Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort-Mt. Pleasant, MI

"The HPT Championship Open"
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
November 11-20, 2011
Total Prize Pool: $784,368
Congratulations to Robert West for taking home the
 HPT Championship Jacket and $234,410! 

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Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort-Mt. Pleasant, MI Quick Summary


Please check out the full event write up below.

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort-Mt. Pleasant, MI Top 6

First Place

Robert West
Lincoln Park, MI

Second Place

Brandon Barnes
Dearborn Heights, MI

Third Place

David Goddard
White Lake, MI

Fourth Place

Stephen Smith
Roseville , MI

Fifth Place

Phil Delaney
Dearborn Heights, MI

Sixth Place

Charles Gekle
Monroe, MI


Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort-Mt. Pleasant, MI Top 55 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. Robert West $234,410 1,000
2. Brandon Barnes $117,205 750
3. David Goddard $70,323 600
4. Stephen Smith $54,696 450
5. Phil Delaney $46,882 400
6. Charles Gekle $39,068 350
7. Sean Roy $23,988 300
8. Kevin Pomaville $20,316 250
9. Steven Harrington $14,299 200
10. Jeremy Lubbers $11,720 150
11. Patrick Gorski $10,548 100
12. Michael Lynn $9,064 95
13. Joe Ermatinger $7,892 90
14. Jackson Kimball $6,798 85
15. David Karpin $5,938 80
16. Joe Sebok $5,313 75
17. John Berry $5,079 70
18. Steven Butler $4,766 65
19. Brandon Speer $4,376 60
20. Jerry Gumila $3,907 55
21. Raymond Neering $3,438 50
22. Jesse Reichert $3,438 45
23. Judith Gumila $3,438 40
24. Jeffrey Freese $3,438 35
25. Matthew Bland $3,438 30
26. Timothy Kellstrom $3,047 25
27. Carl Horvath $3,047 20
28. Vincent Ayar $3,047 15
29. Michael Gillian $3,047 10
30. Ben Castle $3,047 5
31. Michael Dalia $2,579 0
32. Kenneth Coppens $2,579 0
33. Randy Pfeifer $2,579 0
34. Nathan Geise $2,579 0
35. Ronald Berry $2,579 0
36. Steven Hagar $2,188 0
37. Charles Earl Jr. $2,188 0
38. David West $2,188 0
39. Joshua Ferndale $2,188 0
40. Joshua Marvin $2,188 0
41. Donald Stocz $2,032 0
42. Brad LaPayne $2,032 0
43. Thomas Imrick $2,032 0
44. Douglas Rowley $2,032 0
45. Rebecca Schumacher $2,032 0
46. Harold Kruithoff $2,032 0
47. Ronald Anderson $2,032 0
48. Douglas Singleton $2,032 0
49. Timothy McKillican $2,032 0
50. Toni Aten $2,032 0
51. Lesley Houghton $1,640 0
52. Min Dong $1,640 0
53. Bryan Reisner $1,640 0
54. Zachary Keniston $1,640 0
55. Ryan Starr $1,640 0

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort-Mt. Pleasant, MI Recap

West Bests Record HPT Field


Mount Pleasant, Michigan (11/21/11) – An electrician from Lincoln Park, Michigan is the latest to benefit from another record-breaking turnout on Heartland Poker Tour, the nationally-syndicated poker show with modest roots.  West navigated a huge field including recent HPT champions and some of poker’s most elite players, such as Annie Duke, Joe Sebok, and Kathy Liebert.  World Series of Poker’s 2009 Main Event Champ Joe Cada played, as did his runner-up, Darvin Moon.  In the end, a well-timed three on the river gave West a straight for the $234,410 win.

Breaking records on Heartland Poker Tour is beginning to sound like a broken record.  The tour kicked off the season with a sellout field in Las Vegas and shattered attendance records in major markets.  In Black Hawk, Colorado in October, HPT celebrated its first million-dollar prize pool.  At the Championship Open at Soaring Eagle Casino Resort over the weekend, HPT attracted 545 players, a 32 percent increase over the same event last year.

Had runner-up Brandon Barnes won, the 18-year-old from Dearborn Heights, MI would have broken a record as the youngest HPT champion.  “I played to the best of my ability,” he said, “It feels pretty amazing, to be honest.”  The $117,205 he won will help him with his goal of avoiding a 9-to-5 job.  In contrast, Dave Goddard will use some of the $70,323 he won in third place to pay for higher education, although not for him.  The White Lake, Michigan man has three daughters currently in college.

Barnes was responsible for a double elimination on the bubble, sending just five players to the TV table for the second time in HPT’s seven-year history.  Although they didn’t get to the nationally-televised stage, they didn’t exactly leave empty-handed.  Short-stacked Sean Roy left with $23,988 in seventh place while Charles Geckle earned $39,068 for sixth.

Phil DeLaney of Dearborn Heights made his way to the TV table for the second time.  Exactly two years ago, he won HPT’s Championship Open at Soaring Eagle for $127,058.   A repeat wasn’t in the cards Sunday, sending DeLaney home in fifth place with $46,882.  “I’m happy with the decisions I made and how I played,” he said, “Looking forward to the next one.” 

All but two HPT champions from 2011 descended on Soaring Eagle for their last crack at the coveted Player of the Year title.  Although Scott Hastings, Craig Casino and Jordan Jayne led the race going into the weekend, Nate Geise and Randy Pfeifer showed promise on day two.  Either needed a tenth-place cash to lock it up.  Geise went out in 34th place with Pfeifer right behind him in 33rd.   With all other champs out of the way, Hastings became HPT’s seventh POY just one month after playing – and winning – his first HPT event.

When Hastings won at Downstream Casino Resort in Oklahoma last month, he revealed he hadn’t played a single hand of poker in several years.  Before playing HPT, he had only played in two small tournaments previously.  In one, he finished fourth, in the other, he won.  After winning the championship in Oklahoma, he traveled to Iowa and scored an 11th-place finish at Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel.  As POY, he will play many more hands of poker in 2012; Hastings will receive a buy in to every HPT event.  The Season 8 schedule will be announced soon on

Before HPT puts its record-breaking season to rest, they’ll head to Peppermill Casino in Reno for another nationally-televised Main Event.  In the event dubbed “Season 7 Last Call,” players can get a head start on POY points for 2012.  HPT expects another large turnout, as Chad Brown, Dennis Phillips, Jerry Yang and Jamie Gold have already announced plans to attend.  More information can be found at


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