Mississippi-Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg Recap
Bishop Claims First HPT Mississippi Title
Vicksburg, Mississippi (March 24, 2014) – No one had more work to do on Day 2 of Heartland Poker Tour at Ameristar Casino Hotel in Vicksburg, Mississippi than Jay Bishop of Pearl, Mississippi. As a short stack, he had to grind his way to the Final Table one hand at a time. Hard work paid off for the county supervisor. He played one hand at a time all the way to an HPT championship and $39,129.
Bishop took the lead early in the heads up battle with Elbert Campbell of Utica, MS. The final hand had some drama with Campbell taking the lead with ten-three and a ten on the flop. An ace followed for Bishops's ace-four, eliminating Campbell in second place for $24,456.
“Ameristar put on a great event,” said Bishop, “It’s a great place to come and gamble, especially when you win.”
Players traveled from throughout the U.S. to play the nationally-televised event at Ameristar Casino hotel Vicksburg. Four states were represented at the nine-player Final Table. Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, a world champion, was one of the notable players to make the trip to HPT’s first event in the state. He had an impressive stack going into Day 2 but left empty-handed.
Danny Doucet invested just $360 in the tournament and pocketed $4,647. A ten on the turn gave Christopher Boothe a straight to Doucet’s flopped queens, eliminating the Opelousas, Louisiana attorney in ninth place.
Doucet was one of a handful of players who crossed the Louisiana border to play at Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg. “Ameristar is a neat place, it’s very clean and I enjoy playing here,” he said.
“Ameristar is, in my opinion, the nicest place around here,” said Boothe, also an attorney. He made the trip from Vidalia, LA with his dad. The father-son road trip took a detour when Boothe eliminated his dad on the way to the Final Table. He went on to knock out the first three players before hitting a roadblock. Bishop’s pocket tens were the end of the road for Boothe in fourth place. He picked up $11,617 to fill the tank for the ride home.
New Orleans pro Ben Mintz started his poker career at Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg and has amassed over $460k in earnings so far. “I grew up close,” he said, “When I first started playing poker, I came to Ameristar to play.” He returned to his old stomping ground for HPT and battled his way to fifth place for $8,560. “I’m real excited to be here,” he said.
Ben Thomas rounded out the Louisiana delegation at the Final Table. The civil engineer from Baton Rouge was impressed with the Ameristar property. “It’s a really big casino for a riverboat,” he said, “Having an actual riverboat host a tournament series is a good addition (to HPT’s tour).” He got his short stack to eighth place for $5,258.
The sixth-place finisher is no stranger to riverboats. Vicksburg local Doug Segers is a retired riverboat captain known in the Ameristar poker room simply as “Captain.” His latest excursion on the Mississippi netted him $6,725.
Twenty-three-year-old Jackson White traveled from Houston, Texas for a crack at his first TV table. “It’s always been a goal of mine to make a Final Table like this,” said the poker pro. A straight for Campbell ended White’s on-camera appearance in third place for $16,019.
HPT’s cameras roll next in Daytona Beach, Florida. Preliminary events are underway and satellites are running for the Main Event this weekend at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room. Additional spring stops include Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City and The Commerce Casino in the Los Angeles area. Additional stops in the tour’s milestone tenth season are posted at HPTpoker.com.
“I love HPT,” said Mac Ledbetter, the seventh-place finisher. After a weekend of poker with friends, the Fayetteville, Arkansas man took home $5,869. “Great structures, great people. It’s a different atmosphere. People just come out to enjoy playing poker.”