It had been three years since the last visit to North Platte, Nebraska for a state championship. The west side of the state was happy to showcase what they had to offer starting with a tag team freeroll on Friday night for people that drove up early. It was a beautiful Saturday unlike three years previous when 17 inches of snow was dumped on North Platte. Everyone was settled in for a long day of poker. All the usual faces were there.
The tournament had ended up being one of the most unusual state tournaments we have seen as there were only a handful of suckouts and coin flips usually stayed with the pocket pairs. If you got them in ahead you were probably going far which was the case for our five new winners. Bob Timberlake (MVP Lounge) and Deb Harris (Fugglies and Norfolk Eagles) won the airfare allowance and hotel stay taking the top two spots. Bob has now qualified back to back for the National Championship. This was his first live win at the state championship as he won last time through the first of the month FPN Online tournament. This was Bob's fourth final table experience at the state championship and he was able to break through and take it down.
Deb is no stranger to Nebraska state championships either having been to multiple herself and her dad Charlie Woods is a previous winner in the league. Ironically on her way to victory Deb knocked out her dad Charlie in the tournament. Third place winner Pat McGrane (Denton Daily Double) has been at plenty of state championships as well and has been at final tables as well. He was able to qualify for the Golden Ticket National Championship in December by coming in third. Joining Pat is Dave Novacek (Denton Daily Double) coming in fourth and Hal Seeley (Wheelers) coming in fifth.
Honorable mentions for Matt Norcik, Tim Voss, Rick Hammer, Larry Hoffman, and Glenn Neighbors who were the other five participants at the final table. In the side game we gave away another qualification to the National Championship. Ironically the sidegame freeroll took longer than the main tournament to complete. The eventual winner was a well known poker face in Nebraska, the Rodster playing out of pretty much all the locations in the state. Rod has qualified for the Golden Ticket National Championship which will be his second appearance having been at the last one in July.