The Missouri State Final was held May 1st at the Flaming Lantern in Butler. Twenty one players out of twenty five qualifiers were in attendance for the big game where 2 spots in the Sin City Showdown were up for grabs including airfare and hotel accommodations for first place. The game started out with early play being aggressive and players trying to build up their chip stacks right from the start. The first casualty was in the first hand when Martin Ambrozi doubled the big blind and several players called including the BB, Ken Edghill who was one of two players to be doubled stack to start the final....
The flop came 2 4 x with two diamonds. It was checked around to Martin who raised 200. Several players called including Ken. The turn was a 4 and again Martin raised 200. Everyone but Ken folded. The river was the Ace of diamonds. Ken raised 1000 and Martin went over the top with all in. Ken called immediately and turned over 3 5 diamonds revealing a flush. Martin had also hit the river as he had pocket aces giving him the full house. Lucky for Ken that he had earned himself a double stack or he would have been the first player out.
The first player to be knocked out was Bob Collins. On an attempt to push Gary Ruggles out of a hand with 10s 4d 5h 6s on the board, Bob went all in from the SB with A Q. Gary hesitated in calling but with a “What the hell…”, Gary made the call and showed K 10. The river was a 6d giving Bob no help and he was left with a single 100 chip. The next hand Bob threw in the 100 and lost to Gary again.
Just as Bob was leaving the table, another player went all in at the third table. After the flop (6s As 3d), Jay Shick, the winner of the TOC in Harrisonville and already heading to Vegas to play in the National Tournament, went all in with $6,625. Stan Dice made the call followed by Sandy Steinbach. The turn was a Qs and Stan raised $2000. Sandy immediately called putting her all in. The cards were flipped up. Jay had flopped two pair with A 3, Stan had A J giving him a pair, and Sandy surprised everyone with pocket 6’s giving her trips on the flop. The river was 7c helping no one. Sandy tripled up, Stan was crippled with about $2,400 left, and Jay’s attempt to earn another chip stack for the Nationals was over as he was sent packing.
Play continued to be aggressive with players going all in and surviving including a double up by Stan Dice from Sandy, getting some of his chips back he had lost to her earlier. As the end of the second level came to a close, Anthony Dickens went all in and lost to Trent Beebe, the second player doubled stacked at the beginning of the final. The win gave Trent well over $30k in chips.
At the beginning of the third level, the third table was eliminated and the “dead stacks” were removed from play. It was not too far into the level when Mike McWhorter went all in with Qd Jc 4d on the flop. Martin asked for a chip count and made calculations on the pot size to determine if he should call or not. Martin made the call and showed pocket 4’s for trip 4’s. Mike had Ad Kd and was on straight draw and a flush draw. The turn would prove to Mike’s worse nightmare and make the river of no importance as it was a 4 giving Martin quad fours.
John Graham soon followed the earlier list of players to exit having not won a single hand in the tournament. With AK and short stacked, John made his final stand and was called by three players. On the flop, Don Harms made a good size bet and the other players folded leaving John with one player to beat. Don had flopped a pair and John still needed to catch. It wouldn’t happen for John and he was the 5th player to be eliminated.
As played continued, Chance H lost his all in with Peggy Miller right on his heels a few hands later losing all in with pocket Q’s to Stan Dice who had made a huge come back from earlier and was building quite a mountain of chips. Tom Coker became the third player to be knocked out by Martin Ambrozi as Martin stayed on course building his chip stack and being one of the top chip leaders along with Trent Beebe, Sandy Steinbach, and Stan Dice.
The next player to find bad luck was Don Harms who joined Peggy Miller as the second player of the tournament to lose with pocket Q’s. Going all in preflop, Don was called by Rusty Locke who went over the top all in with only a few more chips and was called by Martin Ambrozi. Rusty won the hand with AK as a King hit the river and would prove to be a pivotal point for Martin in changing the course of his game. In what was just a few hands later, with approximately $5,000 already in the pot preflop, Rusty moved all in after the flop with $10,300 and Martin made the call. Rusty rolled up pocket Q’s against Martin’s K J. The turn and the river were no help for either player and Rusty’s win was a crushing blow to Martin who found himself losing nearly two thirds of his stack and being below his $10k starting stack for the first time in the tournament.
Just as Martin had seen his chip stack start to disappear in just a short amount of time, Stan Dice also found his cards take a turn for the worse and after calling several all ins and doubling up several players including Tammie Williams more than once, Stan found himself all in once again against his earlier tournament rival, Sandy Steinbach. This time Stan would not have enough chips to hold on against Sandy’s massive chip stack and was knocked out in 12th place. Soon after, Martin went all in and ironically was called and taken out by Ken Edghill, the same player Martin had doubled up on in the first hand.
