Grand Falls
Kimo Sabe
Running Aces
Golden Gates Casino
Grand Casino, Mille Lacs
Tropicana Evansville

Player of the Year Update

WOW!  What a race!  John Alexander and Nate Fair have been playing sensational poker this year, battling for the top spot in the MNPokerMag Player of the Year race.  Alexander has led most of the way with Fair constantly on his heals.  Fair again has put pressure on Alexander by winning the Wednesday $230 this past week at Canterbury Park earning $4,582 in the process.

This recent victory by Fair puts him only 2 points behind Alexander who has 18 POY cashes in 2011.  With 2 MSPT events still remaining and many weekly tournaments around the state, there are several players who are still in the mix.  Looks like we’re in for an exciting finish!

RankPlayerPOY Points# of POY Cashes
1John Alexander192.518
2Nate Fair190.510
3Blake Bohn154.56
4Paul Schroeder1486
5Rob WazWaz1474
6Jason Seitz137.59
73 Putts13511
8Erick Wright1335
9John Olson1294
10Nesbitt Coburn1234
11Dan Favreau1107
12Todd Melander105.511
13Kye Longtin100.515
14Michael Luikens9913
15Gary Pihlstrom9810
16Shawn Aaberg97.56
17Adam Laskey963
18Peixin Liu93.524
19Dan Shogren906
20Bryan Mileski87.55
21Joe Matheson863
22Hank Mlekoday854
 Judd Greenagel854
 Peter Miller852
23Matt Alexander82.57
 Jeremy Dresch82.52
24Steve Hammerschmidt793
25Dave Mandt77.52
26Jim Erickson75.52
27Jared  Hubbard751
 Rob Steinmetz755
28Mark Sandness74.55
29Dan Hendrickson7410
30Ron Spain73.57
 Steve Krogness73.57
31Brandon Beery72.51
32John Morgan716
33Brian Zekus70.53
34David Marlow672
35Reg Powell668
36Matt Hyland65.53
37Adam Schop651
38Sara Allgood645
39Bob Beedle63.53
40Terry Glarner639
 David Pritchett637
41Ryan Hohenstein62.57
 Tim Votava62.59
42Jason Senti61.52
43Jason Corrigan616
44Brian Halik601
45Tim Mieczkowski59.53
46Derek Crooks593
 Aaron Johnson599
47Ken Cary585
48Tom Marsland57.51
49Zeph Baer576
50Thomas Sharp56.511
51Doug Fink55.58
52Wade Woelfel552
 Robert Van Syckle 551
 Sam Desilva551
53Toan Pham54.56
 Kyle Gruis54.56
54Justin Pacult542
 Mike Lingenfelter542
55Chad Keller53.52
 Bill Criego53.57
56Henry Holderness532
 Paul Pederson538
 Matt Leshovsky536
57Christopher Johnson 52.51
58Nick Anderson525
59Jonathan Lane501
60David Gonia496
61Erin Bentley48.52
 Rocky Wylie48.53
62Daniel Buckley483
 Patrick “Referee” Kenney487
63Ron Lokken47.51
 Rene Berube47.52
64Daryl Oppelt472
 Shane Nelson 472
 Josh Kammerude473
65Troy Rundquist46.52
 Spencer Brackey46.52
 Tom Stenvig46.52
66Patrick Elster462
 Claudia Bearman468

Farmington man’s poker success is more than a lucky streak

By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent

Odds are, Jared Hubbard has one of the more unconventional jobs of anyone in his Farmington neighborhood.

He plays online poker for a living, and he plays it well. Sometimes, for a change of pace, he’ll sit in on a couple of live games. Chances are, he’ll do pretty well there, too.

Take, for instance, the Fall Poker Classic held at Canterbury Park earlier this month. Hubbard emerged at the top of the heap, earning a cool $70,769 from the tournament. Not bad for three days of work.

Mostly, though, Hubbard works from his home. He’s got four monitors set up, all connected to one computer. His mouse is set on its highest speed. He’s got it that way so he can keep tabs on the 12 to 16 games of online poker he’s playing all at once.

He prefers single table “Sit-n-Go” play over group, six-person games. Those took too long, he said, so he focuses more on Heads Up poker, which is just one-on-one games with one other person.

College education

Usually, people go to college to learn the skills they’ll need in their chosen career path. The same applied to Hubbard, but he didn’t start out planning to play poker for a living. It just kind of happened.

