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2011 MO-KAN-NEB CIRCUIT HEADS TO KANSAS CITY 
The final 3 events of the 2010-11 Mo-Kan-Neb Tri-State Poker Grand Championship are all scheduled for the Greater Kansas City Area. "As of the finish of the Kansas Texas Holdem event, the field is still wide open" said Tournament Director Stewart "Chicago Mike" Bishop. "Last year at this time only 5 players had a realistic shot at the Tri-State Title because they had finished very high in qualifying tournaments earlier in the season."

The Kansas City Texas Holdem and K.C. Lowball Championships will be held on the same day in late July and the State of Missouri Championship will follow in August.
 
Kansas City K.C. Lowball Championship July 2011 
Kansas City Texas Holdem Championship July 2011 

Missouri State Holdem Championship Aug 2011 

 

JOAN SCHOONOVER TAKES KANSAS HOLDEM TITLE
BREAKING NEWS (June 20). Kansas Poker News has just learned that Joan Schoonover captured the 2011 Kansas State Texas Holdem Championship. She earned the title bracelet after more than 13 hours of no-limit poker. Kansas Poker News will have additional details of this historic event and an interview with the champion as they become available. Until then, a full pictorial of the championship is available here.
 
TOM SIGVALDSON WINS NO-LIMIT MIXED GAMES 
 
In the world of poker tournaments, there are tough events and then there are very tough events. There's no more challenging format than the Kansas State No-Limit Mixed Games tournament. Participants must play 4 different types of poker, all no-limit, in a double-elimination format.

The Mixed Games Championship includes No-Limit Texas Holdem, Omaha, 5-Card Stud, and Kansas City Deuce to Seven Lowball. Players have two full opportunities because they can enter the tournament and re-enter once if they bust out. "The double elimination format effectively means the champion must beat everyone twice at 4 different types of no-limit poker", said Tournament Director Stewart "Chicago Mike" Bishop. "If there's a better way to identify the true No-Limit Poker Champion I don't know what it is".

Tom Sigvaldson of Baldwin, Kansas outlasted a brilliant final table to claim the championship title bracelet. "Tom played amazing poker", said Bishop, "He was able to quickly adapt as the games changed and that plus a little luck probably made the difference today". For a full pictorial of the championship, visit this link.
 
ALAN STEVENS CAPTURES MANHATTAN TITLE
2011 Manhattan Texas Holdem Champion Alan Stevens
Three rooms were packed to capacity at the 2011 Manhattan No-Limit Texas Holdem Championship held on April 6th. This is the most prestigious event in Central Kansas, drawing players from 3 States for a shot at the title. "I think it's the fact that there's such a mixture of players in Manhattan that makes it such a tough tournament", said Tournament Director Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop. "There's rural players, city players, soldiers, students, and anyone else you can think of. It's probably as close to the old days of Abilene and Hays saloon poker as you can find in the country".

When the smoke cleared, Alan Stevens had outlasted one of the toughest final tables in Mo-Kan-Neb history to claim the championship bracelet. "There were 3 bracelet winners at the final table", said Bishop. "When I saw who was at the table I knew it would take talent, patience, and some right cards to win this one".

Stevens joins his brother, CSP Hall of Famer Tony "River-T" Stevens as the only brother duo to win championship title bracelets in the history of Tri-State Poker.
For a complete pictorial of this event, click here.
 
BRIAN TURNER WINS LAWRENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

"Chicago Mike" Bishop awards the Poker Title Bracelet to Brian Turner

Brian Turner of St. Joseph, Missouri won the 2010-11 Lawrence No-Limit Texas Holdem Championship, defeating over 90 of the areas best players in the process. "Brian played great and kept his composure at the final table", said Tournament Director Stew Bishop.

Turner needed composure at a final table which featured the likes of veterans Ed Boos and Robin Reitmeyer, John Horton, and 2009 Mo-Kan-Neb Grand Champion Tony "River T" Stevens.

 "This puts Brian in the early lead for the Tri-State Championship but there's still alot of poker to be played between now and then", said Bishop. For a full pictorial on this historic tournament please visit this link
.
 