With ten players remaining, the final table was set. The first player to exit was Cory Cazzelle who had remained mostly off the radar during the tournament and had not been involved in too many big hands. Rusty Locke was the next player to be eliminated and another notch on Sandy Steinbach’s gun. With Q J Rusty went all in preflop and Sandy called with pocket 8’s. The board provided no help to either player and the pocket 8’s of Sandy held. Bradley Garver soon exited the tournament in 8th place and Gary Ruggles followed several hands later in 7th place as Sandy Steinbach once again took out another player.
With six players remaining, it would be some time before the next player would be out. In a big hand that could have changed the game, Trent Beebe went all in preflop with over $20k in chips with pocket K’s and Sandy Steinbach called with A Q. The flop looked promising for Sandy with Q 8 8 giving Sandy a chance to hit another Q or an Ace. However, the turn would bring a K ending any chance Sandy had to win the hand. The double up put Trent in a solid position in chips among the other players still at the table but with Sandy’s massive chip stack, the loss of 20k in chips was almost unnoticeable. Sandy would again double up another player when Bill Hough went all in with pocket J’s and Sandy made the call with pocket 10’s. With a second big loss of chips, Sandy’s stack didn’t seem so invincible as it once did. Little by little, Sandy would see her chip stack get smaller and smaller.
After what seemed like forever, the next player to be eliminated would be Tammie Williams in 6th place. After mounting a small come back from being extremely short stacked, Tammie went all in with pocket K’s. Trent Beebe sitting on a considerable chip stack made the call with A 3 suited. The flop was Qd 8h Jh offering no help to either player and gave hope to Tammie that her K’s would hold up against the A 3. The turn was not what Tammie wanted to see as it was an Ace. With one card to come, Tammie needed a K or a 10 for a straight. To rub salt in the wound, the river was a 3 giving Trent A’s and 3’s.
After getting as low a 2k left in chips, Ernie Moore made a come back to get well over $20k in chips. With pocket Q’s Ernie saw his chance to get back in the game as a serious contender and went all in. It was a bad time for Ernie to get a hand as Trent Beebe called and flipped over pocket A’s. The flop came J 10 9 giving Ernie an open ended straight draw and increasing Ernie’s chances from les than 20% preflop to almost 40% against Trent’s Aces. However, the turn and the river were of no help and Ernie was eliminated in 5th place.
After dominating almost the entire game and eliminating countless players, Sandy Steinbach found herself below 9k and in the big blind. With only Trent and Sandy in the hand, the flop came and Trent bet enough to put Sandy all in. Sandy decided to call despite not having anything as she didn’t have enough to call the small blind the next hand. Trent won the hand and it was down to three players: Ken Edghill, Bill Hough, and Trent Beebe.
With all three players clearly aware of what was at stake at this point of the tournament, it seemed each player was being very cautious and trying to avoid a mistake that could cost them a seat at the National Tournament in Las Vegas. The hand finally came where the final two would emerge. From the button, Ken limped in, Bill called, and Trent checked from the BB. The flop came 7 4 J. Bill Hough checked, Trent checked and Ken made a bet of 15k. Bill immediately came over the top with 30k more and Trent folded. Ken hesitated but then made the call. Ken flipped over A J giving him top pair and big kicker. Bill Hough flipped over 7 4 putting Bill ahead with two pair. The turn was a Q which appeared to provide no help to either player. The river was another Q. With a pair on the board, Bill’s two pair were counterfeited and Ken won the hand with Q’s and J’s against Bill’s Q’s and 7’s. Bill was eliminated on the bubble for the second year in a row at the Missouri State Final in 3rd place.
The Missouri State Tournament started with only two players out of the twenty five double chip stacked and for the first time in its history, not only did one double stacked player earn a seat to the FPN Nationals but both Missouri seats were won by double stacked players.
Being double stacked proved to be a very important factor to the game for both players and worth playing each month to get qualified for both semi finals. For Trent Beebe, the double stack allowed him to intimidate other players and be involved in more hands without the risk of being eliminated early. Trent had never gone below 20k in chips the entire tournament and spent most of the game with a good size chip stack. In contrast, Ken Edghill had lost nearly three quarters of his chip stack in the first few hands of the tournament and had to climb out of a big hole. Without the double stack, Ken would have been eliminated in the first hand.
With two seats being awarded to the FPN Nationals in Las Vegas, all that was left to determine was who was getting the paid trip and who was paying their own way. Despite having a commanding chip lead over Trent (close to 6 to 1), Ken made the offer to chop the travel money and share the hotel room. Trent readily accepted as it was clear that he was facing an up hill battle not to mention that the last time Ken and Trent had played heads up it had taken over six hours to determine the winner in another tournament.
To determine a winner for record, Ken and Trent went all in with Trent doubling up three times before Ken lost again for the 4th straight time in a row and was eliminated in 2nd place. Ken Edghill and Trent Beebe will be joining Jay Shick, winner of the Harrisonville TOC, in representing Missouri in Las Vegas at the FPN National Tournament.
(Note: The final two players chopped at the end.