While playing basketball in Winona, Hubbard suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon. The injury sidelined him, so he wanted to find something else to do in his spare time. He and some friends started playing poker. They started out with home games for fun, he said. But that only took up so much of his time.

He started poking around online and found a couple of games. Hubbard started out small, playing $50 games at first. But it turned out he had a certain kind of skill when it came to playing poker. Before long, he was searching websites looking for strategy suggestions. He was reading books about poker strategy. He kept playing.

He kept winning, too. He started playing a couple of games simultaneously. And then he’d add a few more and a few more. Pretty soon, he was playing a dozen games at once.

Hubbard found he could make about $50 an hour playing online poker.  And that was about the time he decided it was time to quit his job and take up professional poker.

“I saw where I could keep getting better. I’d heard about the World Series of Poker on TV, and I figured out that I could probably make a pretty good living at it,” Hubbard said. “I certainly was not going to find anything better than that, so I just went from there and got better as I got more experience.”

A professional

Hubbard figures he was 20 or 21 years old when he started playing. He’s 27 now, and he’s a long way from being a poor college student. According to his website, Hubbard has netted somewhere around $1.5 million in winnings over the past six years.

He is considered a poker pro, sponsored by the online company Lock Poker .  He keeps all of his results in Excel documents, and he tracks how his game has changed over time. He’s been interviewed by several online poker sites, and he participates in online forums, too.  Luck, though, really has very little to do with his game.

“There is a certain amount of luck in it, but the more you play the less luck there is in it,” Hubbard said.

To his credit, Hubbard has earned the distinction as leader in the six player SNG profit earner in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He also led in profits in the SNG single player table ranks.

Generally, Hubbard tries to work while his wife is at her job in Northfield. Occasionally, he’ll get into games in the evening, and sometimes be up until 2 a.m.  But that’s part of the game, too. And he also plans time to continue the learning part, too – studying the game, coming up with new strategy, and so on.

“I plan on doing this until I retire,” Hubbard said. “I can’t imagine going something else after doing this.”

The Fight: A Rundown of the House Hearing on Internet Gambling

By:  Jessica Welman | October 26, 2011 – Bluff Magazine

Tuesday, online poker got to spend some time in the spotlight in Washington DC as the House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing weighing the pros and cons of legalizing and regulating online gambling in the United States  and the pro-poker bill HR 2366, known more commonly as the Barton Bill.

What Happened in the Hearing:

For a little over an hour, the Committee, which included the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), heard testimony and asked questions of a six-person panel of experts which include former Senator and Poker Players Alliance Chairman Alfonse D’Amato, Parry Atfab of of Fair Play USA, Chapman University Law Professor and consumer protection expert Kurt Eggert, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling Keith Whyte, Ernest Stevens of the National Indian Gaming Association, and Dan Romer of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The panelists comprised a wide array of viewpoints and, as a result, the hearing covered a range of topics including possible mechanisms to verify the age of players, the problems of bots, HUD tools and datamining potentially creating an unfair advantage in the online poker world, the successes and problems experienced by European countries with similar regulatory systems already in place, and whether or not Indian nations deserved first entree into the marketplace, should regulation come to pass.

The questions from members of the committee also covered a broad spectrum, with some of the members being expressing skepticism about the idea of regulation. Rep GK Butterfield (D-North Carolina) and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi) expressed concerns about being unable to adequately protect children and problem gamblers from online gambling.

Whyte spoke to the issue of children and problem gamblers by pointing out that regulation alone is not the answer.  ”Regulation alone cannot adequately prevent people from having an addiction, as we know from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.  You must have health services and we must have within those health services culturally specific services available to youth and adults to treat and research.”

Harper also questioned the motives of some of these lobbying groups and point blank asked the panel if their organizations took money from so-called illegal offshore gambling sites.  Both Whyte and D’Amato responded yes, but clarified their respective answers.  Whyte pointed out that his organization also takes money from the brick and mortar casinos in the Representative’s home state of Mississippi, while D’Amato pointed out that the legal status of offshore gambling is still in a somewhat gray area, as some interpret the Wire Act of 1967 to apply only to sports betting.

Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet both came up over the course of the hearing and the consensus on the panel seemed to be that instances like those are exactly the type of things regulated gambling would be able to prevent from happening again.

The hearing also covered more details on Native American tribes’ role in the gaming world, how online gambling will impact state-run lotteries, whether or not players should be identified and marked based on their skill level, the complications that may arise with online age verification, and whether or not regulating online gambling will result in a substantial increase  to the number of gamblers in the United States.