2010-11 CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

July 31, 2010: Topeka Texas Holdem Championship

Aug. 22, 2010: Lawrence Texas Holdem Championship

December, 2010: Wichita Texas Holdem Championship

December, 2010: Joplin-Pittsburg Mo-Kan Southern Championship

December, 2010: Omaha Texas Holdem Championship

April 6, 2011: Manhattan Texas Holdem Championship

May 22, 2011: Kansas State Mixed Games Championship

June 19, 2011, 12noon: Kansas State Texas Holdem Championship, Round One, open to all players

June 19, 2011 430pm: Ks State Holdem Championship, Final Round

July 2011: Kansas City K.C. Lowball & Texas Holdem Championship

July 2011: Missouri State Texas Holdem Championship

August 2011: Nebraska State Texas Holdem Championship

August 2011: Mo-Kan-Neb Grand Championship

 

K. C. NATIVE STRIKES GOLD IN TOPEKA

Next Up: Lawrence Championship, Sun. Aug. 22nd

Topeka Champ Mike Sturgeon (l) & KPN Editor "Chicago Mike" Bishop

BREAKING NEWS (Aug. 3). In May, Topeka resident Tom Simpkins travelled to Kansas City and returned with the K.C. Texas Holdem Championship and the Mo-Kan-Neb Grand Championship (see story below). On July 31st Mike Sturgeon returned the favor, travelling from Overland Park to Topeka to claim the 2010 Topeka No-Limit Holdem Championship Bracelet.

The Topeka tournament pitted 70 of the regions top players in a battle for the first Championship Title of the 2010 Season. It did not disappoint. After nearly 9 hours of competition, Sturgeon was the last player standing. Kansas Poker News publisher Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop observed the action and complemented Sturgeon on his tremendous achievement: "...Mike had a tough road to victory. He was short-stacked at the beginning of the final table and with 6 players left it looked like he might be heading for the exits... When other players may have been a bit complacent, Mike shifted gears and start dictating the action. When luck broke his way the chips followed..."

Originally a single-table player, Sturgeon has been competing in tournaments for over 5 years and has found his favorite game to be No-limit Texas Holdem.  Mike described his keys to the Topeka victory as: 1) Being patient; 2) Waiting for the cards to come then betting right; 3) Not going on tilt when he makes a mistake or his cards don't come. "... I played tight at first", he said, "I didn't overbet unmade hands". As for a memorable hand that made a big difference, Sturgeon recalled: "... I was all-in with a pair of 8's vs. 2's. My opponent hit trip deuces on the flop but I made runner-runner to hit a flush. There were 7 players left and that chipped me up a bit. Then I started catching some hands..."

"Mike faced a great final table", commented Bishop, "they really made him earn it". Ed Boos was runner up, Randy Speakman finished 3rd, and Topeka veteran Timm Thacker was 4th. Rounding out the final table were: Cheryl Reitmeyer, Dallas Huzarevich, Kyle Stueven, Craig Matthews, Lori Brese, and 2008 Kansas Mixed Games Grand Champion Tony "River T" Stevens.  A pictorial of the 2010 Topeka Poker Championship can be found at this link.

Next up in the 2010 Mo-Kan-Neb Championship Poker Series is the Lawrence Texas Holdem Championship on Sunday, Aug. 22nd. Full information is available here.

 

 

2010 CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON KICKS OFF JULY 31

10 City & State Title Bracelets to be Awarded in Series

Topeka Championship Jul 31 - Lawrence Championship Aug 22

BREAKING NEWS (June 11): The 2010 Mo-Kan-Neb Tri-State Poker Championship Series will officially kickoff in Topeka on Saturday, July 31st. The Topeka No-Limit Texas Holdem Championship will be the first title bracelet awarded in this years championship series. The Lawrence No-Limit Texas Holdem Championship is the next event in the series, scheduled for Sunday, August 22nd.

 Events will be scheduled at major locations throughout the region. Players should check here regularly for calendar updates. The schedule and complete details are also be posted at http://poker.meetup.com/1682/calendar/13726847/  Players may visit that site for more information & RSVP.

The series will conclude in late December / January with the State Grand Championships. The player with the best overall performance in all tournaments will be crowned the 2010 Mo-Kan-Neb Poker Grand Champion and will be considered for induction to the Central States Poker Hall of Fame. All tournaments are conducted double-elimination style giving all players two full opportunities to win each championship title bracelet.

