News and events from the Illinois region.
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.
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Beth Enriquez from Hometown, IL (yes that is correct, Hometown, IL) recently turned in a 4 of a kind scratch card. Beth plays at EJ Durbins in Plainsfield, IL. Beth scratched off four Kings to get herself qualified. She now looks to try for the elusive double stack at Nationals with the playoffs coming up. Congratulations Beth!
Illinois had a great showing at the HPT Dream Package National Championship recently with three players placing in the top 30 of the 94 person field. By making the top 30 each player received a $180 FPN private HPT qualifier buyin. Those lucky three were Chris Juracek from Q's sports bar in Darien, IL, Steve O'Connor from Coaches sports bar in Midlothian, and John Edwards from the Town Bar in Aurora, IL. The next day the field of 30 came back to play down to the top 10% to win a HPT $1650 Main Event seat. Chris Juracek was able to win one of those main event seats. Unfortunately the main event didn't go so hot as his Kings got cracked early, but still all three played great all weekend long.
Congratulations to Keith Lee who plays at Q's Sports Bar in Darien, Illinois. Keith was drawn for the February perfect attendance. He attended all four weeks to get qualified. Unfortunately Keith never pointed any of the weeks, but it doesn't matter since all he had to do was to show up to win. Keith will be sent 100 Scratch Poker cards giving himself 100 attempts at winning $1,000, qualifying for Nationals, and getting entered into the 2 pair or better drawing.
Gerri Wagner and Tyke Almquist were the big winners of the Illinois State Championship as they took first and second respectively at the 100 WSOP IL State Championship. The state championship consisted of all players from FPN in the state of IL coming together to determine who the new champs were to get qualified for the National Championship in Las Vegas. Both Gerri and Tyke won airfare allowance and a hotel stay.
The top five players all qualified, joining Gerry and Tyke are Anthony Burbatt, Jason Lestina, and David Beseke. All five will be shooting for the final table to win a $1,000 WSOP buy-in or if one of them wins it all they get the $1,000 buy-in and a $10,000 Main Event Seat. Congratulations to all and good luck in Nationals!