This past weekend at the Eagles Club in Bismarck there was a lot of fast and furious action as players from all over the state gathered and got after it right away. No player was timid on getting his or her chips into the middle at any point of the tournament. Jeff Gab from Dickinson who was already qualified for the National Championship was free-rolling shooting for a second stack and was the first person eliminated within an hour. Upon his departure he said, "My plan was to play a bit loose today, but I didn't think I was going to play this loose."
Chris McGurk from Fargo who had the most points in ND for the 100 WSOP promotion and was double stacked starting the day within the first hour was down half his stack already. When asked what happened to his chips he had the funny comment of "To be fair I lost most of them when I was way behind."
After all this exciting and fast paced action when we were getting down to the final two tables there were some memorable hands. With 17 players left Cam Millang from Dunseith was all-in with pocket 10's against Art Ziemann's pocket Kings and Stacy Engelstad's A-J. Both Art and Stacy checked it down only to have a 10 fall on the river to propel Cam into the final 15.
This hit took Art down to the short stack and he was now at risk. Art who has bubbled twice already at state championships was in line to set a record and do it for a third time. Lucky for him when he was all in with pocket 8's versus three callers his 8's were unbelievably able to hold up. Then a second time he was all-in with 8's again versus two callers and was able to get a full house to put Art back into the drivers seat to coast into the top 15. In the end former ND State Champion Joyce Whitmore ended up going out on the bubble. Joyce is the only FPN player to win a Main Event Seat and make it through to day two and almost made day three. Ironically at the last state championship six months ago Stacy Engelstad was the bubble.
Nick Boit who just qualified at the MN State Championship the weekend before almost did the impossible and pull off back to back state championships. He went out just a bit short at 18. Pat Braun had one heck of a day as he was the last player to show up at the state championship. When we were at dinner break Pat was at 12k and was late getting back from dinner. Pat lost half his stack down to 6k only to make a fierce comback which unfortunately came up a bit short when his AA lost out to KK. Pat went over to the side freeroll and was the last player entered into that which he ended up taking down to join the other 15 winners on qualifying for Las Vegas!
Here are your new 16 ND State Champs:
Vern Shasky - Wahpeton, ND - Wahpeton Vets Club
Allen Ollila - Dickinson, ND - Liquid Assets
Stacy Engelstad - Mandan, ND - Old Town Tavern
Mike Fisk - Bismarck, ND - Lonesome DoveJay Tooley - Dickinson, ND - Champs
Camron Millang - Dunseith, ND - Stadium II
Craig Argabright - Minot, ND - Hooterville Bar
Steve Fuglestad - Hope, ND - Pit Stop
Howard Burns - Bismarck, ND - Bismarck VFW
Lowell Hanson - Moorhead, MN - El Zagel Shrine
Gary Zander - Mandan, ND - Silver Dollar
Larry Riedinger - Bismarck, ND - Main Bar
Art Ziemann - Mandan, ND - Westside Bar & Grill
Gregg Trautwein - Fargo, ND - Borrowed Bucks
Joe Chapman - Williston, ND - Williston Legion
Pat Braun - Fargo, ND - Woody's