A look back at the AUPT at Running Aces

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By John Somsky

Blake Bohn of Savage, Minn., has been on a remarkable hot streak when it comes to tournament poker, so it’s no surprise to find him on the cover of Ante Up after winning the Ante Up Midwest Championship at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minn., on April 21.

He emerged victorious against one of the toughest final tables ever seen in Minnesota. There was more than $2 million in combined lifetime earnings for the final-table players, including MSPT winner Muneer Ahmed, HPT winner Ryan Hartmann, local pro Todd Beyfogle and HPT and Fall Poker Classic winner Judd Greenagel.

Bohn didn’t have an easy road making it to the final table. He was down to 22K chips midway through Day 1, but finished the day with a better-than-average stack of 85K. During Day 2, Bohn’s stack fell to 13K, but he doubled up twice and arrived at the final table seventh in chips with 179K. He quickly accumulated chips and was second in chips with about 460K when play got down to eight players.
As with many tournaments these days, the final five players decided to chop, giving everyone $15K and leaving the remaining $16K prize pool, the trophy, the bracelet and the magazine cover for first place. Bohn made it to heads-up play with a big chip lead over Greenagel and the two chopped the remaining cash giving Bohn the title.

This win continues Bohn’s amazing run after winning the Chicago Poker Classic in March. When asked why he has been so hot the past couple of years, Bohn said, “I’ve played a lot of structures that fit my game a lot better.” That also helped him remain patient and come back after facing adversity in the main event. “That was the best structure I’ve played outside the World Series main event in my opinion. It rivals anything I’ll play all year long.”

That may also be why he has had such success at Running Aces. This year, he was sixth in the Spring Poker Classic. Last year, he won the SPC title, the $2,500 Tournament of Champions and finished 10th in the Midwest Poker Classic.

To add to the excitement of the Ante Up Poker Tour at Running Aces, Fifth Street Radio set up camp to broadcast live during the Ante Up Midwest Championship.

They interviewed several of the Running Aces staff and quite a few players over the course of their three days of broadcasting. They even had a live stream of a featured table, which eventually became the final table during Day 2 of the main event. They commentated for a whopping 14 hours until play ended at about 5:30 a.m.

There were two other multiday events during the AUPT: a $500 event with two Day 1 flights, and a $250 event with five Day 1 flights. Players could play multiple Day 1s for the $250 event and if a player made it to Day 2 on multiple flights, the smaller stack(s) would be bought back for $1,000.

Vladimir Revniaga of Burnsville, Minn., took down the $500 event for $17,187. Revniaga has treated poker as a second career since he became a student of the game in his sophomore year in college. Revniaga got off to a slow start, finishing Day 1 with 28K chips, which placed him in the bottom 25 percent. However, that still gave him 14 big blinds when returning to Day 2 and the structure gave him time to climb back.

“I probably can’t say this enough about how much I love the Running Aces structure,” Revniaga said. “We get kind of spoiled with the Running Aces structure.”

He reached the final table with about 250K. Revniaga then beat Chad Himmelspach of Bismarck, N.D., heads-up. This win comes on the heels of a Revniaga’s third-place finish in the SPC.

Kevin Quaas of Hugo, Minn., bested a field of 242 entrants to win the $250 event for the top prize of $14,628. He, too, felt the structure gave him time to play and accumulate chips for the win. “I like the structure. You have enough chips where everyone gets to play for a while.” This is his largest career cash.

There were 10 players who made two final tables: Muneer Ahmed (second in Event 6 and sixth in the main event), Ryan Hartmann (eighth in Event 3 and ninth in the main event), Pao Lee (first in Event 4 and second in Event 1), Brian Zekus (third in Event 3 and second in Event 11), Tim O’Donovan (third in Event 4 and eighth in Event 7), Michael Jensen (fourth in Event 7 and 10th in Event 6), Yer Vang (fourth in Event 8 and sixth in Event 6), Hector Martinez (fifth in Event 2 and eighth in Event 10), Pat Flaherty (ninth in Event 6 and 10th in Event 2), and Ante Up Ambassador John Somsky (first in Event 8 and seventh in Event 3).

Tournament director Tristan Wilberg and the Running Aces team designed the series with tournaments for lots of action every day for multiple types of players. Buy-ins ranged from $50 to $1,100, and there were three events every day.

