Brian Johnson wins MSPT Northern Lights

After an epic heads-up battle against Jeremy Ensrud, Brian Johnson prevailed, thanks to a few timely turn and river cards, to win the Minnesota State Poker Tour event at Northern Lights Casino, and 23,854.

The most crucial hand of heads-up play came with blinds at 20/40K, when Ensrud raised to 90K  on the button with 6-4 of spades. Johnson called with Q5 of clubs, and the two men saw a flop of 9-6-9, two clubs. Johnson immediately moved all in for 500K, and Ensrud quickly called.

The turn brought the 8 of clubs, and Johnson took an overwhelming 1.1 million to 250K chip lead. He finished off Ensrud on the very next hand to win the title.

This was the fourth-ever MSPT event, and the Main Event drew a field of 87.

Jackpot Junction will host the fifth MSPT event, July 14-18.

Look for a full write-up of Johnson’s victory in the July issue of Minnesota Poker Magazine.

See recaps of the day’s action below.

Results (87 entrants):

1Brian Johnson$23,854
2Jeremy Ensrud$11,763
3Scott Drill$7,403
4Mitchell Bank$5,758
5Gary Grams$4,935
6Bill Freid$3,702
7Jess Geesey$3,208
8Tom Burandt$2,797
9Todd Melander$2,303
10Matt Kirby$1,892
11Richard Hentges$1,645
12Joe Oschwald$1,439
13Tom Stambaugh$1,234
14Sam Johnson$1,028
15Mike Lovelace$905
16Joe Big Bear$823
17Pete Baker$823
18Mary Witte$823
19Dayle Anderson-Scherber$740
20Dan Adams$740
21Peter Nelson$740
22Bill Couch$658
23Mike Cluever$658
24Tony Moses$658
25Phillip Stiner$576
26Chris Dolan$576
27Ray Bendijo$576

Brian Johnson

8:42 p.m. update: Johnson avoids elimination twice

Johnson was drawing nearly dead on two all ins during level 18 (15/30k, 3k ante). On the first hand, he moved all in for just over 200K with K10 of clubs and was called by Ensrud’s AJ. The flop came J-high with one club, but runner runner clubs gave Johnson new life.

A short while later, Johnson raised on the button and Ensrud came over the top all in with K9. Johnson called with K7 for his tournament life, but spiked a flush on the river to stay alive again.

Johnson now has 700K, and Ensrud has 600K

8:19 p.m. update: Drill busts, we are now heads-up

Brian Johnson limped in the small blind and Scott Drill moved all in for just under 300K. Johnson went in the tank and eventually called his remaining $225K with K8 of clubs. Drill showed 33, but a seven on the river gave Johnson a straight, crippling Drill down to 40K.

He busted one hand later.

Ensrud – 900K
Johnson – 400K

8:07 p.m. update: Sick hand, and down to three

With blinds at 10/20/2k, Ensrud limped in the small blind and Mitch Bank checked. The two saw a flop of A65. Ensrud checked, Bank bet 40K, Ensrud immediately check-raised to 95K, and Bank immediately called.

The turn brought another 6, and Ensrud led out for 125K, putting Bank all in. Bank thought for about two minutes before folding.

Ensrud turned over a Q8 bluff.

Brian Johnson eliminated Bank on the next hand. We’re now down to three.

Jeremy Ensrud – 750K
Scott Drill – 400K
Brian Johnson – 375K

Jeremy Ensrud

7:15 p.m. update: Dinner break concludes, five remain

The five remaining players are currently returning from a 45-min dinner break. Bill Freid busted in sixth place.

Jeremy Ensrud is the chip leader with roughly 500K of the 1.3 million in play.

Blinds are at 10,000/20,000/2,000

5:50 p.m. update: Six remain, play slows down

Play has slowed down considerably at the final table, as we’ve only had four bust outs in two levels. The average chip stack is $217,000 with 8,000/16,000/2,000 blinds, and Mitch Bank is the current chip leader with 360K. Jeremy Ensrud is close behind with roughly 320K.

We recently lost Jess Geesey and Tom Burandt.

Don’t forget to follow updates via Twitter as well.

7Jess Geesey$3,208
8Tom Burandt$2,797

Gary Grams

4:40 p.m. update: Eight players remain, Grams leads

Jess Geesey earned his way into the MSPT Main Event through a home game free roll — the River Rat Poker League. Coincidentally, across the table sits fellow RRPL player Bill Freid. With blinds at 4,000/8,000/1,000, Freid limped under the gun. Jess pondered for a moment before shoving all in for nearly 150K. Everyone folded, and Geesey showed 5-2 offsuit to stir things up.

Pretty bold, especially with guys like Brian Johnson, Scott Drill and Tom Burandt at the table — all of whom have fantastic track records in the HPT, or in other Midwest tournaments.

Gary Grams has quietly amassed a large chip stack. He now holds 345K of the 1.3 million in play.

Here are the latest bust outs:

9Todd Melander$2,303
10Matt Kirby$1,892

3:42 p.m. update: We’re down to the final table

We’ve arrived to our final 10 players here at Northern Lights Casino. Jess Geesey is the current chip leader with 205K. The blinds will be 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 ante shortly.

