Chicagoland - Ameristar East Chicago - $1650 Recap
Wins $170k on HPT in Chicagoland
Herstein tops field of 517 at Ameristar East Chicago
East Chicago, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2017) – Day trader Gary
Herstein has cashed more than 100 times over the course of his poker career,
dating back to 2008. It wasn’t until Monday’s Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) final table that he achieved his big
breakthrough win. The Chicago native outlasted a field of 517 entries in the
Main Event at Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago to win $170,404 and the
This was Herstein’s second appearance at a Chicagoland HPT
final table in as many tries. He finished sixth in May for a $28,269 score.
“It’s unbelievable,” said the new champ after the
tournament. “I had a read; and I had some help. All these guys back here,” he
said as he turned to his large group of supporters on the rail.
The last man standing between Herstein and the title was
Chicago business owner Darrell Haywood. Though inexperienced in tournament
play, Haywood is a staple in the local cash games. At one point he looked
poised and ready to win the tournament. After a lengthy heads-up match, the
tide turned and Herstein took the lead before eventually making a stellar call
on the final hand to win the last of Haywood’s chips.
Facing an all-in bet from Haywood on a flop with a ten and
two sevens, Herstein went into the tank for several minutes before calling with
ace-king. His ace high was ahead of Haywood’s jack-nine. Herstein paired his
ace on the turn leaving an eight as Haywood’s only out. The river brought a
jack and the tournament was over. Haywood collected $104,168 for second place,
a fantastic addition to his career tournament earnings total of $2,822.
“It was a tremendous experience,” said Haywood. “My first
tournament to play at this level. I’m just happy. I wish I could have come in
first, but there’s always next time.”
This was HPT’s tenth visit to Ameristar East Chicago. More
than $9 million in prize pool money has been awarded to players during these
stops. The opening event of the series was a $350 Monster Stack tournament that
drew 1,180 players.
Haywood stole the show at the final table Monday, but there were seven other
participants who deserve recognition. Naperville, Illinois attorney James
Calvo started the day with the smallest stack at the table, played it to a
third-place finish to collect $69,050. Calvo plans to spend a portion of the
winnings to take his girlfriend Suzie to Maui.
Bryan Skreens, a
business owner from Winfield, Illinois, was fresh off of a $30k tournament win
a few weeks ago. Skreens rode his wave of good luck finishing fourth place for
a $48,009 payday.
Edward Veith quietly played his way to a solid finish. The Larsen, Wisconsin
resident avoided the big pots and in doing so, laddered his way up before being
eliminated by Calvo in fifth place. Veith earned $35,933 for his weekend’s
worth of work.
is no stranger to the HPT. The beauty salon owner has five previous Main Event
cashes, though this was his first time playing under the lights of a final
table. Estafanous fared well, considering that he lost more than half of his
stack on the first hand of the day. Estafanous, from nearby Darien, Illinois,
grinded his way to a sixth-place finish and took home $27,783.
Scott Sisler, Ryan
Olisar, and Bryan Kerr were Monday’s seventh, eighth and ninth-place finishers,
respectively. Sisler, a mortgage broker from Novi, Michigan, collected $22,597
after a two-outer on the river sent him to the rail. Olisar lost a six million
chip pot that ended his day, earning $18,522 for his efforts. Kerr was the
first player of the day to be eliminated. He pushed his remaining chips into
the middle with jack-seven and failed to outdraw Sisler’s ace-king. Kerr’s
ninth-place finish earned him $14,818.
Next up for HPT is a
trip to Black Hawk, Colorado. That event kicks off this week and runs through
Sept. 18. For more details, as well as a look at the full schedule for the
remainder of 2018, visit HPTpoker.com.