Peppermill Resort Spa Casino-Reno, NV Recap
HPT Wraps Record-Breaking Season in Reno
Reno, Nevada (December 4, 2011) – For Lloyd Marshall of Hawaii, success on HPT means an opportunity to prove
himself as a poker player. The retired veteran recently learned to play by watching poker on TV, then found himself in
front of the cameras Sunday. The event at Peppermill Casino will be produced into two hour-long episodes of HPT and
broadcasted to over 100 million US households, in addition to widespread distribution throughout Europe, the Middle
East, and the Caribbean. “It is an honor to show people I can do it,” he said. As fans logged on to watch the action
live on HPTpoker.com, Marshall’s biggest fan, his wife, had a front row seat on the rail. “When I win this tournament,”
Marshall said just before the Final Table, “It’s for my family.” With a $55,565 win, the holidays look good for the
In his first major tournament, runner-up Daniel Holhos of Incline Village, Nevada thought from the start, “I’m going to
take this.” He attempted the last single table satellite into the Main Event, won a seat, and didn’t look back. “I’m going
to play my best poker,” the Transylvania native said Sunday afternoon. For Holhos, a youth soccer coach, $30,640 is the
start of a new career in poker.
After Heartland Poker Tour’s TV production crew packed up the set at this year’s Championship Open in Michigan,
they did something they’ve never done in seven years on the road. Instead of toasting another successful season and
heading home to company headquarters in Fargo, North Dakota, the truck headed west to Reno, Nevada to celebrate a
record-breaking year with a bonus event at Peppermill Casino.
“We have a lot to celebrate,” says HPT Founder and President Todd Anderson. “We’ve seen much of our hard work pay
off in 2011.” It has been a year of growth for the grassroots poker tour. HPT started 2011 with a sellout event in Las
Vegas and went on to break attendance records in markets such as Colorado, Michigan and New York. To date, HPT has
awarded over 32 million dollars.
Loyal HPT players from throughout the US made the trip to Reno, including regulars Cliff Waite of Colorado and
Michigan’s Barry Brown. At the Final TV Table, six states were represented: Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, California,
Hawaii, and Illinois. Peppermill Reno did not disappoint its guests. Known for its first-class amenities, the award-
winning property treated HPT players to a top-notch tournament space and a well-run event.
When HPT stopped at Peppermill for the first time in May, champ Gary “Debo” DeBernardi of Oregon won $94k. He was
back for more over the weekend, along with poker buddy Mark “Poker Ho” Kroon. Although DeBernardi couldn’t ship
another win, Kroon picked up a fourth-place finish for $13,470.
Some of poker’s most familiar faces made the trip to “the biggest little city in the world”, including WSOP champs Jerry
Yang and Jamie Gold, and well-known pros Dennis Phillips, Kathy Liebert and Chad Brown. All busted in Day One, except
Brown who bubbled the money with pocket threes against fours.
“I wouldn’t normally fly from Vegas to Reno for one poker tournament,” Liebert tweeted, “but Heartland Poker Tour is
“This is the most fun I’ve ever had,” said Joe Christman of Pacifica, California as he collected $16,835 for third place in
his first HPT event. Predominantly a cash game player, Christman is now planning to hit more HPT stops in 2012. For
details on HPT’s Season Eight tour schedule, register to receive updates at HPTpoker.com. “If you thought Season
Seven was impressive, wait until you see what we have planned in 2012,” said Anderson.
The TV audience will also recognize past HPT champs Mary Jo Belcore-Zogman and Eric Stocz. An HPT fan favorite,
Belcore-Zogman was HPT's 2008 Player of the Year. Sunday’s table was her third Final Table appearance. Her and her
husband, Dan, now have fifteen HPT cashes between them. Unable to improve on her position as short stack, Belcore-
Zogman collected $8,420 in sixth place.
Stocz was hoping to prove Sunday that he is not a “one-hit wonder” at the felt. “Winning a second championship is just
as important as the first.” With four previous HPT cashes, the ex-NFLer has little to prove. Success on HPT means he is
able to live a little easier. “I’m not working 50-60 hours a week anymore,” he says, “and I get to play more poker.” Stocz
added $10,100 to his bankroll with a fifth-place finish Sunday.