Here are final table chip counts:

Seat 1Gary Grams157K
Seat 2Tom Burandt130K
Seat 3Brian Johnson182K
Seat 4Bill Freid172K
Seat 5Matt Kirby100K
Seat 6Scott Drill63K
Seat 7Jeremy Ensrud69K
Seat 8Todd Melander77K
Seat 9Mitch Bank146K
Seat 10Jess Geesey205K

And here were the last few bust outs before the final table:

11Richard Hentges$1,645
12Joe Oschwald$1,439
13Tom Stambaugh$1,234
14Sam Johnson$1,028

Tom Burandt

3:01 p.m. update: Burandt is new chip leader

In the first 15 minutes after break, Tom Burandt doubled up twice, and he now has over 160K in chips. His first double up came against Tom Stambaugh, when Burandt’s AQ hit a flush on the river against Stambaugh’s AK.

A few hands later, Burandt picked up AA against the AK of Joe Oschwalt. A King hit on the flop, but Burandt faded the rest on the turn and river to double up again.

Burandt currently ranks second in the MNPokerMag Player of the Year race, behind Everett Carlton.

2:39 p.m. update: Chip counts with 15 remaining

Mitch Bank was the chip leader heading into day two with 94K, and he currently has 147K, which puts him third behind Brian Johnson (152K) and Scott Drill (150K).

Mitch Bank

Here are the updated chip counts (blinds 3000/6000 w/ 500 ante):

Table 3
Seat 1Bill Freid44K
Seat 2Scott Drill150K
Seat 3Jeremy Ensrud86K
Seat 5Matt Kirby125K
Seat 6Jess Geesey90K
Seat 7Dick Hentges53K
Seat 8Sam Johnson52K
Table 7
Seat 1Tom Stambaugh79K
Seat 2Joe Oschwald86K
Seat 3Gary Grams86K
Seat 4Brian Johnson152K
Seat 5Mitch Bank147K
Seat 6Tom Burandt40K
Seat 7Todd Melander37K
Seat 8Mike Lovelace51K

Pete Baker

2:13 p.m. update: Pete Baker busts, 15 left

Pete Baker, who finished third in a Heartland Poker Tour event in 2008, just busted in 15th.

During the next break (approximately 2:30 p.m.) we will get accurate chip counts and post them as soon as possible. Mitchell Bank and Brian Johnson are still dominating and accumulating chips. Scott Drill is also healthy, and Tom Burandt just doubled up to a relatively healthy stack.

I know those details are vague, but more info is coming soon.

Last few bust outs:

Table 7
Seat 1Tom Stambaugh79K
Seat 2Joe Oschwald86K
Seat 3Gary Grams86K
Seat 4Brian Johnson152K
Seat 5Mitch Bank147K
Seat 6Tom Burandt40K
Seat 7Todd Melander37K
Seat 8Mike Lovelace51K
Table 3
Seat 1Bill Freid44K
Seat 2Scott Drill150K
Seat 3Jeremy Ensrud86K
Seat 5Matt Kirby125K
Seat 6Jess Geesey90K
Seat 7Dick Hentges53K
Seat 8Sam Johnson52K
16Joe Big Bear$823
17Pete Baker$823
18Mary Witte$823

2:03 p.m. update: 18 remain

Last few bust outs:

16Joe Big Bear$823
17Pete Baker$823
18Mary Witte$823
19Dayle Anderson-Scherber$740
20Dan Adams$740
21Peter Nelson$740
22Bill Couch$658

Scott Drill

12:53 update: Last few bust outs

A few noteworthy players still remain — HPT standouts Tom Stambaugh and Pete Baker, as well as Tom Burandt, who is currently in the top five for MNPokerMag Player of the Year. Former HPT winner and CEO of Insignia Systems, Scott Drill is nursing a short stack.

Here are the latest bust outs.

23Mike Cluever$658
24Tony Moses$658
25Phillip Stiner$576
26Chris Dolan$576
27Ray Bendijo$576

11:52 update: Into the money

Players busted quickly to start level 9, and we are now down to 27. Keep an eye out for the latest bust outs and payouts.

Everett Carlton, John Morgan and Andy Sjolund all bit the dust before the money. Ray Bendijo narrowly avoided elimination all in preflop with A8 when the board ran out two pair against Jess Geesey’s AQ.

FYI, former HPT champion Scott Drill is still alive with a healthy chip stack.

Photo Gallery

Jess Geesey

11:05 update: Day two underway, 38 remain

Day two of MSPT Northern Lights is underway, with 38 players returning from a starting field of 87. The winner will take home just under $24,000. The money bubble will burst at 27.

Be sure to follow updates on the Minnesota Poker Magazine Twitter account.

Blinds are at 800/1600 with a 200 ante.

Payout structure

Chip leaders at start of day:

1. Mitchell Bank – 94,200

2. Brian Johnson – 87,700

3. Mary Witte – 83,700

4. Jess Geesey – 79,700

5. Jeremy Ensrud – 75,200

6. Joe Oschwald – 72,600

7. Matt Kirby – 46,600

8. Ray Bendijo – 43,600

9. Pete Baker – 39,600

10. Gary Grams – 39,200

One Response to “Brian Johnson wins MSPT Northern Lights”

  1. Dayle Anderson-Scherber Says:

    Tell Scotty that Dayle says to use her chips well!!!!!

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