Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall - Deadwood, SD

Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall
Deadwood, South Dakota
March 7-15, 2009

Congratulations to Mark Alinder for taking 1st Place and $74,169!
781 Players in the Qualifiers; 176 in the Main Event
Total Prize Pool: $250,230


View the Photos from this Event

Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall - Deadwood, SD Quick Summary

Please check out the full event write up below.

Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall - Deadwood, SD Top 6

First Place

Mark Alinder
West Fargo, ND

Second Place

Rich Edinger
West Fargo, ND

Third Place

Jay Taylor
Billings, MT

Fourth Place

Brandon Tweeton
Pelican Rapids, MN

Fifth Place

Chris Burke
Corsica, SD

Sixth Place

Tony Albright
Belle Fourche, SD


Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall - Deadwood, SD Top 30 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. Mark Alinder $74,169 1,000
2. Rich Edinger $37,085 750
3. Jay Taylor $22,251 600
4. Brandon Tweeton $17,306 450
5. Chris Burke $14,834 400
6. Tony Albright $12,362 350
7. Steve Berger $8,653 300
8. Tom Van Meter $7,417 250
9. Matt Sutton $6,181 200
10. Shawn Hansen $4,945 150
11. Allen Hyatt $4,203 100
12. Jayme Black $3,708 95
13. Jim Parnel $3,214 90
14. Cal Dardis $2,720 85
15. Albert Prado $2,472 80
16. Jim Wentz $2,101 75
17. Charles Foster $2,101 70
18. Kim Rasmussen $2,101 65
19. Michael Randall $2,101 60
20. John Nohr $2,101 55
21. Adam Joens $1,681 50
22. Mario Augustine $1,681 45
23. Ryan Lennstrom $1,681 40
24. John Daly $1,681 35
25. Chuck McConnell $1,681 30
26. Kris Peterson $1,360 25
27. Tracy Wittbecker $1,360 20
28. Chris Ludens $1,360 15
29. William Swan $1,360 10
30. James Schaefer $1,360 5

Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall - Deadwood, SD Recap

Deadwood, SD – Mark Alinder had better luck at the poker table in Deadwood, South Dakota than Wild Bill Hickok.  The 37-year-old salesman from Fargo, North Dakota, won the latest Heartland Poker Tour Championship at the historic Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall and took home $74,169.  Over 130 years ago and about as many feet away, legendary Hickok was shot and killed by rival Jack McCall while playing poker.  When his eight-nine out-flopped a five-seven, Alinder fared better than the notorious Old West gunfighter. 

“Winning here is awesome,” Alinder said, “I qualified for the main event right away, so I had time to walk around Deadwood and soak up the history.”

Learning poker by reading books and playing with friends, Alinder got a taste of the Heartland Poker Tour last month in Minnesota.  Although he didn’t cash at the Grand Casino Mille Lacs event, Alinder had his eye on the prize when he decided two weeks ago to make the trip to the Black Hills.

Sunday’s victory was a thrilling end to a fun week for players in this tiny tourist town just up the highway from Mount Rushmore.   Energy in Deadwood ran high during the weeklong HPT tournament with its signature qualifying structure.  Hundreds of St. Patty’s Day revelers and poker players, as well as a handful of burlesque dancers, turned out for a Heartland Poker Tour stop like no other.  A lively Main Street proved to be a winning hand, even for those who didn’t make it to the final table.

“We love it here,” said HPT Executive Producer Greg Lang.  “Deadwood shows our players a good time.”    

Two-to-one chip leader Rich Edinger also made the five-hundred mile journey from Fargo.  The criminal defense attorney lost his case but won $37,085 in the number-two position.

No stranger to the poker business, 39-year-old Jay “Silver Fox” Taylor finished a respectable third after Edinger crushed his set of jacks with a king high flush.  Taylor owns and operates a card room in Billings, Montana, giving him a unique perspective on the game and premature gray hair.  His $22,251 win is his best ever in a live poker tournament.

Also earning a personal best was Brandon Tweeton, a friend of the Heartland Poker Tour with thirteen events under his belt.  He scored his first seat at the final table and walked away in fourth position after his ace-ten fell short against ace-king.  The 30-year-old father of two from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, will put his $17,306 prize to good use when his third child is born in August.

With four kids of his own at home, cattle rancher Chris Burke says it’s easier to make money at the poker table than it is on the ranch, despite his fifth-place finish.  The 34-year-old from Corsica, South Dakota, walked away with $14,834 after his pair of threes went up against double aces.


Another South Dakotan was the first to walk away from the final table.  Resident poker fanatic Tony Albright went all-in with ace-seven against trip jacks.  The 43-year-old general contractor plays weekly in Deadwood and recently built a home for himself in the Black Hills “from the poker room down.”  The bad beat didn’t tarnish Albright’s love of the game.  He walked off the HPT set with $12,362 and found an open seat at a nearby cash game.  


Follow Us On Facebook