The series used the main poker room as well as the atrium, which was set up with several additional tournament tables.

ANTE UP MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIP, APRIL 11-21

Event 1 • $100 NLHE
Entries: 46 • Pool: $6,785
1. Paul Skjerseth, $2,782
2. Pao Lee, $1,696
3. Robert Barber, $1,018
4. Jacob Klaphake, $746
5. Steve Charpentier, $543
Event 2 • $230 Bounty
Entries: 78 • Pool: $7,800
1. Derek Knisley, $2,669
2. Ryan Ellison, $1,521
3. Ryan Gunderson, $995
4. John Hayes, $683
5. Hector Martinez, $527
6. Joseph Montano, $410
7. Mitchell Ackermann, $351
8. N/A, $273
9. Alan Bohlman, $195
10. Pat Flaherty, $176
Event 3 • $500 NLHE
Entries: 118 • Pool: $52,079
1. Vladimir Revniaga, $17,187
2. Chad Himmelspach, $9,895
3. Brian Zekus, $6,510
4. Dave Mandt, $4,427
5. Mark Hodge, $3,515
6. Erick Wright, $2,734
7. John Somsky, $2,213
8. Ryan Hartmann, $1,693
9. Trevor Hills, $1,172
10. Adam Dahlin, $911
Event 4 • $100 NLHE
Entries: 142 • Pool: $11,360
1. Pao Lee, $3,638
2. Jake Grothe, $2,102
3. Tim O’Donovan, $1,363
4. Chinou Yang, $937
5. Joshua Oslund, $721
6. David Eldridge, $562
7. Jerry Manovich, $443
8. Anthony Burgoyne, $329
9. Keith Henricksen, $227
10. Darrell Windingstad, $187
Event 5 • $150 Omaha/8
Entries: 42 • Pool: $5,250
1. Lex Nerenberg, $2,151
2. Joseph Ackerman, $1,313
3. Jason Hartwig, $788
4. Eric Torgerson, $578
Event 6 • $250 NLHE
Entries: 242 • Pool: $52,240
1. Kevin Quaas, $14,628
2. Muneer Ahmed, $8,620
3. William Shene, $5,746
4. Steve Vang, $3,996
5. Anthony Kiris, $2,978
6. Yer Vang, $2,299
7. John Hanson, $1,776
8. Michael Christy, $1,306
9. Pat Flaherty, $940
10. Michael Jensen, $731
Event 7 • Freeroll
Entries: 261 • Pool: $5,585
1. Nicholas Hackel, $1,565
2. Jason Davis, $922
3. Jerry Jasicki, $614
4. Michael Jensen, $427
5. Daniel Proch, $318
6. Joseph Hass, $246
7. Jeffrey Willis, $190
8. Tim O’Donovan, $140
9. George Sanford, $101
10. Adam Zych, $78
Event 8 • $50 Rebuy
Entries: 34 • Pool: $4,090
1. John Somsky, $1,841
2. Robbie Westrom, $1,104
3. Steve Rouse, $695
4. Yer Vang, $450
$1,100 Main Event
Entries: 118 • Pool: $114,460
1. Blake Bohn, $37,772
2. Judd Greenagel, $21,747
3. Todd Melander, $14,308
4. Todd Breyfogle, $9,729
5. Dan Hendrickson, $7,726
6. Muneer Ahmed, $6,009
7. Derek McMaster, $4,865
8. Peixin Liu, $3,720
9. Ryan Hartmann, $2,575
10. John Hayes, $2,003
Event 10 • $50 Rebuy
Entries: 80 • Pool: $6,275
1. Joe Palensky, $2,149
2. Tim Brey, $1,224
3. Joe Bigbear, $800
4. Boomer Schu, $549
5. Justin Regnier, $424
6. Mike Gantzer, $329
7. Scott Long, $282
8. Hector Martinez, $220
9. Bee Yang, $157
10. Tyree Johnson, $141
Event 11 • $300 NLHE
Entries: 39 • Pool: $10,335
1. Shane Nelson, $4,651
2. Brian Zekus, $2,790
3. Pao Vang, $1,757
4. Tyler Ripplinger, $1,137
Event 12 • $100 NLO
Entries: 36 • Pool: $2,880
1. Thomas Edgar, $1,295
2. Kevin Slaby, $778
3. Gabriel Bonneville, $490
4. Daniel Buckley, $317