New Mexico - Route 66 Casino

Route 66 Casino Hotel
Albuquerque, New Mexico
July 20-29, 2012

Total Prize Pool: $253,000
Congratulations to Greg Raymer for taking home the
 HPT Championship Jacket and  $71,875!  

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New Mexico - Route 66 Casino Quick Summary


Please check out the full event write up below.

New Mexico - Route 66 Casino Top 6

First Place

Greg Raymer
Raleigh, NC

Second Place

Robert Crawford
El Paso, TX

Third Place

Scott Dougherty
Sioux Falls, SD

Fourth Place

Benjie Benavidez
Albuquerque, NM

Fifth Place

Allan Hedin
Evergreen, CO

Sixth Place

Steven Carruthers
Albuquerque, NM


New Mexico - Route 66 Casino Top 13 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. Greg Raymer $71,875 50
2. Robert Crawford $42,500 45
3. Scott Dougherty $26,875 40
4. Benjie Benavidez $21,550 38
5. Allan Hedin $16,250 36
6. Steven Carruthers $14,375 28
7. John Bechard $11,875 26
8. Alberto Herrera $10,625 24
9. Julian Melancon $9,375 22
10. Anthony Reyes $8,750 20
11. Cliff Waite $6,875 15
12. Tawnya Ingmumdson $6,000 14
13. Keith Sanders $3,075 13

New Mexico - Route 66 Casino Recap

  •  Raymer Wins on HPT’s 200th Episode



    Heartland Poker Tour producers promised players and fans an exciting tournament for the 200th episode of the nationally-televised poker show, and Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque did not disappoint.  Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion, stole the show, advancing to the Final Table as the chip leader and leaving as the champion with $71, 875.


    Raymer adds to over $7 million in career winnings.  In contrast, runner-up Robert Crawford of El Paso, Texas listed his lifetime career winnings as “not much.” Crawford, who invested just $180 into the tournament and left with$42,500, considered the day a success.  “I definitely didn’t expect to be playing heads up with Greg Raymer today,” he said.


    Besides Raymer, the biggest poker tournament in the state of New Mexico attracted a handful of familiar faces.  Pro Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler made his way to Albuquerque, as did Kathy Liebert, the highest-earning woman in poker.  Several past HPT champions were also in the field, including Craig Casino, John Sacha, and Rob “veeRob” Perelman.  Ultimately, the 200th episode belonged to Raymer.


    In 2004, the patent attorney made a name for himself in poker when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event. The following year, Raymer finished 25th in the WSOP Main Event, securing his status as a poker legend.  His two-year accomplishment ranks as one of most impressive performances in WSOP history.  A longtime supporter of HPT, Raymer has played the tour many times but cashed for the first time in Albuquerque.  “It feels so much better when you win,” he said.


    “I just like the attitude and demeanor on HPT,” the champ added, “Even if you knock someone out, they leave smiling.”


    That was the case when Raymer eliminated Scott Dougherty of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  “Playing at the Final Table with Greg Raymer was awesome,” said Dougherty as he collected $26,875 in third place.  After announcing he was all in with ace-nine offsuit, the always-courteous Raymer replied, “I begrudgingly call”, revealing ace-queen offsuit.  When Dougherty’s position failed to improve with the flop, turn, or river, Dougherty left with a smile. 


    “He’s an incredibly nice guy to play with,” said fifth-place finisher Allan Hedin, a pro player from Evergreen, Colorado, who picked up $16,250 at Route 66.  “Every poker player has had the fantasy of playing against a world champion,” he said.  In a crucial hand with Raymer, Hedin put a devastating dent in his chip stack when he laid down kings. When the 200th episode of HPT airs this fall, he’ll find out if he made the right decision. 


    Steven Carruthers, a commercial loan officer, knew immediately he made the wrong decision when he attempted to bluff the world champion.  “I made a big mistake that put me in a bad position.”  The bad position turned out to be sixth place.  The Albuquerque man earned $14,375 for his short time at the Final Table.


    Benjie Benavidez, a cattle rancher from Albuquerque, made it his mission to eliminate Raymer for the bragging rights.  “My goal is to knock out Greg Raymer whether I win or not,” he said before filming began at the Final Table.  Finishing in fourth place for $21,550, he never had the chance.  “I came to play HPT because it was the biggest tournament ever in New Mexico,” he said, “I thought I’d try my luck.”  He plans to reinvest his profit in poker and cattle.  Benavidez plans to join Raymer at HPT’s next event at Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour in Black Hawk, Colorado September 9-16th.