If there is one takeaway from this preliminary hearing, it seems to be that there is a long way to go and a lot of questions to answer before regulation can even hope to become a reality.  Though Committee Chair Rep. Mary Bono  Mack (R-CA) concluded the meeting by stating the group would continue to closely examine the issue, there are currently no plans  for any additional hearings on the schedule.

More on the Testimony and What to Expect Next:

For those who would like to learn more about what transpired at Tuesday’s hearing, CSPAN has complete video coveragevof the proceedings.  The Committee’s official website on the hearing also includes testimony from the various panelists.

The American Gambling Association (AGA) did not have a representative on the panel, but also submitted testimony regarding the hearing and supports the regulation of online gambling within the US.  The organization also took to Twitter via @AGAupdate to offer some rebuttals and evidence in support of a number of the statements made during the hearing.

While the hearing didn’t offer much insight on the likelihood of legislation like the Barton Bill, which was first introduced this past June, getting through Congress, more and more non-poker groups are speaking up on the issue.  Earlier this week, Bloomberg News  published an editorial by Timothy Lavin and George Anders in support of the cause.  Within the piece, they cite Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, who suggests regulated online gambling could potentially save $41.8 billion in the federal government’s budget over the course of the next ten years, not to mention generate over $30 billion for the states.

The Hill offered its own rundown of Committee proceedings on Tuesday and concluded the hearing seemed to indicate a genuine interest in pursuing the subject further.  We’ll keep tabs on the reactions to the hearing’s and have the full rundown for you in the next edition of The Fight.

Kari Davis is FPN Minnesota State Champion

The Free Poker Network’s Minnesota “Poker Pro” State Championship was held today at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, MN.  A field of 274 players qualified to participate to be crowned State Champ.

The final 13 players all get the opportunity to play in the exclusive National Championship in Las Vegas against other FPN players across the country.  They will compete in early December for 10 seats to the Bellagio 5 Diamond Classic.  The final six would also receive an airfare/hotel package to Harrah’s on the strip in Las Vegas.  The National Champion will win a $10,000 Poker Pro contract which includes 5 separate tournament buy-ins throughout the year.

After 14 hours of play, Kari Davis of Spicer, MN outlasted the entire 274-player field to become the 1st ever female FPN Minnesota State Champion.  Davis plays at 19th Avenue in Wilmar where she was 1st overall for all 6 months.  “It was very tough competition,” Davis said.  “Brian Thiele had me sweatin’ that last week.  He was up there in points with me and luckily I got just a few more than he did.”

As a result Davis entered the State Championship on Saturday as a Double Stack.  She qualified twice so she didn’t have to go to Regionals.  “I came in here tonight and was getting good hands,” stated Davis.  “I made one bad call against Jerry when he hit his set of deuces.  But I was able to come back to win it!”

When asked about her approach when reaching the final six, Davis responded, “When we got to the final six I wanted to be aggressive, luckily in the first two hands, I got hands I could be aggressive with.  Then I stayed patient for a bit until I got hot again and was able to roll.”

1Kari Davis
2Henry Pojonwski
3Steve Hinson
4Jim Lewis
5Marty Knoss
6Allen O’Shea
7Jerry Anderson
8Rob Miller
9John DeRung
10Jared Carlsen
11Jake Stringfellow
12Bruce Ackerman
13Dustin Musil

Fun Stats:

– There were 13 past champions in the field.

– Ladies made up 21% of the field (68 female).

– This was the first championship for 143 players (39% of the field).

– There were 53 double chip stacks (14 from qualifying directly twice, 15 from regionals twice, and 24 from direct once, regional once)

– This was the 22nd championship event for Minnesota players.

Alex Johnson wins $500 Hallow-Scream Tournament

Players began the Hallow-Scream tournament at noon Saturday and Alex Johnson wrapped it up just before 3 AM Sunday morning.  126 entries/re-entries entered the $450+$50 tournament to earn their share of the $50K+ prize pool.

Johnson steam-rolled through the final table until 3-players remained.  In an instant Johnson went from clear chip leader to short stack after encountering some bad luck in a big pot versus a very accomplished poker pro “Minneapolis” Jim Meehan.  Johnson would rebound though and came back to win the $15,400 1st place prize.