In addition to the Championship Title Bracelet Trophy Case to the winner, the top 10% of finishers will receive a generous cash payout. Players reaching a final table will qualify for Round 2 of the State Championships. Each event carries points towards the 2010 Mo-Kan-Neb Tri-State Poker Grand Champion title and towards the 2010-11 Player of the Decade Tournament. 100% of net proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation and the Salvation Army.

 

2009 MO-KAN-NEB SERIES CONCLUDES

WITH ODDS-DEFYING FINISH IN KANSAS CITY

Tom Simpkins, 2009 MoKanNeb Tri-State Poker Grand Champion

BREAKING NEWS (Apr 26). The Kansas City Texas Holdem Grand Championship was the scene of one of this year's most improbable tournament finishes. Heading into the event, 4 players were realistically in the race for Grand Champion honors: Chris Goodrow, Tom Simpkins, C.J. Burch, and Jeff Berroth.

Tournament Manager Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop summarized the odds: "With a first, second, and 8th place finish, Chris was clearly in the lead. Jeff and C.J. would need to win the Kansas City event to win the Grand Championship. Tom was in slightly better position with a 1st and 6th place finish. If Tom finished in 3rd at Kansas City, Chris would win it, if Tom finished in 1st, he would win. The problem was what to do if Tom finished in 2nd. I had decided to award a Co-Grand Championship because it would just be too close. The bottom line is that Simpkins had less than a 1 in 60 shot of winning the Grand Championship outright."

As poker proves over and over, it's a game where the improbable happens and when the smoke cleared on Saturday, Simpkins had defeated 61 of the best players in the Midwest to capture the Kansas City Title. He had a roller coaster ride to the title, however: " I was down to just 800 in chips near the break, barely enough for a few blinds and couldn't catch a hand. During the break, Jeff (Berroth) reminded me that it would just take a few double-ups to get back in the race and thankfully that's what happened", said Simpkins.

Among many critical hands, Tom won a major double-up from 3rd-place finisher Gary Jones to move towards the top of the stacks and he didn't look back from there.

Reflecting on a memorable 2009-10 Tournament season, Bishop commented: "This just shows how tough the competition in the Midwest is. From the kick-off in Topeka, to the finish in Kansas City it was one great tournament after the other. You can't find better action anywhere in the country."

Kansas Poker News has learned that the Central States Poker Hall of Fame will be considering a new inductee from the 2009 Season. We'll report on any such development as it is announced.

 

KANSAS CITY TEXAS HOLDEM GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP

DATE NOW SET FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2010

Title Bracelet to Be Awarded to the Champion

Unique masterpiece bracelet trophy cases have been commissioned to honor the winners of the Kansas City Texas Holdem and MoKanNeb Poker Grand Championship Tournaments.

Tournament Will Decide Tri-State Grand Championship

 

BREAKING NEWS (Mar. 12): The Kansas City No-Limit Texas Holdem Grand Championship is now scheduled for Sunday, April 25th. This is the most prestigious holdem tournament in the Central Midwest and is recognized by Kansas Poker News as the Official Texas Holdem Championship of Greater Kansas City.

The championship tournament will be held at Tanners Bar & Grill, 10146 W. 119th in Overland Park. Registration starts at 1:00. Players will shuffle up and deal promptly at 2pm. More information will be released shortly. This event benefits the Arthritis Foundation and the Salvation Army. For other specific details please visit:  http://poker.meetup.com/1682/calendar/12533300/

 

2009 KANSAS STATE POKER CHAMPIONS CROWNED
TITLE BRACELETS AWARDED AT STATE FINALS
Tri-State Grand Champion to be Decided in K.C. Apr 25
7 New Players Qualify for Player of the Decade Event

Tom Simpkins, 2009 Kansas State NL Poker Mixed Games Champion

Chris Goodrow, 2009 Kansas State NL Texas Holdem Champion

 
BREAKING NEWS (Dec. 20): Tom Simpkins and Chris Goodrow won the 2009 Kansas State Poker Championships this weekend in Topeka. They had to survive the state's toughest field and "beat everyone twice" to claim the title bracelets in Mixed Games and Texas Holdem respectively.

