Michigan - Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Recap
Time a Charm for Gutfreund on HPT
prize awarded at Soaring Eagle
Mt. Pleasant, MI (November 24, 2014) – David
Gutfreund came oh-so-close to a Heartland Poker Tour championship twice before, but the
cards didn't fall in his favor on either trip to HPT's TV table. The
third time proved to be a charm at HPT's most prestigious event of the year,
the annual Championship Open at Soaring Eagle Casino Resort. The Chicago man
finally came out on top of a tough field that included most of the season's
champs, picking up $156,649 for the win.
thought if I got here enough times, I’d run good at a Final Table,” said the
new champ. “It makes up for a lot of times when things didn't go my way...It’s
a great feeling and I can’t wait to get paid.”
Gutfreund's opponentsin front of the cameras at the Final Table were a
mother and son duo, a two-time HPT champ, and a former world champion.
lastplayerstanding inGutfreund'sway wasReginald
was making a run at his third HPT title.The lengthy heads-up match came
to a closewith
Robertsholdingjacks to Gutfreund'sace-eight. An ace on the
river gave Gutfreund the championship he's coveted for years.Roberts, a
business owner from Springfield, Missouri, will add $96,657 to his total
earnings for second place.
Many champions from throughout
2014 made the trip to the Michigan property for the season-ending Championship
Open. Among them was Aaron Masseywho officially became HPT's 2014
Player of the Year. A big year with two championship titles gave him enough
points to land the prestigious honor and the Main Event buy ins that go with
it. He joins an elite list of past POYs including Greg “Fossilman” Raymer
and Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler.
a taste of success earlier this year when he won an HPT Title in Daytona Beach.
The bar manager from Oviedo, Florida showed that his win was no fluke by making
another Final Table at Soaring Eagle. His quest for a second Season X Title
came up short when Gutfreund knocked him out in fifth place for $32,663.
Vincent wasn’t the only Fiorenza
among the final nineon
Monday. His motherAntoinettealso made
the televised Final Table. She came into the day with the smallest stack, but
managed to double on the very first hand. From there, the retiree from Daytona
Beach was able to ride her chip stack to a seventh-place finish. She took home
$21,931 for her efforts, bringing the mother/son duo’s weekend earnings to a
total of $54,594.
WSOP Main Event Champion,was
playing under the lights with HPT for the second time. He was in good shape to
become the chip leader when he got all of his chips into the middle with pocket
kings against Vincent Fiorenza’s ace-ten. However, an ace on the river gave
Fiorenza the pot and Cada, from nearby Shelby Township, was sent to the rail
with $17,998 for eighth place.
At the start of the day, the
chances ofMichael O’Neilllasting very long were slim. Only
one player had less chips than him when play began. O’Neillmade the best
of the stack and played his way to a third-place finish. The purchasing manager
from Royal Oak, Michigan will take home $63,327 forhis efforts.
Midland, Michigan residentCuong
Tranfaced a tough decision on a flop that read ten-nine-four. After
going deep into the think tank for several minutes, the nail technician finally
made the call and put his tournament lifeon the linewith king-nine.
To his dismay, he was up against the ace-ten of Roberts. The turn nor river
produced a king or a nine and Tran was sent home in fourth place for a score of
Wetherellhad the least money invested of anyoneat the Final
Table. The Vietnam vet qualified for the tournament for just $370 and quietly
parlayed that all the way to a $25,331 payday for sixth place. Wetherell, a
native of Coleman, Michigan, plans to use his newfound earnings to play more
Kaskorkinotched his highest career cash when he was eliminated in
ninth place for $14,665. The Grand Rapids, Michigan man attempted to double up
early but came out on the losing end of a coin flip with Roberts.
In its monumental tenth season,
HPT had more stops than ever before and awarded over $11 million dollars in
Main Event prize money. The first stop of Season XI will begin this weekend at
Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino just outside of Des Moines, Iowa. From
there, the tour will end the year with a series at Ameristar Casino in East
Chicago. Log on toHPTpoker.comto view all upcoming stops.