Steve O’Connor from the Chicago area was anointed the new National Championship on November 14th! Steve can be found at a lot of league nights during week as he plays out of Sullivan’s, Q Bar, Philly T’s, and JJ’s Primetime in the Chicago land area. Steve qualified by winning a Super TOC at one of the bars he plays at. He bested a field of 93 other rock star players as at the National Championship we are down to the best of the best.
Throughout the day Steve played solid collecting chips through the whole tournament. Steve took the chip lead on the final table when his AA went up against KK knocking out a player. When it was down to the final three Steve had 75% of the chips in play as it was a matter of time before he put the hammerlock on the tournament to end it.
It was a very tough final table as former National Champion Brandon Dosch (ND) finished in third as he became the closest ever to become a repeat National Champion. Second place was no slouch as Mike Heinecke (MN) is new to free poker, but his father has been playing in the league for years. He has definitely tough Mike the ropes as he played a solid tournament all day as well. In fourth place was Cheri Snedden (IN) who was making her 3rd National Championship appearance and had previously won a WSOP bracelet event buy-in through the league.
The other final table players were:
10.) Mike Magine (IL)
9.) Russ Nehring (ND)
8.) Brian Petzold (NE) – the unfortunate one to have his KK run up against AA
7.) Shelly Cincurane (ND)
6.) Alex Aguirre (IL)
5.) Jason Bruesten (MN)
With his big win Steve won $2,000 cash and along with travel and airfare to two other HPT Main Events. Steve played his first at the Stratosphere going pretty deep in day one, but eventually getting knocked out short of the cash. Mike H. won a HPT Main Event buy-in the following day as well. He played solid all day as well, but like Steve came a little short. Places 3-12 all won a private HPT qualifier, places 13-20 won a HPT buy-in the following day.
It was a great tournament with a lot of poker pro’s floating around the following day at the HPT event. We had a great time at the party the night before and even lost the National Championship five foot trophy for 12 hours. Make sure to check out our facebook page for pictures.