In Simpkins' case it was more like beat everyone three times."It's the toughest tournament in the Series", said Tournament Director Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop. "In fact it's probably the toughest tournament anywhere in the world. I don't know of any other Championship where you have to play 4 types of poker all no limit against the best players in a triple-elimination format. It sets the standard for difficulty."

Goodrow did double duty over the weekend, adding a 2nd place finish at Mixed Games to his victory at Texas Holdem, pushing him towards the top of a crowded field of players competing for the 2009 MoKanNeb Tri-State Grand Championship. A special lead crystal vase trophy has been commissioned to commemorate the Championship along with the Tri-State Title Bracelet. The curators of the Central States Poker Hall of Fame have announced they will also consider the 2009 Tri-State Champion for induction to the Hall of Fame.

Tournament Director Tiffany Dominguez
holds the dazzling 2009 MoKanNeb Tri-State Crystal Trophy

The race for the Tri-State Title now focuses on the re-scheduled Kansas City Texas Holdem Championship to be held in early 2010. "It's still too close to call", said Bishop. "Anyone can win it in Kansas City.... I guess that's the way it should be, a great championship to be decided in a great city".

Thanks to their outstanding play over the weekend, several new players qualified for the 2010 Player of the Decade Tournament including: Chuck Bartley, Todd Emerson, Victor Jerome, Chris Morgan, Kevin Moten, Adrian Rickert, and Stan Stitz.

The MoKanNeb Series is a non-profit charitable event. 100% of net proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation and the Salvation Army. Complete photo coverage will be published shortly.

Click here for tournament details and FAQ sheet

 

KS STATE POKER CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEKEND !

     Players from across the country are gearing up for the Kansas State Texas Holdem and Mixed Game Championships Dec. 18 & 19th in Topeka. These are two of the most prestigious tournaments of the MoKanNeb Championship Series. Two State Championship Title Bracelets will be awarded.

     On Saturday, the Texas Holdem Grand Championship will be conducted in two rounds: Round One is a qualifying tournament open to all players. Round Two is the Final Round, open to the qualifying players of Round One and players reaching the Final Table of other statewide events this year and last. It is the toughest field of Texas Holdem Players in the Tri-State area. Because this is a double elimination tournament, all players will have "two chances to win" and to claim the Title Bracelet the Champion must "beat everyone twice", a tremendous accomplishment given the skill level in this event.

     But perhaps even more challenging is Friday nights' Mixed Games Championship. In this tournament four varieties of poker will be played, all no-limit: Texas Holdem, Omaha High, 5-Card Stud, and Kansas City Lowball. This is a grueling tournament recognized by veterans across the country as "the toughest tournament in the Midwest". Last year's winner, Tony "River-T" Stevens of Manhattan, managed to win it without using his re-entry option and for his accomplishment was awarded with induction to the Central States Poker Hall of Fame.

     100% of net proceeds of these tournaments benefit the Arthritis Foundation and the Salvation Army. In this holiday season, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy some great poker competition and help these worthy causes in their time of need.

 

JEFF BERROTH WINS MANHATTAN TITLE BRACELET
GENE KIMBER: KANSAS CITY K.C. LOWBALL CHAMPION

Jeff Berroth, 2009 Manhattan No-limit Texas Holdem Champion

"Mean Gene" Kimber, 2009 Kansas City K.C. Lowball Grand Champion

 

Click here for tournament details and FAQ sheet

 

NEXT WEEK: MANHATTAN & TWO K.C. CHAMPIONSHIPS

Three Title Bracelets are on the line as poker players from around the country focus on three of the most popular tournaments in the MoKanNeb Grand Championship Series:

Thurs., Dec. 10: Manhattan Texas Holdem Championship

Fri., Dec. 11: Kansas City K.C. Lowball Championship

Sun., Dec. 13: Kansas City No-Limit Texas Holdem Championship

Last year's events were extremely competitive and produced some of the region's most successful players. 2008 Kansas State Holdem Champ Jason "Batman" Barrett, a Kansas City native, reached the final table of the K.C. Texas Holdem event prior to winning the title bracelet at the 2008 State Main Event. Sara Blatt was runner up at Kansas City Texas Holdem and again made the final table at the 2008 State Championship.

