Meskwaki Bingo Casino

Meskwaki Bingo Casino
Tama, Iowa
October 27 - November 4, 2007
Total Prize Pool $307,280
Congrats to Donny Carlton taking first place and $85,198

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Meskwaki Bingo Casino Quick Summary

“This is awesome,” said Carlton. “Taking down a tournament like this is a great feeling, and I’m glad my friends were here to share it with me.”

Please check out the full event write up below.

Meskwaki Bingo Casino Top 6

First Place

Donny Carlton
Woodstock, IL

Second Place

John Oetker
Marshalltown, IA

Third Place

Cal Dykes
Las Vegas, NV

Fourth Place

Mark Sandness
Wayzata, MN

Fifth Place

Steve Sloan
Sublette, IL

Sixth Place

Tom Wessling
Denison, IA


Meskwaki Bingo Casino Top 31 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. Donny Carlton $85,198 1,000
2. John Oetker $42,599 750
3. Cal Dykes $27,385 600
4. Mark Sandness $21,300 450
5. Steve Sloan $18,257 400
6. Tom Wessling $15,214 350
7. Jayson Smith $12,171 300
8. Raymond Klann $10,650 250
9. Timothy Jorgenson $9,128 200
10. Jerry Chedester $7,607 150
11. Mark Fink $6,086 100
12. Matthew Clark $5,325 95
13. Shawn Culhane $4,564 90
14. Sandra Weir $3,804 85
15. Ralph Hakes $3,043 80
16. Jim Fowler $2,434 75
17. Jim Stevenson $2,434 70
18. Michael Taylor $2,434 65
19. Jon King $2,434 60
20. Brent Luscombe $2,434 55
21. Stephen Wilber $2,130 50
22. Chris Pierce $2,130 45
23. Ray Babb $2,130 40
24. Cody Winther $2,130 35
25. Kurt Ante $2,130 30
26. Todd Graves $1,826 25
27. Sean Stevens $1,826 20
28. Brian Dykes $1,826 15
29. Bradley Loughrer $1,826 10
30. Mike Roenneberg $913 3
31. Eric Sunde $913 3

Meskwaki Bingo Casino Recap

Hundreds of players converged on central Iowa this past week for the Heartland Poker Tour’s Iowa State Poker Championship, held at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel, near the town of Tama, Iowa. In the end, Donny Carlton, a 23 year old professional poker player, took down the latest HPT championship and pocketed over $85,000. Carlton, who recently graduated from the University of Iowa, returned to the state of his alma mater to play in the HPT and was sporting his lucky Iowa Hawkeye sweatshirt throughout the tournament and final table.

“This is awesome,” said Carlton. “Taking down a tournament like this is a great feeling, and I’m glad my friends were here to share it with me.”

Carlton, who plays professionally as a cash game player, has been on the road with his poker buddies the past month competing in various tournaments, including the last three HPT events. Their group has been doing very well as both Michael Banducci (finished 3rd at the Black Hawk Colorado event) and Larry Barbetta (finished 2nd at the Walker MN event) made HPT TV tables in the last couple months. Unlike his buddies, Carlton managed to win the whole thing and take down the group’s first HPT title.

“I was there when those other guys made their final tables” said Carlton. “I guess now it’s my turn.”

For a while it looked like it was going to be a cake walk for Carlton as he entered the final six as a huge chip leader with nearly 40% of the chips in play. He knocked out his first victim in the second hand of the final table when truck driver Tom Wessling of Denison, Iowa, pushed with pocket queens. Carlton called with AK, spiking an ace on the flop and sending Wessling to the rail. Carlton overwhelmed the table with his monster stack for the next hour, eventually knocking out three more players, including recent HPT champion Mark Sandness (Northern Lights Casino, Walker, Minnesota).

Things got interesting as the players entered heads up play. Carlton and his 2.8 million chips squared off with local poker pro, John Oetker, from nearby Marshalltown, Iowa, and his 400,000 chips. The heads up match gave Oetker some momentum as he won a couple big pots early and tripled his stack. The audience was clearly split between Carlton’s traveling poker buddies and the local favorite’s fans. The momentum swung back and forth until the deciding hand--Carlton’s A8 of diamonds caught up to Oetker’s AK, when a magic eight appeared on the turn.

Carlton, an affable and humble young player, was very gracious in victory and was quick to praise his fellow players. His plans for the winnings include building a cabin on some recently purchased property in Minnesota.

For the Heartland Poker Tour, the finish line is clearly in site with only two more events until the end of the year. First up is a stop at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, a first time visit for the HPT. After that it’s the grand finale as the HPT Championship Open gets underway at Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana. Majestic Star is one of the HPT’s favorite stops and the tournament is expected to be the first million dollar prize pool for the tour.