The Grand Series at Grand Casino Mille Lacs

 
"The Grand Series" at Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Onamia, Minnesota
September 15-21, 2008
 
Total Prize Pool: $288,747
728 players in Qualifiers; 201 players in the Main Event
Congrats to Mary Jo Belcore-Zogman taking home the "HPT Champion Jacket" and $85,724!
 

View the Photos from this Event


The Grand Series at Grand Casino Mille Lacs Quick Summary

“Dan may still be the king because his prize pool was bigger, but I’m definitely the queen of poker in our household.”

Please check out the full event write up below.


The Grand Series at Grand Casino Mille Lacs Top 6

First Place

Mary Jo Belcore-Zogman
McHenry, IL

$85,724
Second Place

Jason Banfi
River Falls, WI

$42,862
Third Place

Dan Lawrence
Bismarck, ND

$25,717
Fourth Place

Greg Hillesheim
Becker, MN

$20,002
Fifth Place

Pete Bigelow
Moose Lake, MN

$17,145
Sixth Place

Ray Bendijo
Ramsey, MN

$14,287

The Grand Series at Grand Casino Mille Lacs Top 30 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. Mary Jo Belcore-Zogman $85,724 1,000
2. Jason Banfi $42,862 750
3. Dan Lawrence $25,717 600
4. Greg Hillesheim $20,002 450
5. Pete Bigelow $17,145 400
6. Ray Bendijo $14,287 350
7. Gordon Gall $10,001 300
8. Andrew Burnham $8,572 250
9. Jonathon Shilling $7,144 200
10. Joseph Senger $5,715 150
11. Chad Ransom $4,858 100
12. Daniel Holthaus $4,286 95
13. Andrew Radek $3,715 90
14. Mario Hudson $3,143 85
15. Ernie Lessard $2,857 80
16. Rodger Johnson $2,429 75
17. Don Eagen $2,429 70
18. George Shabatura $2,429 65
19. Wayne Martinson $2,429 60
20. Rose Kahnke $2,429 55
21. Alison Kelley $1,943 50
22. Nik Meuangsaksith $1,943 45
23. Greg Lessard $1,943 40
24. Kevin Ray $1,943 35
25. Ronald Olson $1,943 30
26. Frank Berrettoni $1,572 25
27. Dan Quade $1,572 20
28. Mitch Augeson $1,572 15
29. Paul Hopman $1,572 10
30. Glen Bucholz $1,572 5

The Grand Series at Grand Casino Mille Lacs Recap

In what is sure to be one of the more interesting poker story lines in HPT history, Mary Jo Belcore-Zogman won the Heartland Poker Tour event today, becoming only the second woman in HPT history to win a championship, but more interestingly, she completed the first ever husband/wife championship duo. In July 2007, Mary Jo’s husband Dan won a huge tournament at the Majestic Star Casinos in Gary, Indiana while she watched with baited breath in the front row of the audience. This time it was Dan’s turn to watch the action as his wife dominated the final table, cruising to her first ever championship and a first place prize of $85,724.

“I can’t believe how great I feel right now,” said Mary Jo, whose entire family now plays poker. “Dan may still be the king because his prize pool was bigger, but I’m definitely the queen of poker in our household.”

The Zogmans are quite the example of the modern poker playing couple after picking up the game a few years ago after playing in a 2/4 limit game on Valentine’s Day. After humble beginnings, things have certainly changed for the Zogman’s.

“We used to be like any other couple and go out to dinner and go to shows and stuff like that,” said Mary Jo. “Now we travel the country playing poker and it’s way more fun.”

The rest of the final table had some other interesting story lines. Eventual sixth place finisher Ray “Stingray” Bendijo was making his second final table appearance at Grand Casino having finished 2nd at the last HPT event at Mille Lacs in February. Bendijo’s sixth place finish has now pushed him into the lead for the HPT Player of the Year. It’s a very close race for the POY honor with six more events.

The family theme appeared once more during this final table as Pete Bigelow followed in the footsteps of his son Paul who made the very first final table in Heartland Poker Tour history back in June of 2005. After several attempts, the senior Bigelow made his first HPT final table and finished a respectable fifth place.

The Heartland Poker Tour motors on with six events in the next eight weeks starting in Black Hawk, Colorado.

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