The 2008 Manhattan Holdem Championship discovered Tony "River-T" Stevens who went on to win the title bracelet at the Kansas State Mixed Games Grand Championship last year. Both Stevens and Barrett were later selected for induction to the Central States Poker Hall of Fame, the first inductees of the 21st Century. Blatt will join Stevens, Barrett, and a growing contingent of the regions top players at the Player of the Decade Championship scheduled for 2010.

New on the calendar this year is the 2009 Kansas City K.C. Lowball Championship. This even features the namesake game of Kansas City, the original deuce-to-seven five card draw lowball. This is Doyle Brunson's favorite game, and for good reason, it's an action game that can build monster pots with absolutely no cards on display. Players must rely on their own cardsense and feel of where their opponents are at. This game is played with a small and big blind and is played "open or fold" style and has one draw only. The 1st Place trophy and title bracelet for this tournament honor "Murph" Harrold, recognized as the greatest K.C. Lowball player of all time.

Nov. 30, 2009: BREAKING NEWS.  Please note a date change. The Manhattan No-Limit Texas Holdem Grand Championship originally scheduled for Wed., Dec. 9th will be held Thursday, Dec. 10th. Please check the event calendar for more information and directions.

C.J. BURCH WINS 2009 TOPEKA POKER CHAMPIONSHIP

After 7 hours of play, the final table is underway.

 

Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop presents the Championship Title Bracelet

C.J. Burch, 2009 Topeka NL Holdem Grand Champion

 

Click here for pictorial coverage of the Topeka Championship

Click here for tournament details and FAQ sheet

Nov. 29, 2009: BREAKING NEWS.  Over 90 of Kansas' top poker players met in the 2009 Topeka No-Limit Texas Holdem Championship. After nearly 9 hours of competition, the Title Bracelet was claimed by a 30-year veteran of the felt table: Topeka's own C.J. Burch. The Topeka event is the first of 7 tournaments in the MoKanNeb Grand Championship series. The player with the best overall performance in the combined series will be crowned the 2009 Tri-State Poker Grand Champion.

"C.J. Burch sets a real high bar for the competition level in this years series", remarked Tournament Director Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop. "It's hard to describe her style of play exactly but when she's playing her A game she's an uncanny player... she has a gift of sensing where the table is at. When we were down to 3 or 4 tables I noticed that C.J. seemed to be in the zone and I felt right then she might be the one you'd have to beat..."

In addition to winning the Title Bracelet & Trophy, champion's purse, Tri-State Grand Championship Points, and a qualifying seat at the final round of the Kansas Holdem Championship, Burch also qualifies for the elite 2010 Central States Player of the Decade Tournament. Six more events remain on the 2009 MoKanNeb Grand Championship calendar.

Asked to describe her tournament strategy, Burch said "... I wanted to be patient... be willing to throw away alot of rag hands. But I also had to be willing to push when I sensed weakness. A few big hands along the way really helped too, and I tried to make the most of them..."

Other players in order of finish included: Brenna Muntzert (runner-up), Chuck Bartley (3rd) Chris Dix (4th) Tim Overbey (5th) Tom Simpkins (6th) Sheila Gropp (7th) Chris Goodrow (8th) Kelly Mitchell (9th) David Biswell 10th and Rob Robinson (11th). All earned points towards the MoKanNeb Grand Championship with their top 10% finish."The final table was a minefield of great players", said Bishop, "these are some of the most recognizable names in Kansas poker... 3 of them have already qualified for the Player of the Decade Championship".

100% of the net proceeds of this non-profitable charitable event benefit the Arthritis Foundation and the Salvation Army. Next up on the Championship Series are the Manhattan Championship on Dec. 10th and the two Kansas City Tournaments, scheduled for Dec. 11th and 13th. See the calendar page here for an updated listing.

 

TRI-STATE POKER CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF Nov. 28

Nov. 20, 2009: BREAKING NEWS. The Salvation Army pantries are in major need of re-stocking for the holidays! All players attending the following championships will receive extra starting chips by bringing 3 food items or a $2 extra contribution to the S.A. food fund. Food items most desperately needed: High-protein well-preserved items like canned tuna, beans, dry beans, dry rice, canned meat products like Spam, high protein chili/ stews etc. Spread the word and we'll see you at the Final Table!
 

