Brandon Byrne couldn’t stand in the way of Wisconsin native Travis Lauson who made it to the final table of the Mid-States Poker Tour Potawatomi for the second year in a row this weekend. Last year, Lauson finished in second after blowing the chip lead during heads-up play. This year, he was determined to not make the same mistake again, and his focus paid off; Lauson came out on top and scored a $129,077 first-prize.
“I needed redemption from that second place,” Lauson told Poker News. “It’s simply amazing. If I would have lost heads-up back-to-back I would have gone crazy.”
Adam Lamphere, Rob Wazwaz, and Nick Jivkov were among the 555 players Lauson had to beat to be crowned champion.
Lauson rolled into the final table hot, scoring an elimination and a monster pot that whittled the field to ten. He and John Sun were the chip leaders in a big way when final-table play started, holding more than double their nearest opponent.
Richard Bai and Shane Thorne were the first to go. Then Lauson made his first elimination at the final table while holding a pair of 10s against the A♢, 5♢ of Scott Vetter, who was sent home in eighth place.
The champ sent another challenger packing not long after. Nick Kost went in for 1.1 million holding an A♤, J♢. Lauson called with a strong K♢, 10♤ and managed to outdraw Kost when the board came 5♢, J♧, 3♢, 4♡, K. Kost took home $20,168 for his sixth-place finish.
Two more eliminations sent Ben Reinhart and Abe Montenegro away in fifth and fourth, respectively. Sun wasn’t in on much of the action and saw his once dominant stack dwarfed by Lauson’s when three-handed play started.
Sun was eliminated in third, holding J♡, 10♢ to Lauson’s 8♧, 4♧. A trio of clubs on the flop (J♧, 9,♧ 6♧) put Lauson well out front. Sun wound up with two pair, but it wasn’t enough to save him.
Byrne secured an early double-up in heads-up play, but he wasn’t able to come back and trump Lauson. The final hand saw Lauson snap into action with pocket K♢, K♤ after Byrne (A♤, 5♡) shoved from the Button. The board offered nothing more to either player and the pair of kings took the hand.
Final table results:
(Photo credit: slgckgc, Creative Commons)
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