Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel - Tama, IA

Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel
Tama, Iowa
March 22-29, 2009

Congratulations to John Kurfman
For Taking 1st Place and Winning $83,916!
Total Players in Qualifiers: 784 - Total Players in Main Event: 297
Total Prize Pool: $282,720

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Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel - Tama, IA Quick Summary

Please check out the full event write up below.

Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel - Tama, IA Top 6

First Place

John Kurfman
Baylis, IL

Second Place

Tim Peters
Bloomington, MN

Third Place

Ronald Utley
Belle Plaine, IA

Fourth Place

Matthew Kaldenberg
Johnston, IA

Fifth Place

Glen Bucholz
Detroit Lakes, MN

Sixth Place

Kathleen Day-Coen
Marine On St. Croix, MN


Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel - Tama, IA Top 30 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. John Kurfman $83,916 1,000
2. Tim Peters $41,958 750
3. Ronald Utley $25,175 600
4. Matthew Kaldenberg $19,580 450
5. Glen Bucholz $16,783 400
6. Kathleen Day-Coen $13,986 350
7. Jason Banfi $9,790 300
8. Darren Hendrickson $8,392 250
9. Bryan Schultz $6,993 200
10. Joel Merwick $5,594 150
11. Vy Nguyen $4,755 100
12. Tom Lynde $4,196 95
13. Floyd Bee $3,636 90
14. Dennis Abbey $3,077 85
15. T Lee Borrall $2,797 80
16. Dennis Lockrey $2,378 75
17. Maksim Slobodyanik $2,378 70
18. Duane Gerleman $2,378 65
19. Michael Lewis $2,378 60
20. Tim Peters $2,378 55
21. Lester Crew, Jr. $1,902 50
22. Chad Nelson $1,902 45
23. John Oetker $1,902 40
24. Fred Offermann $1,902 35
25. Travis Burch $1,902 30
26. Todd Brooks $1,538 25
27. David Hiers $1,538 20
28. Kelly Willson $1,538 15
29. Jayson Treloar $1,538 10
30. David Muller $1,538 5

Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel - Tama, IA Recap

HPT Pays Out in the Heartland
Tama, Iowa –The Heartland Poker Tour was true to its mission of “Real
People, Unreal Money” Sunday night when a 23-year-old farmer from Baylis, IL
won the latest showdown in the heart of the nation’s heartland.   John
Kurfman became the last man standing with a king high at the televised final
table at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa.
When the flop failed to produce for his opponent’s suited Jack-Ten, Kurfman
thanked Mother Nature.  "I'm glad it was raining this weekend, so I could
come up and play," he said, adding that when he is not farming with his
father he’s playing poker. 

The tiny Midwestern Tama, situated on the nation’s first automobile road
across America, is one of hundreds of towns historically known to prosper
along Lincoln Highway.  The “Main Street Across America” proved especially
prosperous for Kurfman, who earned an $83,916 payday.

“It was a climatic end to a thrilling week,” said HPT Executive Producer
Greg Lang.  Earlier in the week, Heartland Poker Tour executives announced a
title sponsorship deal with PokerStars.NET.  The partnership with “the
world’s largest poker site” drew attention throughout the industry, as did
news of a deal with Poker VT, the official training site of pro Daniel

It was an impressive culmination for second-place finisher Tim Peters as
well.  The 38-year-old business owner road-tripped with his father from
Bloomington, MN, gambling along the way.  Although winning enough to buy
into the main event, Peters nearly missed his chance when learned upon
arrival that the event was sold out.  Determined, he walked through the
poker room begging to purchase a seat on the open market.  Fortunately, he
found a seller, turning his $1100 into $41,958.

Coincidentally, retired iron worker Ron Utley considered selling his main
event seat.  The 61-year-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, invested just $175 in
a satellite tournament and won a spot in the main event.   Although a suited
queen-jack eventually failed him against an Ace high at the final table,
Utley made the right decision to play, netting $25,175 in third place.

Forty-year-old Matt Kaldenberg would have found himself in hot water with
his son if he sold his seat to the main event.  The eight-year-old traded a
lucky toy car to his dad for the promise of a vacation if he won.  
Kaldenberg’s $19,580 fourth-place finish should land him in salt water if he
pays on his promise to “swim with the dolphins”.  The Johnston, IA,
landscaper could have upgraded to first class if Kurfman’s pair of jacks
hadn’t upstaged his Ace-Nine after going all in pre-flop.
After ten main event attempts since season one, Glen Bucholz finally earned
his way onto the HPT set.   Being knocked out in fifth place by a flush
against Queen top pair wasn’t all bad for the technical college instructor. 
After claiming his $16,783 prize, the 43-year-old faced an eight-hour drive
to make it to his morning class in Detroit Lakes, MN. 

Bucholz may boast to his students about outlasting another Minnesotan. 
Short stack Kat Day-Coen of St. Croix was the first to go when Tim Peters’
full house defeated her pair of 5's.  Day-Coen learned the game at the age
of thirteen by serving as “hands” for her father, a quadriplegic.  The
knowledge she gained showing cards to her dad as a child earned the
44-year-old artist a coveted seat at the final table Sunday night.  Despite
finishing in sixth place, her $13,986 prize beats the pot typically at stake
at the family poker table.  Her husband and two children usually play for