1Alex Johnson$15,400
2Leo Fussy$9,900
3Jim Meehan$7,150
4Richard Stoeckmann$4,400
5Matt Alexander$3,300
6Don Close$2,750
7Dennis Stevermer$2,200
8Brian Zupancich$1,925
9Kelly Kellner$1,650
10Judd Greenagel$824

MNPokerMag’s Jocelyn takes over as Valkyrie Quarterback

Minnesota Poker Magazine and Mid-States Poker Tour’s Jocelyn Bendijo will be the field general for the Minnesota Valkyrie LFL team when they take on the Chicago Bliss at the Target Center on November 19th.  Jocelyn took over as quarterback in the 2nd half of the last game versus the 2-time defending champion LA Temptation a couple weeks back.

The Valkyrie are 1-1 on the season after beating Green Bay and taking a tough loss to LA.  The physical battle versus the Temptation left several players injured and three with concussions. does frequent articles and blogs about the current state of the MN Valkyrie squad.  For the latest on the team, visit

For player and team photos go to or

Good luck Joceyln!


Reminder: Nightmare Hallow-Scream Tournament (Tomorrow)

Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, MN will be hosting a Nightmare Hallow-Scream Tournament on Saturday, October 29th.  The tournament will begin at Noon, players will receive 20,000 chips and 40-minute blind levels.  The buy-in will be $450+$50.

Players are also eligible to earn FREE tickets to Nightmare Hallow-Scream Park and Candy Splash Pots!

Entries and Re-entries allowed for the 1st 3 levels.

Friday, October 28th –  Hallow-Scream Satellites – 3pm – $65 Buy-in

Top 10% are awarded seats into the Hallow-Scream Tournament Main Event


For more information, visit:


MSPT at Canterbury Park Schedule now available

The Mid-States Poker Tour will be arriving at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN for the 3rd consecutive year December 7-12, 2011. The MSPT was launched at Canterbury Park in December of 2009 so its always sentimental going back.

The 2010 MSPT at Canterbury Park was won by 2010 WSOP November-Niner Jason Senti!

To view the Event Schedule for December 7-12, visit the MSPT home page at and click Download Event Schedule under the Canterbury event.  This is a $100,000 Guaranteed prize pool Main Event.

Diamond Jo Iron Man Poker Tournament this Saturday

This Saturday, Oct. 29th at 11AM is Diamond Jo’s Iron-Man Poker Tournament.  The buy-in is $150 for 40,000 in tournament chips.  The Staff bonus is $10 for an additional 10,000 in chips.  There will be no scheduled breaks for this tournament.  The tournament will start with a max of 50 players with alternates being seated for the first hour.  Registration starts at 12pm on Friday, Oct. 28th.  All registration must be done in person.  For more information, call the Diamond Jo Poker Room – 641-323-7773

Minnesotans place well at WSOP Circuit Event – Horseshoe Hammond

Several Minnesota poker players made the trip this past weekend to Hammond, Indiana where the Horseshoe was hosting a WSOP Circuit Event.  The big draw was that they guaranteed a $1.5 Million prize pool for the $1,600 Main Event.  A total of 8 players cashed in the Main Event, Chris “Fox” Wallace and Everett Carlton made the deepest runs and both came up just short of the $393,584 first place prize!

The tournament had two flights, players could re-enter on Day 1B if they busted on Day 1A.  There were 1,615 entrants in total creating a $2,349,825 prizepool.  Wallace eventually busted 17th but took home a healthy $21,759 for his efforts.  Carlton busted just before Wallace in 18th place earning $18,141.

Robby Westrom cashed twice during the series, he placed 134th in the Main for $3,266 and 13th in Event #12 – $560 NLHE Turbo – for $1,198.  Kim Westrom of Glencoe placed 29th in Event #2 – $560 NLHE – for $1,685.  Franco Cupello does not reside from Minnesota but is well-recognized for playing here locally quite often, the Thunder Bay man took 2nd in Event #11 – $560 NLHE – for $18,942.

Here is a list of MN players who cashed in the Main Event:

Chris WallaceSt. Paul, MN17$21,759
Everett CarltonSt. Paul, MN18$18,141
Gennady ShimelfarbApple Valley, MN58$5,922
Derek PalmerGlencoe, MN67$5,381
Tony HartmannShakopee, MN94$4,183
Dan HendricksonFaribault, MN107$3,854
Robby WestromSt. Paul, MN134$3,266
Todd BreyfogleHopkins, MN166$2,773



MNPokerMag 2009 - 2017 MNPokerMag Admin