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The 2018 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship was hosted at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee last weekend, and saw a turnout of 748 entries, making this the biggest live poker tournament ever hosted in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Claiming the top spot at the event was Brett Halan (cover image), who outlasted the tough field defeating Joseph Freeman heads-up to snag the title.
For 27-year-old Halan, who works as a logistics account manager in Naperville Illinois, this win fetched him his biggest score till date. His previous best score for a modest $4,413 that he has won in a $250 WPTDS side event.
“It feels great; honestly it really does,” Halan told media persons after the event. “The cards ran great, that’s all I could ask for. I usually play in the smaller tournaments, this was a big one. I tried to get it in good as best as I could. When I did, it seemed to hold up every time.”
The field narrowed down quickly as Day 2 began and many among the 114 returning players were eliminated short of the money line. The bubble was reached when 82 players were remaining with Michael Hudson going out on the money bubble.
Some notables who posted a score at the event featured the likes of Rob Wazwaz (15th for $8,689), MSPT Hall of Famer Rich Alsup (16th for $7,241), Ravi Raghavan (17th for $7,241), ten-time WSOPC ring winner Josh Reichard (20th for $6,082), 2015 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Champ Ben Wiora (23rd for $5,141), HPT and WSOPC Main Event champion Nick Pupillo (35th for $3,186) and three-time MSPT champion Blake Bohn (44th for $2,679).
Final Table Recap
The ten-handed final table saw its first elimination in Josh Hergott, who ran his ace-five into Josh Janis’ ace-queen, to take tenth place.
Soon enough, Sam De Silva was bounced out in ninth place when his pocket jacks were cracked by Andre Haywood’s ace-king suited.
Joe Pusateriplayed well to find a well-deserved seat on the final table but saw his tournament run cut short in eighth place when his jack-ten suited failed to catch up against Joe Freeman’s ace-queen.
Haywood scored two eliminations next, one after the other. He first busted Larry Wagner’s ace-ten suited with his pocket kings to send the latter out in seventh place. Next up, Haywood won all ofJosh Janis`s chips when the latter moved all-in with ace-ten but Haywood looked him up with ace-queen. As Haywood added to his stack, Janis was railed out in sixth place.
Despite chipping up well, Andre Haywood found himself short after losing several pots and was eliminated in fifth place. He shoved with queen-eight suited and Jeff Cvetezar called off with pocket nines with the board drawing a blank.
Edward Rohloff would exit next after moving all-in preflop with ace-seven only to come up short against Freeman’s ace-four.
Down to three-handed play, a big pot saw Jeffrey Cvetezar hitting the rail in third place and Halan gain a massive chip lead. Halan who had turned both straight and flush draws called the all-in move of Cvetezar who was holding pocket rockets. The river completed Halan’s flush to deny Cvetezar the chance to make the heads-up play.
“I got lucky. I definitely didn’t think he has aces,” Halan said later, talking about the hand. “I thought I had a ton of outs. I had the spade outs and it just happened to hit.”
The chips went back and forth in the heads-up match between Joseph Freeman and Halan till Freeman’s stacks started stumbling getting Halan the lead. On the final hand, Freeman bluffed all in on the flop but Halan had flopped three-of-a-kind and a call here won him the title while Freeman settled for a runner-up finish.
1. Brett Halan – $144,812
2. Joseph Freeman – $89,060
3. Jeffrey Cvetezar – $65,165
4. Edward Rohloff – $48,440
5. Andrew Haywood – $36,927
6. Joshua Janis – $28,238
7. Larry Wagner – $21,722
8. Joseph Pusateri – $16,653
9. Sam DeSilva – $13,033