James Gibson of Stonewall, Manitoba, became the first Canadian to win a Mid-States Poker Tour event, grabbing the title at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., in December. The $1,100 event drew 376 entries and a $375,800 prize pool, which makes it the largest MSPT event in the tour’s three-year history. Gibson, a retired truck driver, took home the diamond bracelet and $96,205. This was Gibson’s third cash of the season, bringing his total to $101,357 for Season 3.
Coincidentally, he also was the first Canadian to win a Heartland Poker Tour event in August 2007 at Grand Casino Mille Lacs. Michael Lingenfelter of Eau Clare, Wis., had a 2.5-to-1 lead when heads-up play began. Gibson gained the lead when he doubled up with pocket jacks, and he kept the lead until the end. The final table earned six of the players their first MSPT cash, while earning Paul Schroder his fourth cash, Edward Janezich his third and Monty Schmidt his second.
MSPT POY: Dan Sun of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won MSPT Player of the Year with 3,300 points. Sun captured two titles and a third-place finish. Erick Wright was second with 2,075 points and Matt Kirby was third (2,050 points).
— John Somsky is the Ante Up Ambassador for Minnesota. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.