Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!! An early fall snowfall blanketed the North Platte area, making this championship a memorable one. Fortunately, a lot of players came in the night before to take advantage of the warm-up tourney where well over $200 in cash was given away.
79 players from Nebraska qualified for this regional championship and the overall winner, Dave Schuett, a local player from the Touchdown Club, earned himself a $2,000 package to play in the televised Heartland Poker Tour Red Rock Casino main event, airfare, and 4 nights at the beautiful Red Rock casino this January. Congratulations Dave! (**Photo gallery updated**)
Early in the tournament, Steve Swoboda from the Double T busted when his open-ended straight-flush draw missed. He was up against former champ (Party at the Palms) Charlie Wood's set of eights. Charlie made quad-eights on the turn, but Steve still had 2 outs for the straight flush. Steve missed, and went broke...
Former champ Jeff Schulz from the Touchdown Club got a gift on the flop (a king) to double up with Kings vs. Aces. Eric Diessner took the bad beat.
After 3 levels we had lost two players. Rodster Lovig was the first player to bust (aces vs. kings preflop).
Dave Campbell was the early chip leader. Dave plays out of the MVP Lounge in Omaha. Ironically, he used to work at Touchdown Club in North Platte before moving to the Omaha area. He had a little over 30k after 6 levels.
Here are some of the players who busted after 6 levels of play:
Bob Drozd, Leigh Gonzales, and Charlie Woods, Dan Wemhoff, Bob Timberlake, Mark Wheeler, Warren Kumm, Jessi Sumner, Daniel Edwards.
The chip leaders going into the 800/1600 level with 4 tables left to play: former champion Brandon Schrotberger (Summer Poker Challenge $10k cash freeroll), Duane Linneman, David Campbell, Ron "Doc" Janke, and Jay Dabney.
At 4:45pm in the afternoon, we were down to 29 players with an avg stack 30k. The dinner break took place at 5pm. Some players who busted before the dinner break were Andrew Behlen, Josh Westerman, Janet McGrane. Janet got outdrawn by Brandon Schrotberger with a 4-outer. Earl Pittman, Rich Forester, Pat McGrane, John Harms, and Mark Staab also were felted. Chip leaders at the dinner break were Jay Dabney, David Campbell, and Ron Janke with just over 50k...
After the dinner break, there was a flurry of bust-outs and there remained just 12 players at the 7pm mark. Jeff Schulz busted in 13th place, he had another good run in this tournament but fell short of his goal of becoming a 2-time champ (2007 World Series of Poker).
Bust outs: 18th - Tracy Sundstrom, 17th - Jim Follette, 16th - Duane Linneman, 15th - Lynda Anderson, 14th Eric Diessner, 13th - Jeff Schulz.
12th - Terry Schmidt from Touchdown Club.
Brandon Schrotberger doubled up through Ron "Doc" Janke after going runner-runner for a straight. He is the last remaining former champ.
Karen Sjullie doubled up through Dave Campbell to stay alive in an exciting hand. Karen held pocket sevens to Jeff's Q-J. The flop came Q-J-7! Karen dodged an outdraw and doubled up. Pete Bushey was on the microphone calling the hand and a nice crowd remained to see the finish.
Brandon Schrotberger (pitctured right) doubled up numerous times on the final table to put himself into contention to win it.
Jay Dabney busted in 5th place. Hard not to root for Jay, he has made so many final tables and came close with a 2nd place finish in the past...A big hand eliminated Brandon and Ron "Doc" Janke. That left Deb Harris a severely shortstacked Deb Harris against Dave's monster stack.
Deb doubled up 4 times before being eliminated. A lot of spectators had gathered for the final showdown, and since Deb was such a huge underdog, many in the crowd were cheering as she hung on.
Great tournament, Dave Schuett from North Platte is our champion! Dave will now get his big shot at the big money and television time in the Heartland Poker Tour Season 6 Kickoff at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas.