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2016 PPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs Series
$500 NLHE Main Event (Re-Entry)

September 23rd-25th, 2016

Total Entries: 216
Total Prize Pool: $80,000 + $20,000 in PPC Aruba Packages= $100,000

Eric Rodawig PPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs Series Main Event Champion

Eric Rodawig
PPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs Series Main Event Champion

Recap: (by Mark Hoke of “The Mark Hoke Show” on KSHP 1400 AM and

A star-studded field including two WSOP Main Event third place finishers, two players with multiple WSOP circuit rings, a WSOP bracelet winner and a PPC Poker Tour ambassdor took to the felt along with players from all over the United States at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs.  And in the end the man with the bracelet and the softball uniform won it all as Eric Rodawig bested a field of 213 entries to take down the 2016 PPC Poker Tour Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event Championship.

The action got started on Friday and it was a loaded first flight in Day 1A.  Along with PPC Poker Tour Ambassador Mark Kroon, two players who had both finished third in the World Series of Poker Main Event took to the felt as we were joined by Dennis Phillips (2008) and Stan Schrier (2001).  Three-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Brandon Fish also hit the felt in the flight.  But the day belonged to Mark Kroon who put away an incredible 471,000 chips to lead the flight.  He was followed by Whit Brayton came all the way from California to get in on the action.  Brayton bagged 162,000 and Mike Crnkovich was third with 104,000.  Also coming out of the flight was Tampa’s Ronnie Brown to add to the national flavor of the tournament with 97,000.  Day 1B then kicked off in the evening and it was dominated by WSOP braclet winner Eric Rodawig.  Rodawig, who won the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship in 2011 beating Phil Hellmuth, Jr., bagged 291,500 chips for the top count of the flight.  Matt Heldt was second with 215,500 and Sloan Cownie came in third with 195,000 chips.

Saturday brought the final two starting flights and in a highly competitive flight, Ron King held off the field to lead the way with 206,500 chips.  Scott Farkas finished second with 164,500 chips and just behind him in third was Shane Fuller with 164,000.  November Niner Dennis Phillips also found his way to Day 2 with 103,500 chips along with Colorado’s Ryan Dodson with 51,000.  The Day 1 flights wrapped up in the evening with Brandon Fish back in action along four-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Mark Fisk and Phil Mader in the house.  But in the end, Howard Ziegler edged out the competition to lead Day 1D with 176,000 chips followed by Sean Hooper with 162,500 in second and Roger Eggers took third with 160,500 chips.

Overall, 216 entries were recorded in the Main Event creating a $100,000 prize pool including four $5,000 PPC Aruba Packages.  33 players would be returning for Day 2 to battle it out for the Main Event title at Horseshoe Council Bluffs with 24 players making the money.  Kroon would lead the way into Sunday with Andy Rodawig looking to chase him down and eventually that confrontation happened.

The tournament moved at a whirlwind pace and we quickly reached the money when Danny Pham busted Mike Crnkovich in 25th place to set up the payday for the rest of the field.  Ronnie Brown and Sean Hooper began to surge along with David Caron. And to add to the excitement, Andy Rodawig was moved into a seat next to Mark Kroon which was like dumping gasoline on a fire.  Nearly simultaneously, Brown and Caron started having confrontations which culminated in Caron busting Brown putting him over the 700,000 chip mark and Kroon faced off with Rodawig for his tournament life and came up short with Rodawig taking all but 1,000 of Kroon’s chips.  Kroon was then eliminated leaving Rodawig and Caron as the two chip leaders in the Main Event.

With the field down to two tables, Dennis Phillips was the next to go falling in 15th place.  More players keep falliing with Rodawig eliminating David Hengen in 12th place and Matt Heldt fell in 11th place taking the tournament down to the final table.  Rodawig would lead the remaining ten players with 1,250,000 chips followed by Caron with 808,000.  Ron King and Scott Davis led the next tier of players with 420,000 and 416,000 chips respectively.

