TOM STAMBAUGH GOES THE DISTANCE
Local man and All-American track star wins MSPT, $30K
Northern Lights Casino in Walker, Minnesota recently hosted Season 2, Event 3 of the Minnesota State Poker Tour. This was the second time Northern Lights has hosted an MSPT event and as usual they put on a great show.
Local man Tom Stambaugh went the distance by outlasting a 104-player field to earn $30K and the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet.
Nine years ago Stambaugh and his family moved from Minneapolis to Nevis, a town just minutes from Walker, looking to settle down upon early retirement.
Stambaugh turns fifty years old this year and is a great athlete who still runs eighty miles per week. He’s a former four-time All-American track and cross country star who also competed in the Olympic Trials and currently coaches the Nevis high school track team.
Stambaugh has been close on the felt many times. He’s had seven major final tables including a $45K runner-up HPT finish.
Stambaugh and the young Canadian Rene Berube met heads up where Berube initially held a 3:1 chip lead. Stambaugh chipped away, he ran hot and kept pressure on Berube eventually finishing him off after an hour and a half of heads-up play.
On the final hand, the two got it all-in post flop. With a nine and ten on the flop, Stambaugh held QJ, Berube A9. The chips went in and Stambaugh rivered a King for the nut straight.
Berube and poker travel companion Franco Cupello are loyal MSPT followers and made the trip from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. They hit a deer during the road trip to Walker causing them to miss the Friday night qualifier though their fortunes would turn by Sunday. Berube’s deep run sent $15K back to Canada with him for his second place finish. Friend Cupello had earned a $13.5K WSOP prize package at Treasure Island the week prior.
Father-son duo John and Matt Alexander were also present at the final table. “Johnny A” has been tearing up the local scene this year with his state-leading eight player of the year cashes. Son Matt Alexander took down the HPT-Shooting Star in 2010 for $49K and also owns a 2009 MN Freezeout title for $59K.