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Live from The Orleans for Vegas Invasion!!

Live updates from the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for the Vegas Invasion Main Event. 

Continue for live blog updates | Photo gallery updated




Ben Blecker, Dennis Karlsrud, Gina Bushey, Thomas Eaglestaff, Reuben Suftka, Erin Schlusser, Dave Halverson, Troy Sjostrand

What a grind on the bubble.  It took almost an hour of play with 1 to go before we finally had our 8 big winners.  Gina Bushey, Mitch Witteman, and Reuben Sufka were the short-stacks and it was a classic battle of "who can last the longest".  When Mitch Witteman doubled up the pressure was on Gina and Reuben, with Reuben having slightly more chips than Gina.  Gina survived two all-in situations, with the critical hand against Mitch.  Gina held 6-2 offsuit in the small blind but correctly realized that she did not have enough chips to play more 4 antes.  If she didn't call now, surely several players would call to try and knock her out.  She agonized for a few minutes making the tough decision to call.  Mitch held Jack-three, and the board paired Gina's deuce.  The hand crippled Mitch, leaving him all-in in the small blind in the next hand.  Mitch would have had a chance to quadruple up (2-pair) if it weren't for Sjostrand's full house!   

These players will all receive a $2,500 poker buy-in/travel package to their choice of World Poker Tour or World Series of Poker events. 


We just lost Craig Brunson and are down to 9.  The next person is the bubble person and the remaining 8 are winning.  This is intense folks!!!

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We grinded for a while and lost Les Post from St. Cloud, MN.   We are now at the final table and went to break....While on break though we did the drawing for the first Playstation 3 and the winner was Vance Barta from Bucks in Fargo who was here today and made it down to about 20 players left.  Congratulations Vance.  And the final 10 players are...Dennis Karlsrud from Maries Casual Dining in Redwing MN with 250,000.  Dave Halverson from Sharkees in Luvurne, MN with 57,000.  Erin Schassler from Flicek's in Lonsdale, MN with 115,000.  Ruebuen Sufka from Ultimate Sports Bar in Waite Park, MN with 47,500.  Gina Bushey from Mr. G's in Fargo, ND with 57,500.  Mitch Witteman from the Riviera Lounge in Minot, ND with 34,000.  Craig Brunson from from NY, NY in Aberdeen, SD.  Ben Blecker from Albert Lea Legion with 108,500, Albert Lea, MN.  Troy Sjostad from Champps in Eden Prairie, MN with 152,000. Tom Eaglestaff from Bismarck VFW in Bismarck, ND.


Down to 11 almost the final table, Mark Grewe from Fergus Falls, MN has just been eliminated.  There are so many players around the final two tables watching this as every hand is so important.


The action is so fast we have lost some players and we are down to 12.  The players that have busted are Byron Craves, Justin Weidner, Kent Olson, Jamie Harcey, Dean Kerzman.


17 remaining as we just lost Ron Wilson (Brothers, Rochestor, MN).


We are down to 18 players as we just lost Kevin Bergeron just got them all in versus Ben Blecker.  Kevin held A-10 to Ben's pocket queens with a flop of K-Q-J, Kevin hit broadway, but Ben caught back up quickly as the turn brought the fourth queen for quads.  WOW!!!!


The action is fast and we are down to 2 tables and 19 players.  Each player has little over 2-1 shot at winning as the top 8 win.  In the past 15 minutes we have lost Justin Hron, Stan Benson, Vance Barta, and Jeff Merrill.  And as I'm typing this there is a huge hand alert as the crowd is going nuts, and there is someone walking away from the table....


We are now down to 23 players and they are in no particular order

Vance Barta, Stan Benson, Mitchell Witteman, Ben Blecker, Craig Brunson, Dennis Karlsrud, Kevin Bergron, Gina Bushey, Thomas Eaglestaff, Justin Weidner, Reuben Sufka, Justin Hron, Les Post, Jamie Harcey, Erin Schlusser, Jeff Merrill, Dave Halverson, Bryan Craves, Troy Sjostrand, Ron Wilson, Mark Grewe, Dean Kerzman, Kent Olson


We are down to 30 players and three tables.  The tension in the air is starting to mount.  There are short stacks that are going to have to make a move soon.  One commentary from people standing around watching is, it's so nerve racking! Every player has about a 4-1 shot to win.


We just got back from another break we are now at the 1500 and 3000 level with a 500 ante.  Here are our updated chip leaders.  In first place Erin Schlusser with 100K in chips from Lonsdale, MN playing out of Flicek's & Brewsters bar.  In second place with 74K in chips is Kevin Bergeron from the Patch Resteraunt in Warroad, MN.  Third place in chips with 58K, no stranger to winning it all or final tables is Jeff Merrill from Double T bar in Columbus, NE.  In fourth place with 58K in chips is Craig Brunson from New York, New York in Aberdeen, SD. 

