Craig Trost, a 32-year-old professional in the life sciences field, has started his new year off with a bang after taking down the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) $350 Regional Event at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Season 8 of the tour kicked off last weekend with the tournament that proved to be the largest in state history, as 1,228 entrants took to the felt, which was enough to surpass the previous record of 1,169 entries, set last July.
In the end, Trost, emerged victorious to capture a $63,252 first-place prize on January 8.
Before the win, Trost had just two career tournament cashes. The biggest was $21,289 for finishing sixth in the inaugural MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship back in Season 6.
“At my previous MSPT final table, I didn’t run very well or play my best, so it felt a little redemptive to get this one,” the Wisconsin native explained. “I had a blast, too. I played with several very tough players over the two days, and I think it really made me raise my game.”
Interestingly, Trost almost locked up first-place money with seven players still in the tournament. He held nearly half the chips in play, while the other six players were relatively even. Trost offered to take first-place money and allow everyone else to split the remainder, which would have been better than fourth-place money for each.
“Almost everyone was on board, but during the talk, [eventual runner-up] Thomas Scarber won a flip to eliminate a player and then he wanted to continue to play,” said Trost. “It obviously worked out better for him than the deal would have.”
As for the prize money, Trost plans to manage it carefully.
“Nothing too exciting planned.” he said. “After Uncle Sam gets his chunk, I’ll probably play a few more events, throw some at the mortgage, and maybe make an upcoming vacation a little longer.”
Final Table Results
1 Craig Trost (Madison, WI) $63,252
2 Thomas Scarber (Streator, IL) $39,198
3 James Prodzinski (Oak Creek, WI) $28,508
4 Jordan Kumm (Stevens Point, WI) $21,773
5 Brian Davis (McFarland, WI) $16,392
6 Erika Obst (New Berlin, WI) $12,470
7 Mikiyo Aoki (Bozeman, MT) $9,621
8 Pawel Markowicz (Harwood Heights, IL) $7,483
9 Lenard Adams (Park Forest, IL) $6,058
10 Francisco Ramirez (Round Lake, IL) $4,989
Making the Money
On Day Two of the tournament, 201 players returned to action including Day 1A chip leader Tommy Vo (282,000), Day 1B leader Al Wolfensberger Leazer (550,500), and Day 1C leader Eddie Wood (388,000). Vo failed to cash, while Leazer and Wood finished 78th and 39th for $820 and $1,176 respectively.
Among the 135 players to cash the event were Season 6 MSPT Potawatomi champ Dan Goepel (134th/$606), MSPT Season 4 Ho-Chunk winner Josh Reichard (91st/$748), start-of-the-day short stack Howard Hankin (67th/$855), and Dan Crawford (12th/$4,989).
The MSPT’s next stop is at the bestbet Jacksonville casino from January 19-29, for both the Regional and Main Events. The tour will return to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino April 1-9, for an $1,100 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed Main Event.
Editor’s Note: CardsChat and MSPT share a cross-promotional alliance. Chad Holloway is the Media Director for MSPT.