DATES ANNOUNCED FOR 2009 MO-KAN-NEB

NO-LIMIT POKER GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES!

Topeka Texas Holdem Grand Championship, Nov. 28

Manhattan Texas Holdem Grand Championship, Dec. 10

Kansas City K.C. Lowball Grand Championship, Dec. 11

Kansas City No-Limit Texas Holdem Grand Championship, Dec. 13

Omaha No-Limit Texas Holdem Grand Championship, Dec. 16

Kansas State Mixed Games Poker Championship, Dec. 18

Kansas State Texas Holdem Championship Open Rd., Dec. 19

Kansas State Texas Holdem Championship Final Rd., Dec 19

 

TITLE BRACELETS TO ALL EVENT CHAMPIONS !

(BREAKING NEWS, Nov. 5, 2009). More dates were announced today in the MoKanNeb Poker Championship Series. The 2009 Topeka No-Limit Poker Grand Championship will be held Saturday, Nov. 28th. The Kansas State NL Mixed Games Championship is set for Friday, Dec. 18th, and both rounds of the Kansas State Texas Holdem Championship will be held Dec. 19th.

Winners of all these events will receive their respective championship title bracelets as well as a generous cash payout schedule to the Top 10% of finishers. All players reaching a final table (or top 10% whichever is larger) will also qualify for the 2009 Kansas Holdem Championship Final Round and the 2009 MoKanNeb Tri-State Grand Champion Title. The Grand Championship will be awarded to the player with the best overall performance in the series.

These tournaments benefit the Arthritis Foundation and the Salvation Army. For more details, click here.

Top-finishing champions from this series will be considered for induction to the Central States Poker Hall of Fame, and may be eligible for invitation to the 2010 Player of the Decade Tournament Series.

For a list of FAQ's, and common rules for the 2009 Championship Series, click here.

Check back for more dates to be announced shortly.

 

TOP REGIONAL PLAYERS MEET IN 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP

Title Bracelets Awarded in 2 Divisions

Champions Enshrined in KS Poker Hall of Fame

Player of the Decade Tournament set for 2010

 

Jason Barrett, Kansas City

2008 Texas Holdem Champion

Tony "River T" Stevens, Manhattan

2008 Poker Grand Champion

Click here for a look at the 2008 Final Tables!

Click here for tournament details and FAQ sheet

(Dec. 28). After nearly 3 months of City Championships and other qualifying tournaments across the state, 55 of Kansas' top players met Dec. 13th to decide it all at the 2008 Kansas No-Limit Poker Championship. When the final hands were dealt, Tony Stevens and Jason Barrett claimed top honors, winning the No-Limit Mixed Games and No-Limit Texas Holdem Title Bracelets. The tournament lived up to it's billing with both Championships lasting nearly ten hours. The Final Tables featured a who's-who of Kansas poker and all the drama you'd expect from such a contest.

When the smoke cleared, Jason Barrett of Kansas City became the first Kansas No-Limit Texas Holdem Champion of the new millennium. Afterwards, Barrett reflected on his strategy saying: "... I honestly started thinking about how to win this at the break, hours before we even got to the final table. I realized then that there were quite a few short stacks developing. Right then I knew that the longer I could preserve my capital the more valuable it would become..."

"... in the middle of the tourney I about went into hibernation, becoming very selective of the hands I played. You could say i was making money folding... Looking back this was one of the best moves I made."

Joining Barrett at the Texas Holdem Final Table in order of finish were: Jerrad Humerickhouse (2nd, from McLouth), "Mean Gene" Kimber (Olpe), Chris Morgan (Topeka), Robby Werner (Kansas City), Sheila Gropp (Topeka), Dan Guth (Manhattan), Kevin Moten (Topeka), and Sara Blatt (9th, from Shawnee). The quality of the table is evidenced by the fact that it featured no less than 7 qualifiers for the Player of the Decade Championship scheduled for 2010!

Final Table, No-Limit Holdem: clockwise fr front left: Chris Morgan (back to camera, black jacket), Jason Barrett, Jerrad Humerickhouse, Robby Werner, Sheila Gropp, Sara Blatt, Kevin Moten, Dan Guth, "Mean Gene" Kimber (back to camera).

