Over the weekend at Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas, Roger Lens and Christopher Waszczyk finished in the top two spots to win the grand prize in the 2022 Free Poker Network World Series or Bust National Championship.
They each won a $10,000 seat into the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event and $1,000 cash for their victories.
Lens is from Sioux Falls and was a South Dakota State Champion to initially qualify for this tournament. He also earned additional starting chips following his team’s deep run in the Tag Team Championship the previous night. Waszczyk qualified for the tournament by being an Illinois State Champion and started the day with the minimum amount of chips, which proved to be enough for him.
This event attracted 160 qualifiers to the Grand Ballroom at Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Downtown Las Vegas, and the players were all hoping to finish in the top twenty spots to win a poker package, with prizes totaling over $50,000. The third-to-twentieth-place finishers earned players a $1,500 poker package, but only Waszczyk and Lens could claim the grand prize of a $10,000 seat into the 2022 WSOP Main Event and $1,000 cash.
The Free Poker Network began in 2005 and was created by Brook Lyter. FPN allows players to earn points while playing poker in recreational leagues at bars in 17 states around the country. Players qualify for prizes and trips to major events by playing in their local FPN league.
FPN WSOB National Championship Final Table Results
|1||Roger Lens||South Dakota||$11,000 Poker Package|
|2||Christopher Waszczyk||Illinois||$11,000 Poker Package|
|3||Cody Slusher||North Dakota||$1,500 Poker Package|
|4||Nick Kehren||Minnesota||$1,500 Poker Package|
|5||Steve Fugelstad||North Dakota||$1,500 Poker Package|
|6||Wayne Corlew||Minnesota||$1,500 Poker Package|
|7||Jimmy Miles||North Dakota||$1,500 Poker Package|
|8||Joel Smith||Minnesota||$1,500 Poker Package|
|9||Andrew Adami||Illinois||$1,500 Poker Package|
Action of the Day
After nine hours of fun poker, 160 players were narrowed down to 21 and those still contending were one elimination away from the prizes.
The bubble boy ended up being Don Mahoney, who got it in good, but lost to a turned flush. That locked up poker tournament packages for each of the remaining 20 players. About an hour later, the final table was reached and the players converged on a live-streamed final table.
Some of the notables to make the final table included Jimmy Miles and Joel Smith, both of whom are former FPN National Champions. North Dakota’s Cody Slusher also made a deep run in this tournament and has previously won the Dakota Poker Tour POY.
Andrew Adami was the first player gone at the final table when Slusher found some help with his dominated hand. Former FPN National Champions Smith and Miles fell in eighth and seventh, respectively, as they came up short in their pursuit for another victory.
Wayne Corlew hit the rail next after being left short by Slusher’s rivered flush, and Steve Fugelstad said goodbye in fifth when Lens turned a straight against him. Nick Kehren lost the rest of his chips next when getting them in against Slusher’s trips, and that set up a three-handed battle, where only two could win the grand prize.
In three-handed play, Lens mostly looked to be the clear leader and it appeared likely to be between Waszczyk and Slusher on who would be the first eliminated. Eventually, Slusher was willing to risk his stack with ace-queen against Lens’ ten-four. Unfortunately for Slusher, a ten appeared on the flop and he failed to improve, eliminating him in third, which was still good for the $1,500 poker package.
Lens and Waszczyk rejoiced and celebrated with their rails, as the qualifier-only tournament resulted in each of them getting $1,000 cash and punching their ticket into the 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event, where they may potentially play for millions of dollars thanks to the Free Poker Network.
Congratulations to all of the winners in this year’s Free Poker Network World Series or Bust National Championship!
Team Freese Wins 2022 Free Poker Network Tag Team Championship
Team Freese defeated Team Marts in heads-up play to win the 2022 Free Poker Network World Series or Bust Tag Team Championship and claim the championship belts. Team Freese consists of Minnesotans Gloria and Gerald Freese, and they will be bringing back home shiny new pieces of poker hardware in addition to the prizes they won.
The event attracted 79 entries and the players were all hoping to finish in the top 10%, as the top eight finishers each received 10,000 chips for the Free Poker Network World Series or Bust National Championship and $160. Those finishers will return in less than twelve hours to Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Downtown Las Vegas for the main event, where they will compete for prizes totaling over $50,000.
The Free Poker Network allows players to earn points while playing poker in recreational leagues at bars in 17 states around the country. Players qualify for prizes and trips to major events by playing in their local FPN league.
2022 FPN Tag Team Championship Final Table Results
Action of the Day
In addition to the prizes for the top eight teams, $1,500 in mystery bounties were also up for grabs. The biggest $500 bounty was found by Team Hiner-Held.
Throughout the day, the 79 teams switched off playing poker and had fun looking for mystery bounties before eventually, only nine teams remained and they converged on the final table.
With nine teams left, only one team would be eliminated before the prizes, and the unfortunate bubble team was Team Holt-Ozcan when they got in their short stack and couldn’t improve against Team Marts.
After cashing, Team Haugen-Happe was the next team gone, and Team Hiner-Held made their exit soon after.
Team Urbatsch-Marek hit the rail next when running into a better ace, and the remaining five players went on a short break. After the break, Team Freese was down to under two big blinds and doubled on their path to eventual victory.
After some time, it was Team Adler to finish in fifth when running into a better king. Team Kingsley-Lens was next to go out in fourth when they got their short stack in and didn’t improve, and Team Wagner then lost a big pot to Team Freese, which changed the tides and led to Team Wagner’s demise in third place.
That set up a heads-up match between Team Freese and Team Marts, with the former holding a small chip lead over the latter. With the blinds climbing, it didn’t take too long to get the chips in, and when Team Mart’s jack-nine found no help against Team Freese’s pocket tens, Team Freese had officially won the tournament to claim the title and the Tag Team Championship belts.