Hauglid competes in final table Texas Hold ’em showdown in Las Vegas – Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — The best of the best in amateur Texas Hold ’em players arrived in Las Vegas, Nev., for the annual showdown to win a seat at the World Series of Poker’s main event. Detroit Lakes’ own Lester Hauglid began his journey in the one-day tournament at the famous Golden Nugget casino with 10,000 in chips.

“We started at 9 .m. (on Sunday, Jan. 8),” the 42-year-old said. “There were 225 entries.”

FPN championship.jpg

There were 225 entrants that started in the amateur Texas Hold ’em Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. The top 20 received a prize, while the winner earned a seat at the World Series of Poker’s main event.

Contributed / Free Poker Network

As the first cards were dealt, a roller coaster ride ensued. After a few hours of a downward spiral for Hauglid, Lady Luck joined him and helped rebuild his chip stack. Before dinner break, he had about 130,000 in chips and called another player that had shoved all their chips into the pot.

“I had pocket nines and he had an ace, queen,” Hauglid said. “He hit an ace and I ended up going into the dinner break with 36,000 (in chips).”

While he tried not to chew on how fickle Lady Luck can be, Hauglid said his mind grimaced at having to return to the tournament as one of the short stacks of chips. He decided to be pickier with the hands played, while not being fearful of hands that seemed unlikely, and playing to the odds. The plan paid off as he fought his way back to the 100,000 chip range by the time only 36 players remained.

“The top 20 made money (a $1,500 poker package),” he said. “Once I made the top 20 my goal was the final table.”

There are nine players at a table. When the tournament was down to 11 players, Hauglid had his “biggest shine of luck.” With about 180,000 in chips, he looked at his two royal cards — a king and queen — and bet it all.

“The guy to the left immediately called with pocket eights,” Hauglid said. “He had about 175,000 (in chips).”

As the dealer flipped the flop, a 10 appeared on the green felt. The next card pulled from the dealer’s hand was a jack. The last card, known as the river, produced an ace to give Hauglid a straight to take the spoils.

When Hauglid sat at the final table he had about 460,000 in chips.

“By the time we were down to the final four I was almost tied (with the chip leader), but I got involved with another big stack,” he said, noting the outcome didn’t favor him.


Lester Hauglid, a 1999 Detroit Lakes High School graduate and Detroit Lakes resident, said the final table at the amateur Texas Hold ’em tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. included three players from Minnesota and one from North Dakota.

Contributed / Free Poker Network

Hauglid struggled to get chips back and had his make-or-break moment with about 8,000 in chips remaining in his stack.

“I had an ace and five suited,” he recalled, noting the other player had an ace and a king. Neither hit a card on the flop, turn or river, giving his opponent the high card win.

After ending his tournament run in fourth place, Hauglid stuck around to see who would emerge victorious. The event wrapped up around 1 am It just so happened that Hauglid knew the man who won — Joel Smith.

“He plays out in Vergas,” Hauglid said. “I’ve known him for quite a while from playing the poker scene and he’s a good player and person.”

The tournament was broadcast (and available for viewing) on ​​the

Free Poker Network’s YouTube channel


Anyone interested in joining the free Texas Hold ’em League, and potentially earning a seat at a national competition in Vegas, can do so locally at Shorewood Pub in Detroit Lakes. Hauglid said the fun begins at 7 pm and is held every Wednesday.

Leave a Comment