Nevada - Stratosphere Hotel & Casino Recap
HPT Title and $150k in Vegas
man beats out large field at Stratosphere
Las Vegas, NV (November 17, 2014) – John Bunch outlasted a stacked
field to win the Heartland Poker Tour Main Event at Stratosphere Casino, Hotel,
& Tower. For the victory, the technical advisor from Las Vegas earned
the covetedHPT Title and $150,081.
After an intense heads up
battle that saw both players stacks swing from high to low and back
again, the final hand saw Bunch flop a straight against Joey Brown’s bottom pair with
a straight draw. The two players got all of the chips in the middle
and Bunch’s straight held up, giving him the biggest cash of his
definitely a tough table. I knew coming in that I just had to play my game. I
stuck in there, got lucky, and here I am,” said the new champion.
For Brown, the runner-up
result was bittersweet. His only other previous Final Table appearance with HPT also ended with a second-place finish. The $92,605 that the Springfield, Missouri man
is taking home will help ease the pain.
Las Vegas native Ryan LaPlante played well in
his first HPT event. The poker pro’s bid for a title came
up short as Brown knocked him out in third place. LaPlante intends to
use the $60,672 towards the purchase of a new home.
“It was definitely a cool
and unique experience and I can’t wait to come back,” LaPlante said of his
first time playing on HPT.
poker pro Gary Bolden is
no stranger to the Las Vegas poker scene. He has over 70 career cashes in Sin
City. He got tangled up in a couple of big hands with LaPlante at the
Final Table and, in the end, it was LaPlante who eliminated him in fourth
place. Bolden can add the $42,151 score to his decorated resume.
One player at the Final
planning to enter the HPT Main Event at Stratosphere. Paul McCaffrey, a property manager from San Ramon, California, was
encouraged by his wife and mother-in-law to play the tournament
last minute. It worked out well for McCaffrey who will take
home$31,294 for fifth place.
Ryan Tosoc plans to add to his shoe collection with his
winnings.The $24,269 he collected for sixth place will afford him
several pairs. The cash game specialist hails from Chicago, Illinois but
is spending the winter in Las Vegas.
Kirkwood, Missouri’s Peter Nigh has played several HPT
events in the past and this likely won’t be his last. The poker pro cited the
player-friendly structure as his reason for returning to the tour. Nigh saw his
day come to a close when Bolden knocked him out in seventh place for
It was no surprise to see
many notables in the field when HPT visited poker's hometown. Former world champions Carlos
Mortensen and Ryan Riess were just a couple of the players spotted at the
Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower.
Perhaps the most
recognizable face at the Final Table on Monday was Dan Sindelar, who finished 7th in the WSOP Main Event last
week. Unfortunately, Sindelar’s stay under the lights on Monday was a short one as he
was sent to the rail in eighth place. The Las Vegas native earned $17,244 at
his second TV table in under a week.
Short stack Ben Palmer was the first player to
fall by the wayside. He tried to make a move early on with jack-nine only
to run into LaPlante’s pocket aces. The Deadwood, South Dakota poker player took
home$14,050 for ninth place.
From here, the tour heads
to Michigan for the final stop of its Season X schedule. Events in Iowa and
East Chicago will close out the year for HPT. For information on those stops
and early events in 2015, visit HPTpoker.com.