Straight Flush Poker Tour State Championships

By Karaoke Phil

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) may have kicked off at the Rio in Las
Vegas but last Thursday at Running Aces card room all thoughts were on
Event 54 which kicks off June 30.  Minnesota’s premier bar poker league,
the Straight Flush Poker Tour (SFPT) was conducting their 2013 WSOP Finals – or, their MN State Championships. There were 92 participants in the running for five travel packages to Las Vegas including tournament buy-ins. 

Yours truly was in the house looking to take the first place prize – a $1000 buy-in into WSOP Event #54.  Or, short of that, one of the $500 or $250 WSOP Deep Stack prizes being offered.

The crowds began arriving before the 7 pm start and excitement was in
the air – as well as plenty of questions regarding the tournament and
prize packages.  Several (I counted at least three) Running Aces staff
stopped in to talk “shop” with SFPT owner Chris Belflower.  The tournament kicked off a couple minutes after 7 pm with some
announcements and acknowledgments.  Players all started with 5K in chips
with maybe 10 double qualifiers

(from Season A and B being given a
“rebuy” chip that they could use through the end of level 4.

I started out pretty well moving up to 6850 chips after the first level and 9225 after level two.   I had a couple of familiar faces at my table including SFPT Tournament Director Jason Reichert and Friend of the CPL Bud Abbott.  I kept about event through levels 3 and 4 and ended level 5 with 14750 in chips and about 63 players remaining.  Had I been playing considerably looser I would’ve had considerably more chips.  Through the first 5 levels I folded what would have been 4 full houses and a nut straight. 

Kyle Baker moved to my table around level 6.  I hold basically even through level 6 and half of level 7.  I then drop to about 8K in chips with blinds at 400/800 and a 50 chip ante when my AdQd loses to a shortish stacked player holding pocket Qs. I try a badly timed bluff on the last hand of  level 7 to try and get some chips back, but we collapse to 4 tables (40 players) and I take my 2300 chips to the new table.

I nearly make it through level 8 but in a battle of blinds the villain (Inger Birkley) moves all-in from the small blind.  I have 2100 in chips with 1K of that committed to the big blind.  And, I have JdJh.  I call.  Inger turns over AdQc.  The board runs Ace/Queen free – however, there are four diamonds and my J high flush falls to Inger’s nut flush.

I go play some blackjack and come back at 12:35am as AJ Kozlowski bubbles the payouts going out in 6th place when A/7 is unable to beat pocket Js.  Our final five, winning at least a $250 WSOP Deep Stack buy-in plus a travel and lodging package are:

Crystal Kempf with 84K in chips
Jason LeDuc with 125K
Michael P Nelson, the short stack with 28K
Antonio Harper, the big stack with 176K, and,
Brian Dosh with 60K

Just a couple hands later and the third to last hand in level 15, Jason LeDuc raises from the button after it is folded around to him.  Michael Nelson makes a quick call for less from the SB and is all-in.  Antonio H. in the BB folds.  While it may have looked like a steal from Jason, he tables pockets 3s.  It’s a classic showdown and a coin flip as Michael Nelson reveals K/J.  The board runs A/8/T/2/4 and Nelson is out in 5th place. 

Two hands later – the last hand of level 15 – Jason LeDuc, now the chip leader with 162K moves all in with pocket 5s.  Antonio Harper tanks and counts his chips – 161K.  He folds showing pocket 6s.

Early in level 16 – with blinds at 5K/10K and a 1K ante, Crystal Kempf moves all-in for 77K.  She is called by Jason L.  Crystal, certainly trying to make a steal flips over 5/4 off suite.  A big stacked Jason made the call with Q/9.  Crystal rivers two pair to beat Jason’s pair of 9s and she doubles up.

In the end, Brian Dosh takes down a $250 seat finishing in 4th place. Jason LeDuc and Crystal Kempf win $500 seats finishing 3rd and runner-up respectively. And, Antonio Harper wins the final hand with T/9 off to take the SFPT Bracelet and the $1K Event 54 WSOP seat.  Keep watching here as we give updates on how all these winners do at the end of the month.