While typing the entry we have lost a couple more players and are now down to 31 players remaining.


Justin Weidner, from the Silver Dollar in Mandan, ND doubled up moments ago.  He proposed to his girlfriend Kim last night at the VooDoo Lounge.  She said YES!  And get this - they are planning to get married TONIGHT.   Way to go Justin and Kim!



Started with 94 players.  11 did not make the first break. 

Erin Schlusser 31.2k from Flicek's in Lonsdale, MN in the early chip leader.  Gina Bushey and Dennis Karlsrud (Marie's Casual Dining - Red Wing, MN) are right behind her with 28k.  

Erin Schlusser is having a great trip.  She had the opportunity to play Scotty Nguyen heads up yesterday afternoon!  She is here with Colleen Eliason and they visited the set of the "Real Deal" and Erin got a chance to be taped! 

Phil Hellmuth, Jennifer Harmon, Daniel Negreanu and others were there.  

Erin & Colleen were kind enough to share some photos with us, we'll post more of them in the gallery later!


1/2 hour in and we've lost 2 players already.  Gina Bushey is the early chip leader with over 30k!

Erik Eystad (Willmar, MN) and Thomas Eaglestaff pictured right.



The championship will begin at 11:30am PST. 

Most of the FPN crew busted in the Gladiator tournament late last night, and nobody is sure which FPN players cashed...We do know that Scott Eckert cashed again!

There is definitely a buzz in air with the FPN championship qualifiers...We can't wait to get underway.


The "Gladiator" Bounty Tournament has begun, a $60 buy-in tournament.  Good turnout, with over 230 players!  A bunch of players are still wearing their togas from the toga party. 

Peter Hetwer from Mr. G's in Fargo won the top bounty, $300 cash. 


The Roman Toga Party began with hilarious videos and Mike Matsinger of World Tavern Poker introducing the 4 "Poker Godz".  The room is divided into 4 color "sections" and there will be several games played during the party...The turnout is excellent with over 340 people! 

Almost everyone at the party is dressed in toga.  


Scott Eckert (Mr. G's - Fargo) took down the BetUS No Limit Holdem event, cashing $1,975!!!



JC Rowan (Bayside Bar & Grill - Minnesota) and Delray Dykstra (Litchville, ND) just chopped the Jager Early Strikers tournament for $1900 each! 



Brenda Sorenson from Bismarck, ND is on the final table of the Jager Early Strikers tournament along with JC Rowan and Delray Dykstra.  About 100 players started that tournament.  First place is $2500! Go Brenda!

The BetUS $80 NL Holdem tournament started at 3:00pm.  


It's a bright and sunny 85 degrees here in the desert, a very nice getaway for those of us from the midwest! 

Don Ellwanger (pictured right) from the Wadena, MN area took 5th place in the "Spade Club Sin City Showdown" tournament on Saturday night for $330.  The private tournaments are underway now in full force, with a tournament sponsored by Jager which started at noon.  The ballroom here at the Orleans is packed with players and Mitch Schock is making announcements. 

The ROMAN TOGA PARTY is scheduled at 8pm, and will be hilarious. 

Pictures and more details to come... 

Vegas Invasion National Championship Preview
The culmination of our summer "Vegas Invasion" promotion occurs on Monday, October 27th at 11:30am with the National Championship tournament.  Players qualified this summer either directly, through regionals, or in one of the two "Last Chance" freerolls held on Bodog. 

In all, 236 players from 11 different states have qualified for the National Finals including 27 players that won a travel package and "party badge" to attend the 2 private parties that we are partnering with our friends at World Tavern Poker to host on Sunday and Tuesday.  Between the two leagues we are expecting over 500 total poker players from over 25 different states to participate in different events throughout the weekend!!

Eight winners will walk away on Monday night having won $2500 poker packages to a WPT or WSOP event of their choice!!  That's not all though as we are also giving away a $2500 WSOP package to the winner of the "Inter-league" challenge where anyone with a "party badge" or "poker badge" can participate along with all of our national qualifiers.  This is a $50 buy-in tourney where the package will be added to the 1st place cash prize.  This tourney basically wraps of the poker for the trip as it occurs at midnight on Tuesday after the farewell party. 

Stay tuned for updates throughout the weekend as we update the tourney winners, crazy parties and do live updates throughout the Championship Event so you can root on your favorite players!!!

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