By Michael Iverson
The 2018 Fall Poker Classic is upon us.
As we approach Event No. 1 (the always fun Tag-Team event), I would like to recognize some individuals in specific events you may come across on the felt that could cause you problems as you try to navigate the fields.
Note, this article is intended to be fun and a way to get you excited about all of the upcoming events.
Event No. 1 ($250 Tag-Team)
Watch out for Paul Cross and Bridgette Field.
I do not know for a fact that they are playing this event nor do I know that they are partners for this event. What I do know is that anyone paying attention should notice by now that when these two pair up for these types of events they always seem to go deep.
Cross has been on top of his game for some time now, a stretch that is coming up on two years of consistent play with the results to show. Bridgette is no slouch, either. She has accumulated 12 cashes this year and has the skill set to run deep in this event.
The structure for the tag team event is better than years past and I expect this duo to go deep and build a big stack prior to the conclusion of the re-entry period.
Event No. 2 ($365 Monster Stack NLH)
This event is the largest event every year and brings out all of the regulars.
This is a hard event to predict, but no one can deny that Mr.John Alexander consistently performs at the FPC. I also would not be surprised to see Jon Kulkay make a deep run as he comes back to the game after taking a lot of time off over the past year. In my opinion Jon will come in hungry and ready to play.
Don’t rule out Aaron Johnson, Max Havlish, Paul Cross or Vic Peppe to come out of the gates with a deep run.
Event No. 4 ($3,500 High Roller)
In my opinion I think some might have been surprised at the field last year in this event. A few players took shots in this event that normally wouldn’t be considered “worthy” or “rolled” for this event.
The buy-in increasing from $2,500 does not alter the field size in my eyes. I believe that 40-50 players should be vying for around $50K to $60k. Last year we had the lovely Sherry Hammers to sweat from the digital rail. No one can ever rule out Sherry or Tom in these events.
I would expect the defending champ (Adam Dahlin) to make another deep run. And I am sure plenty of the local legends will be in attendance (Blake Bohn, Kou Vang, John Reading, Mark Sandness, Jonathan Hanner to name a few).
However, if I had to pick a specific person to win this event I always see Rob WazWaz going deep in this.
Event No. 10 ($350 HORSE)
I think the smart money would be to take Mike Schneider in this event. Mike does not play a ton of the FPC events but this is one I’m confident we will see him enter. DJ Buckley and Josh Damm are others that could make a serious run in this event as they are honing their mixed game abilities.
Event No. 11 ($550 NLH)
If my memory serves me correctly on this event, Mr. Lucas Mernin did some sort of modified deal with Todd Breyfogle and Steve WazWaz in 2017. This is significant because Lucas won the event the prior year. It would be an amazing accomplishment to three peat this event as you get into the $500 range for the FPC the field is usually around 180-220 players and for the most part a rather tough field.
Event No. 13 ($600 Tag-Team)
I am excited to see the kind of numbers this event draws. The higher buy-in might tone down the re-entry factor but it also could bring out some exciting teams.
A couple years back (2015) Blake Bohn and his father, Marc Bohn, were able to take down the event. I could see this being the event where the two make another deep run.
Event No. 21 ($1,100 Main Event)
Year after year this event is taken down by one of the “main” players.
As the Minnesota Player of the Year race is heating up, do not be surprised if we see Saad Ghanem going deep in the main event among other events at the FPC. Saad is consistently at the top of the fields.
Players Flying Under the Radar
Tyree Johnson – He does not get to play as much as everyone else as he is usually pitching the cards but he can play and he can run deep. I expect Tyree to make a final table at the FPC.
Rodney Colson – This man is a soldier. Rodney has endured so much over the past year that I can’t imagine karma not treating him well at the FPC. He is always pleasant at the table and simply makes the game more fun. He also knows what he is doing as he had a $20k score at the Pot O’ Gold tournament earlier in the year. Expect Rodney to play several events and to get a couple cashes.
Brady Roth – Anyone that follows Brady knows that he can be on a roller coaster as far as playing cards goes and that doesn’t reflect his play but rather the things he has going on in life. One day he can say I hate cards and the next day he is at the table. Right now, Brady is running hot. Brady is going through one of those waves where if he is able to play a few events I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a FT and possibly take one down.
Jay Philips – Jay is a grinder. She is coming off of a survivor win at Borgata a couple weeks ago for a nice $5,000 score. That should cover most of her buy-ins at the FPC. Jay has 56 documented cashes and Canterbury is in her backyard. As long as her work schedule allows her to get the volume in I can see Jay racking up a few cashes.
My FPC Player of the Year Prediction
(Best results over the duration of the series, not necessarily most money won.)
Saad Ghanem – As he is currently leading the player of the year race for Minnesota. How can you bet against him? I know plenty of others are always gunning for him and the prestige of being MN POY. The lower buy-ins may eliminate some of the pros from playing a high volume of events but I would bet that Saad will be playing the bulk of the schedule. Saad is always very pleasant both at and away from the table.
The FPC is supposed to be fun and this article is supposed to be fun. I want people to get excited to play cards.
As I do not get to play often I am usually railing everyone in one way or another. I have no problem being happy for others that find success.
This year Canterbury is offering the big blind ante and several different events. I am sure it will be a learning experience for the staff at Canterbury as I have always found them to be top notch. Everyone needs to have fun and relax. The dealers and staff are doing everything they can to run a top-notch series and I have no doubt they will pull it off like in previous years.
In the event I am able to make it up please say hi, I always enjoy conversing with the players at the tables and listening to the banter you often hear in a card room. If you read the articles and have a topic you would like me to write about, I am all ears! If only one person reads my articles and finds them amusing or interesting I am satisfied. Thank you for reading and good luck on the felt!
Michael Iverson is a recreational poker player who primarily plays 8/16 and 20/40 Hold’em along with multi-table tournaments at Canterbury Park. He is a contract manager in the legal department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Michael lives in Stewartville, Minn., with his wife, Andrea and three children Gavin (9), Mackenzie (8) and Blake (4).