The Season 10 Milwaukee Poker Open at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino saw 625 players take to the felt in search of an MSPT Main Event victory. Dan Bekavac, a Wholesale Distributor for Amazon from Chicago, Illinois, who in Season 4 shipped MSPT Ho-Chunk Wisconsin Dells, bested the field and shipped the $126,998 top prize for his second MSPT Main Event title.
"I feel good, finally got it off my back. It's been six years, finally got another title!" Bekavac said after the victory, flanked by the boisterous rail that rallied him through the final table. Bekavac notched six of the nine knockouts at the final table, and when asked how he approached the final table, he said he wanted to "...play aggressive, put the pressure on, and just make 'em fold."
One member of the epic rail was his wife, Bridget, and they have a huge family; "We got eleven kids, all under the age of thirteen, all living in one house, a big house." Bekavac has some pretty exciting plans for his rail concerning his winnings; "I told them if we win we're goin' to Fiji, so I gotta pay for a round trip for four to Fiji!"
Fans in the Twitch chat noted that Bekavac was wearing a Milwaukee Brewers sweater along with a Chicago Cubs t-shirt that he switched between on breaks. He explained that the sweater was a good luck charm; "So I went to the Brewers game on Monday, and any time we go to a new park I bet on the home team and I buy a sweater, and I had the rungood juice, the Brewers won on Friday. So I figured I'd just carry it through, and it worked. A little too hot, so I had to keep switching it up, that's why I had the Cubbies underneath, representing. Cubbie blue, true and true!"
Day 2 saw 78 players return to the Woodland Dreams ballroom at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in search of a cash, but fifteen players would go home empty-handed, including Matt Sundburg, David "The Maven" Gutfreund, Season 10 MSPT Meskwaki champ Steve Federspiel, three-time MSPT champ Matt Kirby, and two-time MSPT champ Jeremy Dresch. Vlad Tkachuk was the unfortunate bubble boy, getting his queens cracked by the eight-seven of Joe Messineo.
Notables that managed to find a cash include final table bubble boy Paul "Big Daddy" Elfelt (11th - $9,071), former MSPT champ Joe Matheson (16th - $6,048), Bryan Skreens (20th - $5,322), former MSPT champ Ben Wiora (25th - $3,749), WSOPC ring winner Michael Wolff (26th - $3,749), Michael Kamenjarin (29th - $2,903), Alex Winter (31 - $2,903), Season 7 MSPT Meskwaki champ Keith Heine (32nd - $2,903), Jordan Miller (34th - $2,903), Bryan Andrews (39th - $2,600), Season 10 MSPT Majestic Star champ Mike Shin (46th - $2,419), Season 9 MSPT POY Aaron Johnson (57th - $2,298) and Season 8 MSPT Potawatomi Regional champ Craig Trost (63rd - $2,298)
Final Table Action
The final table started with three short stacks; Robert Dunn, Steve Lauson, and Day 1B chip leader Bradley Jansen, and the trio found themselves as the first three out at the final table.
Dunn started the final table as the short stack, and he was the first to fall when his king-queen couldn't overcome the pocket nines of Bryan Wilson. Dunn, a native of Cedar Springs, Michigan, notched his first career MSPT cash with his $9,074 score.
Lauson had made two MSPT Final Tables prior to today's, and finished tenth in both. He improved on that by one position with his ninth place finish when his ace-king was outflopped by Wilson's ace-queen. The $11,490 he took home was a career best result for Lauson on the MSPT.
The last of the short stacks to fall was Jansen, maneuvering his way into eighth-place before succumbing to Dan Bekavac's queen-jack when Bekavac paired his jack and Jansen's ace-three never improved. Jansen, who took home $14,515, now boasts two MSPT Potawatomi Final Tables to his name, the other coming in Season 8 where he finished seventh.
Steve Anderson ran into the Bekavac heater next, and Bekavac notched his second straight bustout. Anderson's fours were outflopped by Bekavac's ace-king, and Anderson fell in seventh for $18,747. Anderson now sports ten MSPT Main Event cashes and half of them have resulted in a final table appearance, and with this cash, he crosses the $100,000 mark in lifetime MSPT Career Tournament earnings.
Bekavac wasn't done busting players yet, as he won another flip when his pocket fives emerged victorious against the suited queen-jack of Jeremy Brown. Brown, who already notched one final table on tour this year when he finished fourth at MSPT Majestic Star, took home $24,190 for his sixth-place finish and leapt to second in the MSPT Hayvin Poker POY race with 2,100 points just a quarter of the way through the year.
Day 1A chip leader Ed Rohloff met his end in two hands against Bekavac. Bekavac got his last seventeen blinds in with ace-deuce of hearts, and Rohloff had him at risk with a pair of nines. An ace on the river crippled Rohloff down to a few big blinds, which Bekavac took a few hands later. Rohloff settled for fifth place and $32,052. Rohloff is no stranger to MSPT Potawatomi final tables, as last November he finished fourth in the Season 9 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship.
Next to go was MSPT Poker Bowl III champ Wilson, who lost a huge pot when his queens ran into the set of Ken Daciolas, then got his last few blinds in with ace-six against the queen-six of Bekavac. Bekavac binked a queen on the flop and never looked back, leaving Wilson with fourth place and $42,333. Wilson's performance in his two MSPT Main Events so far this year has notched him 3,200 points in the MSPT Hayvin Poker POY Race, an 1,100 point lead over Brown. Wilson said he would be at MSPT Firekeepers in May in hopes of adding to his points lead.
Daciolas, the overall Day 2 chip leader, couldn't keep the good times rolling, however, and suffered a bad beat at the hands of Spencer Alexander. Daciolas got his last fifteen big blinds in with kings against the suited nine-eight of Alexander, but Alexander managed to flop nines and eights and Daciolas succumbed in third place, taking home $56,847. Daciolas earned his second MSPT cash, and the largest of his career, besting the $21,750 for finishing 643rd in the 2018 WSOP Main Event.
Alexander started heads-up play with a 2:1 chip lead, but Alexander was caught making a huge bluff by Bekavac, swapping the stacks of the duo. Bekavac ground Alexander down to 2.5 million at Level 30 (60,000/120,000/20,000), and the final hand of the tournament saw Bekavac raise to 400,000 on the button, then call the three-bet shove of Alexander.
Bekavac flopped trips on the flop, leaving Alexander looking for runner-runner to survive. He leapt up in celebration after the turn left Alexander dead to the river. This was Alexander's first career MSPT cash.