$

Awarded to date

Canterbury Park

August 5 - 13, 2017
Regional Event: Entrants
Winner: Paul Cross
recap_icon

EVENT RECAP

Canterbury Park - Shakopee, MN

August 9-13, 2017

$350 Regional: 1,169 Entrants

Paul Cross Wins Largest Poker Tournament in Minnesota History, $61,911

The first-ever MSPT $350 Regional Event held at Canterbury Park set the Minnesota state record for largest poker tournament with 1,169 entrants (previous record was 1,114 set in eight flights Canterbury’s 2015 $115 buy-in Ultimate $100K). After four starting flights and a long Day 2, Minneapolis’ Paul Cross emerged victorious to capture a $61,911 first-place prize.

A well-known player in local cardrooms, Cross had a pair of MSPT cashes before his big win. The first came back in Season 5 when he finished 24th in the MSPT Running Aces Main Event for $2,274, and the other another 24th-place finish in the Season 6 Regional Event at Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

The 32-year-old Cross, who defeated MSPT Season 7 Meskwaki champ Keith Heine in heads-up play, is a finance manager at Thomas Reuters and has been a longtime recreational player in the Minnesota poker scene. Now he’s won the largest-ever poker tournament ever held in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

“It’s humbling and overwhelming,” Cross said of the win. “I actually got pretty emotional. I have been grinding these tournaments for a long time and have made a few final tables, but a MSPT final table was a big goal for me. It is the most prestigious tour that comes through Minnesota. So, to make my first and go on the heater of a lifetime was unbelievable.”

Social media congratulations poured for Cross, who has a reputation as an enjoyable player at the table.

“I try to keep poker fun man and that’s how I approach the table,” he said. “If you are having a bad time at the table when I’m at it, it's because you want to have a bad time.”

Wednesday’s Day 1A flight drew 281 entrants, but only 40 of them survived the night including chip leader Richard Brekke (329,000). On 1B, 237 players took to the felt with 34 of them advancing. Jeff Lloyd bagged the lead with 294,000.

Meanwhile, Friday’s Day 1C drew an additional 277 runners, which brought the total field up to 795 and saw Ryan Hohenstein bag the big stack among the 45 survivors with 305,000. The fourth and final flight brought in an additional 374 entrants, which helped set the new state record. Of those, 75 advanced with Luke Blindert and his stack of 459,500 leading, which gave him the overall chip lead among the 174 players who returned for Day 2.

Lloyd and Hohenstein would fail to cash while the other two chip leaders made the money but fell short of the final table.

Among the top 117 to get paid were Brekke (25th -$1,933) MSPT Season 5 champ Ken Pates (28th - $1,458), Erick Wright (30th - $1,458), Todd Melander (48th - $1,108), Blindert (54th - $1,108), Rob Wazwaz (55th - $916),Vlad Revniaga (68th - $882), MSPT Season 7 Running Aces champ Luke Arora (73rd - $848), Aaron Johnson (87th - $814), and Jon Kulkay (108th - $678).

Here’s how things stacked up at the start of the final table:

Seat 1: Mark Bloomberg - 4,000,000
Seat 2: Jarrod Blackwell - 1,050,000
Seat 3: Loki Abboud - 1,835,000
Seat 4: Riley Stahley - 2,700,000
Seat 5: Mark Anderson - 1,445,000
Seat 6: Paul Cross - 2,165,000
Seat 7: Keith Heine - 3,905,000
Seat 8: John Alexander - 3,365,000
Seat 9: Tyler Brackey - 965,000
Seat 10: Nate Fair - 1,760,000

On the first hand of the final table, Cross looked down at the A♦A♥ and used them to eliminated Jarrod Blackwell, who got it in with the Q♦Q♠. The action didn’t stop there as three more players would fall before the first orbit was complete. That included John Alexander, father to MSPT Pro Matt Alexander, who fell when his A♥A♣ was cracked by the A♦10♦ of Mark Bloomberg after a 4♦K♥6♦8♦K♣.

Down to the final three, Loki Abboud got his short stack all in preflop holding the J♣9♣ and found himself behind the A♣Q♠ of Cross. The 9♠J♠K♦ flop looked good for Abboud, and so did the 4♣ turn. However, the 10♥ spiked on the river to give Cross a winning Broadway straight.

Heine managed a quick double in heads-up play and took a commanding chip lead. However, two doubles for Cross evened things up, and from there he began to pull away. In what would be the final hand of the tournament, Heine got his short stack all in preflop holding the K♣4♣ against the 10♣10♠ of Cross. The 10♥9♥7♣ gave Cross top set, and Heine was drawing to runner-runner. The 4♠ turn took away any shot of that happening and Heine had to settle for second place and $37,988.

