Indiana-Belterra Casino Resort Recap
Friedman Dominates Experienced HPT Final Table
Florence, IN (November 4, 2013) Adam Friedman of Gahanna, Ohio returned to Belterra Casino Resort over the weekend to improve on his fourteenth-place Heartland Poker Tour finish in March. A successful pro player, Friedman has accumulated over $1.3 million in winnings and four World Series of Poker Final Tables. A WSOP bracelet winner, Friedman was one of many accomplished players at Monday’s HPT Final Table at Belterra. He was the only one with well over a million in chips.
“If I take my time and pick my spots, I have a chance at winning this event,” he said before action began.
Little time was needed as Friedman took down the nine-handed Final Table in record time. The heads-up match was a quick affair as Friedman held 85% of the chips in play. The battle was over in four hands when Friedman moved all-in and was called by Jason Andrews of Pittsburgh, who in turn was all-in. Andrews cards were good for a straight but it was Friedman's flush that won the hand and the championship worth $83,439. The runner-up collected $51,453.
Friedman started to take control when play was three-handed. He put his opponents to the test with multiple all-in raises. Steve Russell of Coolville, Ohio called one of those all-in shoves putting his tournament life at risk. His ace-king was unable to improve against Friedman's pocket nines eliminating him in third place for $34,766.
John Michalak also returned to HPT’s Final Table at Belterra after finishing fourth earlier this year. The concert promoter from Cleveland said, “I’m not nearly as nervous and I got a lot more sleep.” He fell short of improving on his previous finish with a fifth-place elimination Monday. It was once again Friedman who did the deed, this time getting his opponent all-in with three outs and holding until the end. Michalak adds another $19,121 to three previous HPT cashes, all eleventh place or better.
Adam Bacon also has previous experience under HPT’s lights. In fourth place, he managed to improve on his fifth-place finish earlier this year at Soaring Eagle Casino Resort. Friedman took him down Monday when he moved all-in with a flush draw. Friedman called with a pair of queens and was able to avoid all of Bacon's outs. Bacon picked up $24,684 for his short trip from Bryan, Ohio. “What I like about HPT is traveling and going to different casinos and meeting new people,” he said.
The other four eliminations came quickly in the first thirty hands. Kevin Stammen moved all-in with a flush draw and was called by Adam Friedman who held pocket aces. Stammen picked up outs to a straight on the turn but the river only paired the board. The professional poker player from Coldwater, Ohio collected $15,644 for his sixth-place finish.
The seventh-place elimination was a classic race as Kenneth Zuspan moved all-in and was called by Steve Russell. Zuspan's ace-six was unable to improve against Russell's pocket fives sending him out to collect $13,037. The business owner from Langsville, Ohio plans to use his winnings to give his kids a great Christmas.
Iverson “Cotton” Snuffer started the Final Table as one of the shorter stacks, which was the spot he was in from the money bubble to his elimination. His final hand played out when he moved all-in with ace-five. He was called by Jason Andrews who held pocket sevens. Snuffer was unable to catch one of his outs eliminating him in eighth place for $10,951.
An eighth-place finish or better would have meant Craig Casino of Winfield, Illinois would take over the top spot as HPT’s all-time money leader. He was unfortunately eliminated in ninth place after doubling Kevin Stammen in one of the first hands of the Final Table. His final hand had him all-in with queen-nine against Steve Russell's pocket fours. Casino was unable to catch a card making him the first elimination of the day for $9,039. Although he didn’t become the money leader, he takes sole possession of another record: the most cashes in HPT history. He earned the honor with eleven cashes on HPT.
With four more stops in 2013, Casino still has his eye on the top spot. “I don’t play to cash,” he has been known to say, “I play to win.” For information about upcoming events, visit HPTpoker.com.