Jon Lattergrass New FPN National Champion

On an unseasonable cold day in Las Vegas FPN players from all over the country packed into the Golden Nugget poker room for their shot at becoming the next FPN National Champions and winning the coveted $10,000 poker package.  Altogether a total of 123 people played.  With the tournament starting at 10am local time spirits were high and everyone was having a lot of fun.  Samantha Chase from Fargo, ND took all the pressure off everyone by being the first player eliminated.  For being first out Samantha received a fresh crisp $100 bill.  An hour into the tournament Debbi Edwards from Illinois stood up and made the announcement she won her first hand of the tournament.  Players in the poker room had a good laugh and applauded Debbi for her first win. 

Former National Champion and poster boy Jimmy Miles from Rochester, MN didn't make it too far into the tournament, but was having a lot of fun.  The night prior he wore his Top Gun aviation costume during the poker tournament which FPN had an overlay of the longest lasting FPN player could win an additional chip stack or if they weren't qualified yet the winner would get a seat into the National Championship.  LeAnn Wolff from Fargo, ND just missed out taking second place and scored her biggest ever casino tournament win with $800.  The eventual winner was Laurie Kasper from Glenville, MN.  She was not qualified for Saturdays tournament prior to, but now was.  She also took home $1350 for winning.  At Friday's final table 9 of the 10 players were apart of the FPN family.

Ironically Matt Wolff (Willmar, MN) was seated right next to Laurie on Saturday and eventually knocked her out.  At the halfway point in the tournament Leslie Connor from Texas was the chip leader with 70,000.  Leslie started the day with a single stack and ran it up, but unfortunately that was as high as it was going to get for her that day.  The top 20 players all won a seat into Sundays $125 tournament.  Tonya Rausis (Sioux Falls, SD) was our bubble boy after a grind fest leading up to the top 20.  She got short stacked and picked up a good hand, the cards just didn't come her way. 

The final 20 places looked like this:
20.) Dan Alcocer Sr (IL)
19.) Sue Burns (ND)
18.) Jerry Vokral (IL)
17.) Bill Madison (MN)
16.) Seth Erickson (MN)
15.) Karol Lesiak (IL)
14.) Stephen Oberlander (NE)
13.) Brady Rodenhizer (ND)
12.) Colt Bellin (MN)
11.) Chad Kolloen (ND)

When we got down to the final table it was the whose who of the FPN league.  We had some amazing players who a lot of accomplishments throughout the years including former National Champion Joel Smith and first ever winner of the league Derek Melicher.  Both had previously won the $10,000 WSOP Main Event Seat.  Jon Lattergrass from Fargo, ND and Derek Melicher also from Fargo were the top two chip leaders at the table with an estimated 70% of the chips in play. 

The turning point of the final table was when Derek and Jon got into a huge hand against each other.  It was a blind fight with Derek being the small blind holding Q-8 of diamonds.  Jon held K-9 off suit.  The flop came A-9-9 with two diamonds.  Derek bet out trying to hit his flush draw with Jon holding trips he re-raised and Derek called.  The turn was a jack of diamonds giving Derek the flush, while Jon was grabbing for his chips Derek went into his best Hollywood moment and looks at the camera and winks as he just hit the nuts.  Jon lead out with a 30,000 and Derek came over the top going all in.  Jon made the call and on the river a second Ace came giving Jon a full house and a majority of the chips in play.  

On our facebook page you can see the whole final table as we went live for the whole thing to re-watch all the action.  It didn't take too long for players to bust as they knew they had to do something if they were going to compete with Jon.  Former FPN Champion Jason Hauf (Dilworth, MN) who had won a $1k WSOP seat in the past ended up getting second place in a heads up battle that only lasted one hand.   For second place Jason won another $1k WSOP package.  Jon the new National Champion won a $10,000 package including buyins to the WSOP, $2,000 cash, hotel/airfare, and limo pickup.

Top 10:
10.) Chad Herring (ND)
9.) Rich Mercer (IL)
8.) Cory Jorgenson (SD)
7.) Joel Smith (MN)
6.) Derek Melicher (ND)
5.) Matt Loken (ND)
4.) Matt Wolff (MN)
3.) Brian Breidenbach (ND)
2.) Jason Hauf (MN)
1.) Jon Lattergrass (ND)

On Sunday for the 18 players that participated in the tournament with an overlay of not only the regular casino payouts, but the longest lasting FPN player qualifying for the upcoming Nationals we had a great showing.  Tanya Rausis almost bubbled again, but made it into the money winning $125.  Both Larry Sundberg and Glenn Schaefers cashed $220.  Chad Kolloen hit $440, Stephan Oberlander made $660, Doug Behrens $770, Marjorie Passaro $1100.  The longest lasting FPN player was Richard Sathre getting 3rd place for $1320 and now has a trip to plan for the next Nationals on June 2nd or 3rd.