To win the 2008 Mixed Games Grand Championship, Tony Stevens had the monumental task of beating 55 of the State's best players in 4 different types of poker, all played no-limit. Stevens hails from Manhattan where he manages the poker room at Bobby T's. Recognized as the single-most difficult challenge in Kansas poker, Stevens managed to win the Grand Championship without using his re-buy option. Robby Werner of Shawnee and Sheila Gropp of Topeka rounded out the top 3 spots.

Tournament Manager Stew "Chicago Mike" Bishop watched the Final Table and commented: "... Tony just looked comfortable.... his years of professional experience paid off tonight... There's no easy substitute for experience...  Managing a poker room puts him in touch with so many different types of games and players, and that's what the Grand Championship is all about. You name the game and he can play it, someone makes a move and he's probably seen it..."

After winning the final hand, Stevens' summarized his keys to victory saying "... I could sense when I probably had the best cards.... I played conservatively until they came. The key for me tonight was learning the reads on the other players; knowing when to go in and when to give the hand up..."

The 2008 KNLPC Team. back row l-r: Ivory Mazur (Arthritis Foundation AF), Ben Heim (Tournament Director), Stew Bishop (Tournament Manager). front row l-r Patty Duke (AF), Tiffany Dominguez (Tournament Director), Tyler Goetz (Washburn U. AMSA), Clint Gates (AMSA).

For their efforts, both Stevens and Barrett became the first inductees to the Central States Poker Hall of Fame in nearly a century, earning a place in history alongside Luke Short, "Wild Bill" Hickok, John Wesley Hardin, and other legends of the game. Knowing he's enshrined with characters named "Bat" and "Doc", Barrett commented "... I probably should get a nickname...".

How does a Kansas Poker Champion approach the game? Barrett's opening strategy is an effort to get to know his opponents as quickly as possible. He'll play looser early when the blinds and risk are lower.  "Playing loose early gives me alot of info on the other players and a reputation as a loose player..."

But he's not necessarily a loose player by nature, adding "... I try to focus more on strategy and long-term payoff as opposed to winning as many pots as possible as often as possible...". Tony Stevens' approach is not dissimilar, saying simply "... I'll wait for the right situation..."

While Stevens and Barrett get well-deserved attention, the quality of the other players in this tournament cannot be overstated. Bracelet winners from every corner of the State made sure that winning the titles wouldn't be easy. Among many comebacks of the evening, none was more notable than Sheila Gropp's 2nd Runner-Up finish in the Grand Championship. One of Topeka's most respected veteran players, Gropp was putting on her coat to leave the qualifying round when she learned she was the final player to win a Main Event seat. From there she parlayed the opportunity into a 6th and 3rd place finish at Texas Holdem and Mixed Games respectively, earning a seat at the Player of the Decade tournament. Hers' is one of a long list of "chip and a chair" stories so typical of this fantastic tournament series.  Read detailed player's stories at the Final Table page here.

The Kansas No-Limit Poker Championship is a presentation of Kansas Poker News. It is the most prestigious and challenging poker event in the State. This non-profit event benefits the Arthritis Foundation of Kansas which has led arthritis research for over 60 years. The need is great as nationwide over 40 million Americans are afflicted with arthritis including nearly 500,000 Kansans!

The Washburn University Chapter of the American Medical Students' Association (AMSA) volunteered their time to help make the event tremendously successful. Additional information on the event can be found at:http://poker.meetup.com/1682

Everyone at Kansas Poker News feels privileged to have been a part of this tremendous Championship!

(Dec. 8) BREAKING NEWS: State Championship Main Event is set for Dec. 13th in Topeka. Wild Card Rounds set for Dec. 12th and 13th. Wild Cards are Open to All Players who have not yet qualified for the Main Event. They are the final opportunities to qualify for the Main Event. FOR ALL DETAILS REGARDING THE WILD CARD AND MAIN EVENT DATES / TIMES / RULES / STRUCTURING/ etc. PLEASE CLICK HERE.

See archive of past news stories here.

Kansas No-Limit Poker Championship and "Kansas' toughest poker tournament" are trademarks of Kansas Poker News. All rights reserved.

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