Larchwood, IA (August 18, 2013) The PokerNews Mid-States Poker Tour rolled into Grand Falls Casino Hotel in Larchwood, IA – just outside Sioux Falls, SD - for the second time in two years to a warm welcome from the local crowd.
This is the largest tournament of the year in this area,” said local player Dan Dykhouse. “Everyone looks forward to it!”
The event exceeded expectations and attracted an even larger crowd than last year. This season brought 98 players for Day 1A and another 120 in Day 1B to generate a $218,000 prize pool.
“This is my favorite stop on tour,” stated Dan Hendrickson of Faribault, MN. “The rooms and pool are beautiful, this is a staple on my poker schedule.”
With 218 runners, 27 got paid – and as the sun comes up every day, so does Everett Carlton making an MSPT final table. Carlton of St. Paul, MN recorded his eighth MSPT final table and tenth MSPT cash – both records. Carlton speaks openly about his desire to capture his first MSPT bracelet but unfortunately he fell short on this day placing seventh for $7,189.
“It was a good run, maybe next time,” Carlton said as he exited the event center.
Hometown boy Luke Blindert of Sioux Falls was controlling the action throughout the final table until he hit a 3-hand stretch that derailed him.
On the first of three hands, Blindert raised from the button with Q♣J♠ - Bill Perpich of Mahtomedi, MN shoved from the small blind with 7♠7♥ which got a call from Blindert. The board landed Q♥7♣6♥7♦A♠ giving Perpich quads and a double up.
The very next hand, Blindert opened again with pocket jacks and got shoved on again by Stephen, MN’s Brett Kuznia. Blindert called only to see he was well behind Kuznia’s K♥K♣. Kuznia’s hand held-up crippling Blindert even more.
On hand #3, Blindert open-shoved A♠3♠ and was called by Perpich holding ace-ten. The flop came 9♦2♦4♠ giving Blindert more outs with a gutshot straight draw. The turn was even better, the 6♠. Now Blindert had any spade, three or five for the win – but the 4♥ on the river sent Blindert home in fifth place with $12,687.
Brett Kuznia also accomplished a sensational feat by cashing in three consecutive MSPT events. Kuznia of Stephens, MN began his run by placing fourth at Northern Lights Casino in May, then 20th at Meskwaki Casino in July. Here he finished fourth for his third consecutive and fourth overall MSPT cash when his ace-seven fell short to Josh Smith’s king-queen all-in pre-flop.
The final three players would be Bill Perpich – Employee Benefits Sales, Josh Smith – Real Estate Appraiser and Steve Belland – Construction Supervisor specializing in fiberoptics.
For a moment, Perpich looked to have Smith down for the count as the two got it all-in pre-flop, Perpich with pocket queens and Smith with ace-ten. Smith would flop both an ace and a ten leaving Perpich with little left.
Belland would finish off Perpich on the next hand with KQ>AJ. Perpich would take home $20,088 for third place.
Smith and Belland would waste little time butting heads. The two fired one raise after another at each other - getting it all-in multiple times. On the final hand with the stacks nearly even – Smith holding a small chip lead – a series of raises got them all-in again. Belland clapped his hands feeling the win as he flipped his 10♣10♥ and saw Smith’s 8♠8♣. The flop looked relatively harmless for Belland - A♠7♦J♠. The 10♦ on the turn initially seemed strong for Belland as well giving him a set…but it opened more outs for Smith giving him a gut-shot straight draw. The 9♦ on the river completely the straight for Smith and the win!
It was a great story for Josh Smith of Brandon, SD this week as he showed up a little too early one morning for a $90 SNG to try to earn his way to a $250 Qualifier. When he realized he was there well before start time, he decided to play blackjack where he ran it up to $250. He bought into the next MSPT qualifier to earn his $1,100 Main Event seat. From there he would finish Day 1 with a healthy 142K stack and eventually final table and win the RF Moeller Diamond Championship bracelet and the $59,221 first place prize!