Jimmy Miles from Brothers Bar & Grill in Rochester, Minnesota emerged as the big winner following a great championship weekend of poker action at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. The payoff was a poker player's dream: Airfare for two to Las Vegas, Limo pickup, $2,000 spending cash, $1,000 hotel suite allowance, dinner and show tickets, and $5,000 worth of tournament buy ins!
The poker room was packed all weekend, each day featuring a buy-in tournament with nice overlays from FPN. For example, there was a $65 buy in tourney on Friday that offered a "Last Chance" opportunity to earn a seat in the national final. Eric Tycz, from Tyndall, SD took first place for $1,327 and also earned a double stack for the final since he was already qualified. In Sunday's $125 buy-in tourney multiple FPN players came away with cash, and a seat in the upcoming Holdem & Foldem final was awarded to first place. Brady Rodenhizer from Stanley, ND ended up with the seat and was part of a 5-way chop for $1,250 cash which included Bill Madison. Also cashing in that tourney were Jimmy Miles (nice weekend Jimmy!), Terry Williams from Yankton SD, Mike Marek from Grand Forks, ND, Blake Sandmeier Fargo ND, Tanya Rausis from Sioux Falls, Charlie Woods from Norfolk NE. We heard reports of several other FPN players cashing over the weekend. Previous promotion champ Joel Smith started off his weekend by taking down a tournament on Wednesday night for almost $1,000 while his girlfriend, Nikki Wensauer, took 2nd place to Lorry Howardin our Welcome Tourney on Thursday night as well.
Friday night featured a cocktail party in the FPN suite, and it was declared the New York crew had the best representation at the party. Those guys know how to have a good time! A few players took a photo opportunity with the FPN ladies on the poster and then sang along to Piano Man while FPN founder Brook Lyter tickled the ivories on the baby grand piano. Indeed, it was great to see everyone and it made for a tough wake up call Saturday morning for some.
The championship tourney began Saturday morning with 93 players from around the league, which represented 80% of the total qualifier list. Joel Smith ran deep in the tournament, threatening to become the league's first back-to-back national champion. His luck ran out at 17th place. Besides the $10k Highroller package up for grabs for first place, the runner up received a $1,000 WSOP package, and the rest of the top 20 were entered into Sunday's $13,000 prize pool tournament. Other cool bonuses: 3 players were pulled in a random drawing for a free $500 account on the upcoming FPNDraft.com, which is a daily fantasy sports site sponsored by FPN. More details on that soon! Congrats to Paul Meyer (MN), Larry Meyer (NE), and Brian Petzoldt (NE). Also, the final table all earned a qualification for the Holdem or Foldem 2016 WSOP championship. This was a new wrinkle that was received very well! John S from Illinois made the final table with a single ante chip. He was forced in the blind and lost in 10th place!
Here are the top 20 in the Casino Royale Championship:
- 1st – Jimmy Miles, Brothers Bar – Rochester, MN - $10,000 High Roller package!
- 2nd – Brady Rodenhizer, Leader Bar – Stanley, ND - $1,000 WSOP Package!
- 3rd – Rhyan Rousis, Brandon VFW – SD
- 4th – Judi Perrault, TimeOut Hut – NC
- 5th – Glen Nichols, Wayne (NE) Eagles
- 6th – John Sayler, Bismarck (ND) Amvets
- 7th – Dug Sirios, Williston, ND
- 8th – Marilynn Tomhave, Z103 – Fergus Falls, MN
- 9th – Bill Madison, Z103 – Fergus Falls, MN
- 10th – John Spalliero – Philly T’s (IL)
- 11th – Charlie Woods, multiple bars, NE
- 12th – Dave Johnson, multiple bars (IL)
- 13th – Brad Cave, Q’s Bar, IL
- 14th – Neal Williamson, Wild Bills – North Platte, NE
- 15th – Deb Marquette, Wadena (MN) Elks
- 16th – Arnie Leno, Bismarck (ND) Amvets
- 17th – Joel Smith, Playtime/Z103
- 18th – Vern LeBlanc, Bismarck (ND) Amvets
- 19th – Marjorie Passaro, Online winner (FL)
- 20th – Terry Schmidt,Wild Bills – North Platte, NE
Here are the cash side tournament winners:
- Eric Tycz, Tyndall, SD $1,327
- Brady Rodenhize, Stanley, ND $1,234
- William Madison, Fergus Falls, MN $1,234
- Lorry Howard, WIlliston, ND $921
- Cheryl Snedden, Crown Point , IN $896
- Joel Smith, Fergus Falls, MN $883
- John Edwards, Bolingbrook, IL $854
- Terry Williams, Yankton, SD $561
- Jimmy Miles, Rochester, MN $547
- Mike Marek, East Grand Forks, MN $457
- John Sayler, Bismarck, ND $427
- Doug Lage, Pilge, NE $326
- Jonathan Jones, Orland Park, IL $299
- Gene Halldorson, Madison, MN $276
- Blake Sandnieier, Fargo, ND $262
- Tanya Rausis, Sioux Falls, SD $213
- Charles Woods, Norfolk, NE $213
- Jon Clausen, Montevideo, MN $194
- Brent Rodenhizer, Belden. ND $170
- Nicholas Hejlik, Rochester, MN $168
- John Spalliero, Chicago, IL $147
- Jeffrey Golus, North Platte, NE $106
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