On a beautiful day in Bismarck, 126 players made their way from all corners of the state to battle it out for trips to Las Vegas and a seat in the FPN Poker Pro National Final. In the end, eleven (11) happy players earned their spot in Vegas and five (5) won airfare/hotel accommodations...
The top five: Dallas Felch (Mac's Place-Washburn), Nick Roerick (Bowler-Fargo), Georgia Miller (KC Hall-Jamestown), Dwayne Hanson (Bismarck VFW), Dwight Wangen (Old Town Tavern-Mandan).
There were a lucky few who got to start the day with a double chip stack, but regardless of what each player started with the action was tight to begin with. After a couple levels and an hour into the tournament we had our first casualty Melody Schwehr from Bigs Lounge in Beulah fell victim. She hit the second nut flush only to lose out to you guessed it the nut flush. By the mid levels at the make it or break it time Pete was running all over the tournament area announcing All-In’s as to win a big tournament like this you have to win your coin flips.
By dinner break we were down to 60 players exactly, half of the field. Most players took the 45 minutes to re-energize with some good cooked food the VFW was serving up. The top three chip leaders at break were Levi Peterson from Borrowed Bucks in Fargo with 57,500, Gary Zander from the Silver Dollar in Mandan with 59,000, and Jim Knutson from Champs in Dickinson with 76,000.
Gary Zander was playing some poker to accumulate his chips, Gary in position made a huge bluff with 2-3 of diamonds only to run into A-K of diamonds preflop. He definitely got his hand caught in the cookie jar, but was still live and as it would turn out one lonely two on the turn would be all that he needed to give him a nice stack going into break.
After break, it didn’t take long for people to dive right in as Pete was running around announcing coin flips left and right. Levi Peterson got them all in with A-A against Barb Mickelson who was holding K-K. Unfortunately for Levi even as a huge favorite Barb was able to find one of the two remaining kings in the deck to damage Levi's stack enough to eventually knock him out of the tournament.
When the dust settled for the final table it looked like this:
Seat 1: Nick Roerick from the Bowler in Fargo 85,000
Seat2: Lynn Hanson from the Windbreak Saloon in Fargo 94,000
Seat3: Georgia Miller from the Knights of Columbus in Jamestown with 285,000
Seat4: Dwight Wangen from the Old Town Tavern in Mandan with 239,000
Seat5: Dwayne Hanson from the Bismarck VFW with 198,000
Seat6: Dallas Felch from Mac’s Place in Washburn with 96,000
Seat 7: Jesse Dovenmuehler from Reno’s Sports Bar in Hillsboro with 188,000
Seat8: Deb Bendickson from the Bowler in Fargo with 158,000
Seat9: Brandon Dosch from the Bowler in Fargo with 82,000
Seat10: Derek VanderMolen from the Williston Legion with 57,000
All 10 players were our new ND State Championship qualifiers for Poker Pro. Not to leave out in eleventh place was Ben Rott from the Windbreak Saloon in Fargo who also qualified. The final table still had something to play for as the top five were awarded the full package to Las Vegas which includes airfare and hotel stay at Harrah’s.
Those lucky five people were Dallas Felch, Nick Roerick, Georgia Miller, Dwayne Hanson, Dwight Wangen. Congratulations to everyone who qualified!