The final table continued the speedy exits of players with Terry Williams quickly going out in 10th place at the hands of Scott Davis.  Rodawig then took out Danny Pham in 9th place and Davis fired back cracking Whit Brayton’s aces with his queens putting the Californian out in 8th place.  Then it was finally David Caron’s turn to bust a player ending the tournament for Howard Ziegler in 7th place.

Then the tournament finally hit the wall.  Time seemed to slow for the remaining six players as they duked it out trying to claim one of the four PPC Aruba packages.  Sean Hooper, Shane Fuller and Scott Davis all survived all-ins to keep their tournament hopes alive and maintain the status quo.  David Caron took a significant hand from Scott Davis putting him just out in front of Andy Rodawig.  But Rodawig managed to finally bust Ron King after hitting trip fives holding  to break the stalemate at the table and re-take the lead.  Sean Hooper and Shane Fuller were the two short stacks at the table trying to hold on at the bubble for the PPC Aruba Packages and it was Fuller who would just miss out after Rodawig sent him home in 5th place.  Once the Aruba issue had been settled, Hooper’s short stack disappeared falling in 4th place when Scott Davis erased his short stack and sent him to the rail.

The final three continued to trade punches but finally David Caron put it on the line with in a race with Rodawig holding .  Rodawig’s deuces held up putting him in a 3:2 chip lead against Scott Davis in the battle for the Main Event championship.  The final hand nearly went Davis’s way when his flopped straight led the two pair of Rodawig but Rodawig hit a full house on the river beating Davis and claiming the PPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs Series Main Event title.

Rodawig discussed his run through the Main Event.  “I’m not typically a no-limit player – I’m a mixed games player so I was really happy with my bet sizings on Day 1.  I made few timely bluffs and was really happy to take a big stack into Day 2.  My table with Mark Kroon was pretty aggressive.  I was very happy about the hand I won with Mark and then it was a tough fight the whole day.  The final table was pretty interesting because there was that secondary bubble with the packages so as the big stack I would have normally bullied people around but I played a little tighter than what was optimal at the time because I want to build credibility and drop the hammer around the package bubble.  Being a mixed game player and picking up live reads is I something that I use to my advantage in no limit games.  I was happy going into heads-up with the advantage but he (Davis) had been playing very well and mixing up his play.  Luckily I was the beneficiary of the four-outer on the river to win the tournament so all’s well that ends well.”

He also talked about how he felt about winning the tournament and heading to Aruba and Maryland Live! Casino. “I love playing here at Council Bluffs.  I live here in Omaha. It’s pretty exciting and I’m very lucky.  I’ve always considered myself a semi-professional poker player and I’ve been been in banking and finance so this is great that I can play these events when they come to town and travel occasionally.  It’s nice to win a tournament – especially a no limit tournament.  And Aruba’s great and Maryland Live! is a really well-run room and I’m happy to go play a tournament there. And the Shoe is fantastic.  And I’m really grateful.  I have a five-year old daughter now so my wife is at home watching a two-year old and a five-week old and I’m very happy she lets me sleep in and come play these events.  I just got a text from her after we starting playing saying and our two-year old son had dug into one of our houseplants and that ‘I hope this night at the casino is worthwhile’ and I’m very happy that it was.  She likes to sit by the beach and in the sun so hopefully she’ll enjoy a trip to Aruba.”

Congratulations to our 2016 PPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event Champion – Eric Rodawig!

Final Table Results:

1st: Eric Rodawig – $19,999 + $5,000 PPC Aruba Package
2nd: Scott Davis – $12,362 + $5,000 PPC Aruba Package
3rd: David Caron – $8,997 + $5,000 PPC Aruba Package
4th: Sean Hooper – $6,654 + $5,000 PPC Aruba Package
5th: Shane Fuller – $4,998
6th: Ron King – $3,812
7th: Howard Ziegler – $2,952
8th: Whit Brayton – $2,320
9th: Danny Pham – $1,850
10th: Terry Williams – $1,498