Wisconsin Championship - Desert Heat

On Saturday, September 26th, the next HPT Red Rock seat was awarded at the Wisconsin State Championship held at the Doll House in Hammond, WI.  Forty-one players were all wishing they were going to be the next to win this awesome package to Las Vegas!

The tournament started right at 2 O'clock and we didn't lose the first player for an hour and a half.  We knew we would be in for some great poker.  Four time championship qualifier Dale Hjelmgren from the Outer Limits was off to a great start as he chipped up quickly by making some aggressive moves early and nearly doubling up in the first hour of play.

Don's Market had a huge showing again with all players attending donning their league t-shirts.  A couple of new bars, Chutes & Ladders and Birchwood Grill in Kenosha had a great turnout as well.

The dinner break was the real turning point in the tournament as those players that were short stacked decided now was the time to make the moves and we lost 20 percent of the field in one level.  We were down to the final two tables around 7:15 and the play tightened back up for a bit.  We had our final table at 8:45 and handed out drinks and T-shirts to everyone at the final table.

Two brothers from the same bar made the final table, Justin Huebener and Jassen Huebener from the Hilltop bar, unfortunately Justin was the first one eliminated.  Next to go was our last female standing Judy Samuelson from the Hilltop bar as well.

Trever Gartner from the Outer Limits was eliminated on a horrible beat when his Aces went up against A-K.  When it was all said and done the board read KJQQK!

Fidel Drepaul from the Doll House was quickly called on his all-in preflop from Jassen Hubener.  Fidel showed 3-3 and Jassen flipped over A-7.  The flop brought a 7 which knocked out Fidel in 6th place.

Steve Gehr from the Outer Limits was short stacked and moved all in with A-4 only to hear a quick call from his good friend Mark Anderson from JJ's Outpost.  Mark was holding J-J and Steve was eliminated in 5th place.  Mark was making an amazing comeback as he started the final table with 5,000 in chips and was now sitting at around 68,000.

One hand later, Brad Fredicson from the Doll House was eliminated in fourth place as he just couldn't get anything going on the final table.  We were down to three players and the band for the night PointNot (www.PointNot.com) was firing up the crowd.

Forty-five minutes into 3-way action you could see the length of the tournament taking its toll as frustration took hold and the clock was called a couple of times.  Jassen Hubener had been picking a couple of spots to move in against chip leader Josh Shaffer and it was only a matter of time before the fireworks would come.  Picking a spot with 220,000 in the pot, Jassen decides this is it and moves all in with ace high.  Josh didn't think Jassen hit the flop so he made an tough call with King high and had the chips to afford to lose.  Jassen is two cards away from doubling up and making a real run at Josh for the Red Rock seat, but the turn delivered a King and Jassen was eliminated in 3rd place.

We were now eight hours into the tournament and down to heads up.  In the first hand Josh moved all in with pocket 2's and Mark Anderson makes the call with 8-9.  An 8 on the flop quickly doubled Mark up.  For the next 20 minutes we don't see another flop as both players are waiting to strike.

After another all-in from Josh preflop, Mark makes the call and Josh flipped over 9-9 and Mark showing lots of pain flipped over 8-8.  After an 8 peels off, Mark yells and now takes the chip lead.  After exchanging the lead back and forth with big blind raises and post flop aggression we had our final hand. 

Post flop, both players are fatigued, and Mark makes another aggressive move with K-8, Josh goes into the tank and thinks a bit, clock is called.  Josh calls with K-9 as the clock runs out, the turn and river are no help and Mark's amazing final table run is over.  Josh Shaffer is our new Wisconsin State Champion.  Congratulations to Josh Shaffer as he will be heading to Vegas for the Season 6 kick off of the Heartland Poker Tour at the Red Rock Casino!!!