If there was a silver lining, it was Heine also received 567 points toward the Kimo Sabe Mezcal MSPT Season 8 Player of the Year Leaderboard. Thanks to two other final table finishes earlier this year, that put him in first place with 2,767 points with his next closest competitor being Keith Block with 2,500 points.

“Keith just gets it,” Cross said of his heads-up opponent. “He is an inventive poker player that likes to talk and I love that. I had never played him with him before and I was really impressed. It was a great match which is something you don't get to do often.”

Cross added: “I want to give credit to Canterbury Cards for being the Midwest’s best card room, and Joel ‘Mutt’ Olson for being the best tournament director in the business.”

The latest record-breaking event came less than four months after the MSPT set the record for largest-ever major tournament ($1,000+ buy-in) at Canterbury Park. The 13th MSPT Main Event ever held at Canterbury Park attracted 475 entrants and was won by 56-year-old business development manager Mark Wadekamper.

result

The RESULTS

Rank
Player Name
City
State
Amount
Points
1
MN 
$61,911
633
2
MO 
$37,988
567
3
MN 
$28,186
533
4
Mound 
MN 
$21,402
500
5
NV 
$15,941
467
6
MN 
$12,210
433
7
MN 
$9,497
400
8
MN 
$7,462
367
9
MN 
$6,105
333
10
Milaca 
MN 
$4,749
300
11
Eagan 
MN 
$4,749
300
12
MN 
$4,749
300
13
MN 
$3,731
267
14
MN 
$3,731
267
15
MN 
$3,731
267
16
Otsego 
MN 
$3,324
233
17
MN 
$3,324
233
18
Jordan 
MN 
$3,324
233
19
MN 
$2,747
200
20
MN 
$2,747
200
21
 
 
$2,747
200
22
MN 
$2,306
200
23
MN 
$2,306
200
24
MN 
$2,306
200
25
MN 
$1,933
200
26
MI 
$1,933
200
27
MN 
$1,933
200
28
MN 
$1,458
167
29
MN 
$1,458
167
30
MN 
$1,458
167
31
MN 
$1,458
167
32
MN 
$1,458
167
33
SD 
$1,458
167
34
Albia 
IA 
$1,458
167
35
MN 
$1,458
167
36
IA 
$1,458
167
37
WI 
$1,119
133
38
Crosby 
MN 
$1,119
133
39
MN 
$1,119
133
40
MN 
$1,119
133
41
MN 
$1,119
133
42
MN 
$1,119
133
43
Rogers 
MN 
$1,119
133
44
SD 
$1,119
133
45
Orono 
MN 
$1,119
133
46
ND 
$1,018
100
47
MN 
$1,018
100
48
MN 
$1,018
100
49
ND 
$1,018
100
50
MN 
$1,018
100
51
MN 
$1,018
100
52
MN 
$1,018
100
53
Medina 
MN 
$1,018
100
54
SD 
$1,018
100
55
MN 
$916
67
56
MN 
$916
67
57
MN 
$916
67
58
MN 
$916
67
59
MN 
$916
67
60
MN 
$916
67
61
MN 
$916
67
63
MN 
$916
67
64
MN 
$882
33
65
MN 
$882
33
66
MN 
$882
33
67
Savage 
MN 
$882
33
69
MN 
$882
33
70
CA 
$882
33
71
Nisswa 
MN 
$882
33
72
MN 
$882
33
73
MN 
$848
17
74
MN 
$848
17
75
MN 
$848
17
76
MN 
$848
17
77
MN 
$848
17
78
Fargo 
ND 
$848
17
79
Fargo 
ND 
$848
17
80
MN 
$848
17
81
Wilton 
MN 
$848
17
82
MN 
$814
17
83
ND 
$814
17
84
Edina 
MN 
$814
17
86
ND 
$814
17
87
MN 
$814
17
88
WI 
$814
17
89
MN 
$814
17
90
MN 
$814
17
91
MN 
$746
17
92
OK 
$746
17
93
Nevis 
MN 
$746
17
94
MN 
$746
17
95
MN 
$746
17
96
ND 
$746
17
97
MN 
$746
17
98
Fargo 
ND 
$746
17
99
MN 
$746
17
100
CA 
$678
17
101
MN 
$678
17
102
MN 
$678
17
103
MN 
$678
17
104
MN 
$678
17
105
MN 
$678
17
106
MN 
$678
17
107
MN 
$678
17
108
MN 
$678
17
109
MN 
$644
17
110
MN 
$644
17
111
Savage 
MN 
$644
17
112
MN 
$644
17
113
SD 
$644
17
114
MN 
$644
17
115
MN 
$644
17
117
MN 
$644
17