Turning Stone Casino - 2.5K Event
Total Prize Pool: $260,850
Congrats to Mike Baran. He walks away with over $88,000!!
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Turning Stone Casino - 2.5K Event Quick Summary
If yesterday’s final table was all about the youngsters, today’s was about the veterans. In the end, Mike Baran, a 57 year old retiree from Binghamton, New York, took down the HPT title and a first place prize of $88,442.
Please check out the full event write up below.
Turning Stone Casino - 2.5K Event Top 6
St. Cloud, MN
Gunter AFB, AL
Turning Stone Casino - 2.5K Event Top 10 Finishers
Turning Stone Casino - 2.5K Event Recap
If yesterday’s final table was all about the youngsters, today’s was about the veterans. In the end, Mike Baran, a 57 year old retiree from Binghamton, New York, took down the HPT title and a first place prize of $88,442. Baran entered the final table with an average chip stack and was confident his 45 years of poker experience would carry him to the title. He put his experience on display showing timely bluffs and good lay downs to grind his way to the championship, eventually besting Quebec native, and sports bar owner Bill Kontaratos heads up.
Kontaratos held the lead for the entire day, entering as chip leader and knocking a player out on the day’s first hand when he caught a draw on the river. He seemed to be in control the whole afternoon, avoiding big pots and picking his spots. Meanwhile, Baran steadily increased his stack and found himself heads up after picking up pocket kings in a timely spot, knocking out third place finisher Jeff Schnettler, an 18 year old high school student from St. Cloud, Minnesota, playing in his very first live tournament. Baran and Kontaratos exchanged the chip lead until the final hand when Baran picked up pocket queens and got them in against A10, eventually flopping a full house. Baran says he plans to donate a good portion of his winnings to his favorite charities.
For the Heartland Poker Tour, it was there first stop at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino and their first trip east of Michigan. Turning Stone hosted eight separate events during the week long poker tournament, culminating in the $2500 buy in main event that started Friday and continued Saturday and Sunday. Next stop for the HPT will be Gary, Indiana in July where the prize pool could reach close to $1 Million.
$260,850 Prize Pool