Nelson continues momentum at TSPC



Ask any poker player when they started playing poker and they’ll probably say one of two things: the boom or sitting at the kitchen table with their parents or grandparents. John Nelson, the winner of Hollywood Casino’s Tri-State Poker Championship in Lawrenceburg, Ind., went the latter route for his exposure to the game.

“I started playing with my Grandma Lewandowski when I was around six or seven,” he said. “She taught me the basics and I was hooked from then on. I’m really competitive and especially love mental challenges, so poker is perfect for me. I played some in high school, but didn’t really start taking poker seriously till I was in college where I found online poker. I have been playing poker professionally for four or five years now. I continued on with my education this whole time, though, because I knew poker would not fulfill my life goals in the long run by itself.”

Nelson, a 25-year-old Curtice, Ohio, native who has a degree in psychology from Heidelberg University, defeated 229 players to take home $81,353. The overall series attracted 3,888 entries for a $1.245 million prize pool.

Nelson is no stranger when it comes to cashing in big fields. Just 12 days earlier during a World Series of Poker Circuit in Atlantic City, he won an undercard event for almost $20K. In December 2011, he cashed in three events in Las Vegas during the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, placing first, 21st and second for combined winnings of $102,171.

He contributes his deep runs to making correct, difficult decisions. And with these successes Nelson remains grounded.
“In poker it’s so important not to be-results oriented and to always work to improve your game,” he said.

When asked what’s next, he said he’ll take a break from some upcoming tournaments to focus on his internship and getting his master’s degree in counseling at Ohio University. That’s an answer any grandma would appreciate.

— R.C. Thorne is Ante Up’s Southern Indiana Ambassador. Email him 

Tri-State Championship, Hollywood Lawrenceberg, March 14-25

Event 1 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 1,413 • Pool: $409,770
Calvin Simpson, $28,163
Event 2 • $235 NLHE
Entries: 310 • Pool: $59,830
David Brown, $7,793
Event 3 • $555 NLHE
Entries: 202 • Pool: $97,970
Mark Weisser, $13,350
Event 4 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 150 • Pool: $43,500
Nick Jivkov, $12,912
Event 5 • $235 NLHE
Entries: 74 • Pool: $14,282
Catherine Gonzales, $4,285
Event 6 • $235 NLHE
Entries: 297 • Pool: $57,321
Frank Luyckx, $7,013
Event 7 • $235 PLO
Entries: 85 • Pool: $16,405
Andrew Sexton, $4,779
Event 8 • $235 NLHE
Entries: 151 • Pool: $29,143
Elliott Miller, $3,760
Event 9 • $235 PLO/8
Entries: 102 • Pool: $19,686
Jason Schroeder, $5,715
Event 10 $235 6-Max
Entries: 140 • Pool: $27,020
Ryan Leng, $8,464
Event 11 • $235 Omaha/8
Entries: 78 • Pool: $15,054
Cherly Wagner, $3,224
Event 12 • $345 NLHE
Entries: 261 • Pool: $75,690
Shane Masters, $15,601
$1,600 Main Event
Entries: 229 • Pool: $332,050
John Nelson, $81,353
Event 14 • $150 NLHE
Entries: 396 • Pool: $47,520
Jackie Potter, $5,054

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