Way back in Season 1 of the MSPT, which was then known as the Minnesota State Poker Tour, 42-year-old Jeremy Dresch won the tour’s second stop and first-ever at Grand Casino Mille Lacs. In the years that followed, Dresch racked up 10 MSPT cashes for $172,258 and seven final table appearances.
This past weekend, he became the eighth player to win two MSPT titles while tying Everett Carlton for most final tables (8) in tour history. Five months after finishing sixth in the same event, Dresch topped a field of 344 entries (159 on Day 1a; 185 1b) to win the MSPT Running Aces Main Event for $83,045, which surpassed his previous best live cash of $71,705.
The win brought Dresch’s live tournament earnings up to $659,057 and saw him leapfrog four players into 22nd place on Minnesota’s all-time money list. He’s also a three-time Heartland Poker Tour champ (the first to go back-to-back on that tour).
“Long time coming,” Dresch said of the win. “I never look beyond the weekend, I’ll decide what to play on Wednesdays. I didn’t even know this tournament was going on, I had no idea. My buddy told me earlier in the week so I played it.”
Dresch, who said he plans to use the money wisely and pay his mortgage, late registered the tournament on Day 1a. He only fired one bullet and bagged 160,500, which put him 18th among the 59 players returning for Day 2.
The tournament, which surpassed the advertised $200,000 guarantee by creating a $344,000 total prize pool, paid 36 spots, which meant 23 players left empty handed on Sunday including MSPT Pro Matt Kirby; Everett Carlton, the man who has made more MSPT final tables than anyone else; MSPT Potawatomi champ Travis Lauson; and bubble boy Mike Juszczak.
Among the players to cash the event were Running Aces Season 2 champ Jason Seitz (34th - $2,093), two-time MSPT champ Peixin Liu (28th - $2,093), the original MSPT Running Aces winner Joe Matheson (18th - $3,322), Minnesota Poker Hall of Famer Mike Schneider (15th - $4,651), and MSPT Pro Blake Bohn (13th - $4,651).
The final table began Dresch holding the chip lead, and it didn’t take long for the action to heat up. Chris Korent was the first to go after flopping a flush only to have Vic Peppe suckout by rivering an ace-high flush, and then Andy Beberg followed him out the door in ninth place. Beberg’s finish was especially impressive as he had finished eighth in the same event back in April.
Kraig Komrosky, who was a month removed from topping a field of 458 entrants to win the MSPT Regional Grand Casino Mille Lacs, exited in eighth after his aces were cracked by Jim Boone’s king-queen of hearts. Short stacks Reg Powell and former MSPT champ Rich Alsup soon joined him on the rail in seventh and sixth place respectively.
After Bradley Demotts bowed out in fifth, the result of his pocket kings falling to Dresch’s Big Slick, Canada’s Brian Friesen exited in fourth place after flopping top pair against Peppe’s set of tens. Jim Boone’s third-place finish was his best yet on the tour, and he earned a career-high score of $32,321.
Heads-up play began with Peppe holding a little lead over Dresch, and it turned into quite the battle. Dresch used his vast experience to slowly chip away at Peppe. After an hour, he held a significant chip lead and was just waiting for the right spot to finish off his foe. Eventually he got it in with pocket fives against Peppe’s jack-six and faded the overs.