Lucky Nugget Card Club Top 30 Finishers
Lucky Nugget Card Club Recap
The Heartland Poker Tour made its first stop this past weekend to one of America’s great poker towns, Deadwood, South Dakota, at the Lucky Nugget Card Club. The final table was filmed just steps away from the very spot that Wild Bill Hickok was gunned down while playing draw poker at the Number 10 saloon in 1876, holding the now infamous “dead man’s hand,” aces and eights. The Lucky Nugget is now located over that very spot, with a Wild Bill memorial room in the casino.
While the fifth card Mr. Hickok was holding on that fateful day is still up for debate, there is no question the Heartland Poker Tour made a big splash in the legendary mining town (now gambling town) of Deadwood. Hundreds of poker players from all over the United States scrapped their way to the Lucky Nugget, despite blizzard like conditions for the first two days of the event. By Saturday night there were a total of 629 entries into the HPT qualifiers for a chance to play in the Sunday main event. After 60 direct buys into the finale, the first ever Deadwood HPT event started early Sunday morning with a field of 186 players and a prize pool of $279,000. Almost 16 hours later, nearby Gillette, Wyoming resident Sam Britton, took down the $75,000 first place prize, coming from behind, and catching a few cards along the way.
Denver resident, and experienced player, Chris Bedowitz, controlled the final table for most of the night, raising early and often, aggressively taking down pot after pot. Bedowitz looked to be coasting to a championship in his first ever HPT event until a river card changed his fortune and swung momentum in favor of Britton, who finally prevailed when his pocket 3’s held up against two over cards, with some high drama along the way.
2006 Player of the Year Dennis Dubey continued his amazing run at HPT events by earning yet another final table appearance and a sixth place finish for $13,394. Another final table veteran, Jason Weber (Emory, SD), finished in fifth place for $16,073.
Deadwood, South Dakota, and the Lucky Nugget Card Club, proved to be exceptional hosts for this most recent HPT event. First time visitors were enchanted by this small gambling town nestled in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Deadwood foregoes the usual casino glitz and glitter in favor of character driven shops and casinos, friendly people, and a relaxing, casual atmosphere. And according to the National Weather Service, those blizzards are few and far between, as Deadwood lies in the “banana belt” of the Midwest.
“Wow, what an incredible week we had in Deadwood” said HPT co-founder Todd Anderson. “I think all the players had a great time and the event was flawless. I know for a fact that Deadwood, South Dakota is now a favorite stop for all the players on the Heartland Poker Tour, including me. It’s just a fantastic place.”
Lucky Nugget owner Matt Ramsey took a gamble of his own by bringing the HPT to his 20 table room in Deadwood. Some told him he wouldn’t get the needed turnout but in the end, this event was one of the largest fields ever and will no doubt be the site of a return engagement.
“I think this has been the biggest event in Deadwood since Wild Bill was shot” joked Ramsey.
The Heartland Poker Tour will continues its third season in just a few days with a first ever visit to Meskwaki Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa March 15-18th. The very next week, the HPT will return to the site of its largest prize pool ever, the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana.