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bryan mileski

(Photo Credit: MSPT)
This week, the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame committee and inducted Lakeville’s Bryan Mileski as the newest member. Mileski founded both the Minnesota Poker Magazine and the Minnesota State Poker Tour in 2009 – he nurtured both businesses quite well and since then, the Minnesota State Poker Tour has grown to become one the most revered poker tours in the United States.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to be inducted into the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of a great team including Eric Anderson and Brandon Temple,” said Mileski. “Helping to grow poker in Minnesota has been a longtime passion, and I can still recall the early days trying to report tournaments at Canterbury and Running Aces, and put together a magazine without much more than a laptop. Thanks to tremendous support from players and venues, the MSPT has grown into something we can all be proud of.”

“Likewise, I wouldn’t be here without the support of several awesome people, including Matt Alexander, Blake Bohn, and Matt Kirby. I also want to give a big thank you to Canterbury Park and Running Aces Casino for believing in a random dude like me,” he added.

The Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame which was set up in 2013 is governed by a board constituting of outstanding poker industry professionals, poker players as well as poker media from the state. The rules are pretty strict and getting in is rather difficult – players need to have a strong connection to Minnesota either by residence or preferably by birth before even being considered for the next stage which involves evaluation based on some very stringent criteria. As for the industry professionals, to get into the Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame board “the nominee must have significantly contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker in Minnesota.”

Since the launch of his companies in 2009, Bryan Mileski and company have managed to host up to 35 major $1,100 buy-in poker tournaments in the state – these include fourteen tournaments at Canterbury Park, another eleven at Running Aces Harness Park, Four at Northern Lights Casino, three at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, one at the Jackpot Junctions, one at Grand Casino Hinckley and lastly, one at Treasure Island Resorts & Casino.

Mileski also doubles up as an excellent poker player with live tournament earnings of up to $101,629 and other six figure winnings from playing online before 2011. After having hosted 11 events in Minnesota, MSPT in 2011 breached the Iowan market for the first time and morphed into the Mid-State Poker Tour – this was where Mileski refocused his efforts on. However, his love for poker has always been the motivation behind everything he does:

“I’ve always loved poker; I recall my first ever cash came in a $330 limit hold’em event back in 2004 during the Fall Poker Classic. With the amount of tour travel we do now I haven’t played much the last few years, so I definitely miss that, but it’s been worth it. I truly believe some the world’s best players are right here in Minnesota,” Mileski said. “Not only that, the cardrooms here offer some of the best action not only in the Midwest but in the entire country. You’d be hard pressed to find better limit Hold’em games anywhere else. Minnesota is serious about poker, and because of that, the poker world takes Minnesota players seriously.”

As a member of the prestigious Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame, he joins Blake Bohn, Lyle Berman, Tony Hartmann, Mike Schneider and Jim Meehan.