Indiana - Ameristar Casino East Chicago Recap
Massey Dominates HPT in East Chicago for $177k
Record field for HPT in the Chicagoland
18, 2014)-After getting through a record field of 538 entrants
forHeartland Poker Tourin the Chicago area, tour
regularsStan JablonskiandAaron Masseysquared
off in a lengthy heads-up battle at Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago. The
two finally got all of the chips in the middlewith Massey holding two
pair and Jablonski drawing to the straight. The turn and river failed to
produce for Jablonski, making Massey $177,502 richer as HPT's latest champion.
Elmwood Park, Illinois poker pro came into the day with the chip lead and never
looked back, applying pressure on the competitionfrom start to finish.
After the victory Massey said,"I don't have any words to say how I
feel right now... I really wanted to win. I just kept firing away and firing
away until I finally won the title."
second-place finish adds toalonglist
ofHPTsuccessfor Jablonski. This was his fifth
FinalTablewith the tour. In impressive fashion, the Bullhead City,
Arizona native started the day in last place before climbing his way up the
ranks and finishing runner-up for $108,504. The business owner was in great
spirits after his six-figure score. "I'm feeling great," he said.
"I enjoyed every minute of it."
addition toMassey and Jablonski, severalothernotable
playersfilled the Main Eventseatsat Ameristar East Chicago.
Among them were NBA veteran Shawn Marion, 2013HPTPlayer of the Year
Allen"Chainsaw" Kessler, andHPT veteranCraig
"The Legend"Casino. Current Player of the Year contenders
Edward Ochana and Colin Yorkalso fared well, finishing 34thand
able to quietly climb his way to a third-place finish for a payday of $71,924.
The self-employed commercial real estate agent hopes to return to East Chicago
in thefuture to make another run at a tournament win. "I really hope
HPT has a long-term relationship with Ameristar," said the Crown Point,
come back in a minute,"said loan officerDavid Berman.In
the first elimination of the day, Berman fell to Vanderwoude. The Solon, Ohio
native made his way to the Final Table on a $375 investment and was more than
happy to walk away with $15,434 for his ninth-place finish.
finisherJames Richisonwas very complimentary of the
Ameristar East Chicago stopas well. "This event has been first class
all the way. Very organized. Everyone has been extremely friendly." The
Fort Wayne, Indiana resident plans on using the $50,007 he earned to help put
his children through college.
over $500,000 in career earnings,business ownerMike Mustafais
no stranger to the game of poker.Like Berman, he found himself among the
final nine players afterearning hisMain
Eventseatthrough a $375 qualifier. Though he was unable to record
his first major tournament win, Mustafa was still able to amass $37,428 for
hisfifth-place finish.The Orland Park, Illinois native enjoyed his
time at Ameristar. "I'll definitely be back. It's one of the nicer casinos
that I've been to."
putting all of his chips in the middle with queen-six before the flop,James
Nelsonof Wheeling, Illinois needed some help to beat Mustafa's
ace-king. The cards did not improve his hand and Nelson exited in sixth place
for $28,940. The attorney and real estate broker plans to use the winnings to
treat himself to a trip for his upcoming 50thbirthday.
Illinois residentPaul Vivacquawas excited to have made it as
far as he did in his first HPT event. Unfortunately, a title wasn't in the
cards this time around as Vivacqua's pocket nines ran into the pocket aces of
James Richison.The telecommunication sales clerk finished in seventh
place and earned $23,537 for his efforts.
been a professional poker player forseveral years, finding most of his
success at the cash tables. He came into the day second in chips, but was never
able to get traction. The Racine, Wisconsin man was knocked out in eighth place
for a score of $19,293. "My kids keep asking me why I'm never on TV, so I
entered this tournament for that reason," he said.
Poker Touris the most televised poker show in the world, airing brand new
episodesnearlyevery week of the year. From here, the tour will make
its way out west for the 2ndannual Gold Rush Series in
California.For a full list of upcoming stops, visitHPTpoker.com.