Nebraska Fall Spectacular Championship Review

{sidebar id=8}On Saturday, February 20th players from all around the state of Nebraska filed into The Depot in Norfolk to see who would become the next Nebraska Poker League State Champion. A total of 67 people showed up with dreams of being the last man or woman standing. There were many hopefuls and some past champions looking to win their second championship. The action began at 1 pm sharp and a crowd of spectators began filing in soon after. 



Tournament action underway at the DepotA common theme throughout the day was the dreaded river card as it switched fortunes around all day. The game pace was fast and furious, and former champion John Harms looked to make a deep run but exited the tournament in a quick fashion as his Kings ran up against Aces--the ultimate cooler. Then his A-K was eliminated by pocket Kings making John our first causality. 

After about two hours the pace picked up even more as the blinds forced action all around. The first table broke and one of our chip leaders, Rod (the Rodster) Lovig got tangled into lots of pots. Although Rod was the first one out in the last Nebraska State Championship, his fortune changed for the better during this event.

After a quick 10 minute break, players flew out and tables broke down rather quickly. All-ins were happening at an alarming rate, but there were a lot of veteran players maintaining the course. Pat McGrane, Dan Wemhoff, Jeff Merrill, Jeff Schultz and Cole Zentner cruised along to try to make another final table.  

During dinner break, our top three chip leaders were Jenny Moore with 45,000, Jeremy Hendricks with 44,500 and Brandon Mokry with 39,000. And when action began after supper and we neared the final table some serious poker playing was going on. Cole Zentner got into a pot with Eric Diessner (pictured left), who both had decent chip stacks. Cole was on the button and Eric was in the big blind. Cole pre-flop raised and Eric defended. The flop came with two Spades and two Jacks. Cole made a continuation bet with Eric smooth calling. The turn came with another Spade and Cole pumped the breaks and so did Jeremy by checking it through. Then came the river with the fourth Spade on the board and Cole fired out. Eric contemplated and made a hero call with A-Q for Ace high and no flush and caught Cole with his hand in the cookie jar as he did not have a Spade either. But hey, that's poker folks!

As we ground our way down the final table, the tag team free-roll kicked off with 17 teams participating for $200 in cash and prizes. And just as the free-roll broke for chip-up, the final table introduction started with the following players vying for the grand prize:

Seat 1 - Ron Jahnke from Melodee Lanes with 76,000
Seat 2 - Brandon Mokry from Everybody's Restaurant with 53,000
Seat 3 - Jenny Moore from Green Acres with 80,000
Seat 4 - Eric Diessner from Double T with 78,000
Seat 5 - Dave Smith from Melodee Lanes with 18,000
Seat 6 - Jeff Schultz from Touchdown Club with 14,000
Seat 7 - Dan Wemhoff from Double T with 135,000
Seat 8 - Mike Craft from Melodee Lanes with 21,000
Seat 9 - Jeremy Hendricks from MVP Lounge with 102,000
Seat 10 - Bob Timberlake from MVP Lounge with 60,000

During the final table short-stacked Jeff Schultz and Dave Smith were the first to go. Bob Timberlake who is a staple at Nebraska Championship events was taken out next in 8th place. The chip leader going into the final table, Dan Wemhoff, used his A-K to try and eliminate two players in a 190,000 pot against Jeremy's 7-7 and Eric's 8-8. The flop came 7-6-6, and Jeremy took it down to become the new chip leader, which conveniently for him crippled Dan who ended up going out in 7th place.

The next to go out were Ron Jahnke (6th), Jenny Moore (5th), Brandon Mokry (4th), and Eric Diesser (3rd). Then came some hot heads-up action between Jeremy Hendricks with 209,000 and Mike Craft with 403,000. After battling back and forth for about a half hour, Jeremy took the lead and eliminated Mike, who flopped top pair with A-3 and Jeremy flopped middle pair with Q-7 and a flush draw. On the turn, Jeremy nailed the flush to seal the championship and crown himself the new Nebraska State Champion!

(Jeremy Hendricks with his winning Q-7 for a flush on the turn)

The top 5 teams in the free-roll, which concluded at nearly the same time were:

Steve Swaboda and Betty Johnson - $120
Charlie Woods and Andrew McCarthy - $60
Jeff Merrill and Jim Follette - $20
Deb Kumm & Deb Harris - Medallions
Mike Summers & Larry Hanson - Merchandise

Thanks to everyone who came out to play and spectate! We had a lot of fun and hope you all did as well. Also, another big thank you goes out to everyone at the Depot and to Rod Lovig for all his help setting up this Fall Spectacular Event! Hope to see you next time!

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