.

Among those to fall short of the money were MSPT Pro Matt Kirby; the last woman in the field Janel Englebert; MSPT Potawatomi champ Dan Goepel; World Series of Poker bracelet winner John Reading; and Grant Slayton, owner of Baraboo's popular Brothers On Oak tavern.

Slayton earned the distinction of finishing as bubble boy after falling in 46th place, the result of his ace-ten failing to get there against his opponent's pocket tens. From there, the in-the-money bust outs came quick as players like Michigan's Mark Johnson (43rd - $2,364); WSOP bracelet winner Nick Jivkov (41st - $2,364); Jason Bender (35th - $2,601), who was the MSPT Season 7 Player of the Year leader leading up to the stop; Day 1a chip leader Nick Pupillo (23rd - $2,932); Day 1b chip leader Nicola Ditrapani (15th - $4,728), and MSPT Pro Matt Alexander (14th - $4,728).

Several of the players at the final table had impressive résumés including Josh Reichard, who won the 2013 MSPT Ho-Chunk Main Event; MSPT champs Rich Alsup and Kou Vang; and Byron "MadisonAce29" Ziebell, who finished runner-up in the 2010 World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) $215 Razz for $36,787.50.

Final table action was quick to say the least. Madison's Jason Reno was the first to go in 10th place for $6,147 after running pocket fives into the queens of Ziebill, and a short time later Iowa's Anthony Knepper followed him out the door in ninth place for $9,457.

Then, on a 7♦5♣8♠​ flop, Scott Johnson checked from the big blind and Andrew Rubinberg bet 150,000 from the button. Johnson proceeded to check-raise all in holding the K♠9♣​ for overs and a gutshot, and Rubinberg thought long and hard before making a good call with the 7♠4♠​. The A♦​ turn and 10♥​ river failed to help Johnson, and he was out in eighth place for $13,172.

From there, Ramos' fell in seventh place for $17,968 when his A♦J♦​ failed to get there against Ziebell's A♣K♦​ in a monster pot, and then Reichard took his leave in sixth place for $22,454 when his A♠7♣​ failed to hold against Vang's K♦6♦​ after the board ran 3♥Q♠6♠4♦J♦​.

In the very next hand Bruce Swart fell in fifth place for $26,951 when his ace-king failed to get there against Vang's pocket jacks, which left Alsup as the short man on the totem poll. He exited in fourth place for $34,280 two hands later when he shoved his last 231,000 under the gun holding ace-three, and Vang defended the big blind with jack-eight only to flop two pair and score his third elimination in a four-hand span.

The final three players were all sitting on big stacks but that didn't stop two of them from clashing. It happened when a preflop raising war saw Ziebill get his stack in holding pocket tens against the ace-queen of Vang to create a 6.2 million pot. Ziebill was just looking to hold, but he couldn't do it as Vang flopped two pair to score his fourth elimination in a row. Ziebill's elimination in third place for $42,555 ensured the Wisconsin State Poker Championship title would be leaving the state.

Despite Vang beginning heads-up play with a 2-1-chip lead, the match proved a long and grueling affair that last more than four hours. During that time the chip lead exchanged hands multiple times, but eventually the blinds caught up to force action. In what would be the final hand, Rubinberg flopped middle pair and called when Vang shoved a heart flush draw. Rubinberg's hand held, and Vang was vanquished in second place for $69,742.

As for Rubinberg, the win was extra special because it was his first. His tournament cashes date all the way back to 2007, but his win in the 2016 Wisconsin State Poker Championship marked his first-ever tournament victory. Accordingly, the $120,808 first-place prize was the largest of his career and was more than half the $220,585 in lifetime earnings he had entering the event.

It was also redemption for the 47-year-old computer consultant, who found himself in a similar spot two years ago when he finished runner-up in the 2014 MSPT Ho-Chunk Main Event.

The MSPT next heads to bestbet Jacksonville for a $350 Regional from Feb. 25-28 followed by a $1,100 Main Event from March 4-6. For more information visit msptpoker.com.

result

The RESULTS

Rank
Player Name
City
State
Amount
Points
1
IL 
$120,808
1,500
2
MN 
$69,742
1,300
3
WI 
$42,555
1,200
4
MN 
$34,280
1,100
5
MI 
$26,951
1,000
6
WI 
$22,454
900
7
IL 
$17,968
800
8
MN 
$13,172
700
9
Asbury 
IA 
$9,457
600
10
WI 
$6,147
500
11
WI 
$6,147
500
12
MN 
$6,147
500
13
Verona 
WI 
$4,728
400
14
MN 
$4,728
400
15
IL 
$4,728
400
16
IA 
$3,735
300
17
WI 
$3,735
300
18
WI 
$3,735
300
19
WI 
$2,932
200
20
IL 
$2,932
200
21
WI 
$2,932
200
22
IL 
$2,932
200
23
IL 
$2,932
200
24
WI 
$2,932
200
25
WI 
$2,932
200
26
IL 
$2,932
200
27
IL 
$2,932
200
28
IL 
$2,601
100
29
WI 
$2,601
100
30
Verona 
WI 
$2,601
100
31
WI 
$2,601
100
32
WI 
$2,601
100
33
WI 
$2,601
100
34
Marion 
IA 
$2,601
100
35
Keota 
IA 
$2,601
100
36
FL 
$2,601
100
37
WI 
$2,364
50
38
CA 
$2,364
50
39
IL 
$2,364
50
40
WI 
$2,364
50
41
IL 
$2,364
50
42
MI 
$2,364
50
43
Warren 
MI 
$2,364
50
44
MN 
$2,364
50
45
MI 
$2,364
50