Andy Rubinberg Wins 2nd MSPT Title for $179,776; Brandon Welter Nabs Platinum Pass

Andy Rubinberg Wins 2nd MSPT Title for $179,776; Brandon Welter Nabs Platinum Pass

Andy Rubinberg

Table Of Contents

  • Final Table Action
  • Final Table Results
  • Brandon Welter Flips Way to a Platinum Pass

The Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) wrapped up its ninth season on Sunday when Andy Rubinberg bested a 977-entry field – the largest major poker tournament in Minnesota history – to win his second title and a $179,776 top prize.

“This is wonderful. Back in 2016 was my first big win, but this one confirms my game,” said Rubinberg, who won the 2016 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship for $120,808. “I’ve been working so hard, working with Chip Leader Coaching, studying, I felt so much more confident going into this final table and just feel I played so much better. Hard work pays off.”

Final Table Action

Rubinberg notched the final three eliminations to claim the title. First, he got lucky with ace-three flopping two pair against 2010 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jesse Rockowitz, who held ace-queen.

Next, Rubinberg dispatched MSPT Season 6 Mahnomen Regional Event champ Joel Klipping in an eights-versus-fours hand. That gave Rubinberg a big lead headed into heads-up play, and it didn’t take long for him to finish off Ronnie Lamb.

In the final hand, Rubinberg limped the button and Lamb checked his option to see a {7-Clubs}{10-Spades}{6-Clubs} flop. Lamb checked and then moved all in for 1.9 million when Rubinberg bet 300,000. Rubinberg called holding the {10-Diamonds}{8-Spades} and was ahead of Lamb’s {7-Hearts}{5-Spades}.

The {4-Hearts} turn gave Lamb a straight draw, but he missed when the {k-Clubs} bricked the river. Lamb finished in second place for a career-high $110,704.

Others to cash the tournament were MSPT Season 9 Canterbury Park champ Rob Wazwaz (19th – $7,759), MSPT Meskwaki champ Taylor Howard (39th – $3,217), Day 1C chip leader Cherukuri Sandeep (43rd – $3,217), Day 1A chip leader Brad Berman (51st – $2,933), and Day 1B chip leader Rocco Crivello (73rd – $2,460).

While speaking to MSPT officials, Rubinberg added: “This was a tough field, but aside from being such a big field a lot of big pros came. I knew if I could win this one it would mean something. Outside of Vegas, this might’ve been the MSPT’s toughest field ever.”

Final Table Results

Position Player Hometown Prize
1 Andrew Rubinberg Chicago, IL $179,776
2 Ronnie Lamb Denver, CO $110,704
3 Joel Klipping Red Lake Falls, MN $81,278
4 Jesse Rockowitz Fairmont, MN $61,502
5 Shawn Douglass Fridley, MN $46,363
6 Tom Sadowski Bloomington, MN $35,009
7 Mike Schneider Minneapolis, MN $27,440
8 Jovan Sudar Omaha, NE $21,762
9 Stuart Luhm Plymouth, MN $17,037
10 Jason Bender Keota, IA $13,247

Brandon Welter Flips Way to a Platinum Pass

MSPT Canterbury Park Platinum Pass final table
The MSPT Canterbury Park Platinum Pass final table.

There was another big winner at the MSPT Canterbury Park, which awarded one of the last available $30,000 Platinum Passes to January’s PokerStars Players NL Hold’Em Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas.

"I’m super excited to go to the Bahamas. I’m sure I’ll get more and more nervous as it gets closer."

A drawing was conducted in which eight players were chosen at random to participate in an eight-player heads-up Flipout Tournament. Those selected included two women in Joan Sandoval and Jodene Jensen, two former MSPT champs in Dan “DQ” Hendrickson and Mark Sandness, poker pros Kevin "1sickdisease" Eyster and Eric Wasylenko, and two local players in Royce Cannon and Brandon Welter.

Ultimately Welter, a 24-year-old actuary for an insurance company, defeated Hendrickson, Sandness, and Sandoval in three flips to win the coveted Platinum Pass. In the first round, he picked up pocket threes and held, and then in the second round rivered a queen to advance. Finally, he flopped a pair of sixes on a {7-}{6-}{5-} and held against Sandoval, who missed an open-ended straight draw.

“A couple come-from-behind wins,” said Welter, whose biggest score in a poker tournament has been $3,500. “I was feeling pretty nervous. I just tried to stay cool. I’m super excited to go to the Bahamas. I’m sure I’ll get more and more nervous as it gets closer.”

Brandon Welter PSPC Platinum Pass
Brandon Welter wins a PSPC Platinum Pass!

The MSPT’s 10th season will kick off with the MSPT Cleveland Poker Open at JACK Cleveland January 17-20 followed by the MSPT Majestic Star in the Chicagoland area January 25-27.

Photos courtesy of MSPT

Editor’s Note: Chad Holloway serves as Media Director for the MSPT.

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  • Big Winners: @ARubinberg wins 2nd @MSPTpoker title for $180K; @BrandonWelter nabs #PSPC Platinum Pass

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