Missouri - Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St Charles Recap
Wins $132k on HPT
Donaldson outlasts over 400 at Ameristar St Charles
Charles, MO (November 11, 2016) – Matt Donaldson topped a tough field at Ameristar Casino Resort Spa
St. Charles this weekend to capture his first Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) title and $132,917. Donaldson, a
compliance office by trade, became the second player local to Kansas City to
win an HPT event in less than a month. His college roommate, Blair Hinkle, won
the tour’s championship event just outside of Sacramento a few weeks ago.
“I feel great. It’s a huge score for me,” said
Donaldson. “It’s by far my biggest and I’m really proud of the way I played.”
The road to victory is never easy, but Donaldson
built a big chip lead early and never looked back. Ari Engel had pulled close to even with him when the two players
began heads up play. His ace-queen was unable to hold up against Donaldson’s
ace-ten on the final hand, however, and Engel was knocked out runner-up for a
score of $82,067.
Engel has won nearly $4 million at the poker
tables over the course of his, including a first place finish in a St. Louis
HPT event back in 2013. “It was a very exciting final table and I was glad to
make it as far as I did,” exclaimed the Las Vegas man after the tournament.
Many of the 407 entries in the Main Event at
Ameristar St. Charles played their way in at a discounted rate through HPT’s
popular qualifier system. Nicholas
Constantin was one of those players. He made it to the televised final
table on an investment of just $200 dollars. The warehouse and logistics
employee from Belleville, Illinois would parlay that investment into a
third-place finish for $54,615.
Local man Andrew
Eisen won his seat into the tournament through a qualifier as well. This
was the commercial underwriter’s first HPT Main Event and he made it one to
remember. Eisen took fourth place, good for a $37,855 payday. He plans to use
the winnings to take his daughter to Disney World.
Schroeder had an interesting answer when asked of his
plans for the prize money. “Buy some socks,” he said. He’ll be able to buy
quite a few pairs of socks. The local web developer played his way to a
fifth-place finish and earned $28,608.
Machine operator Stephen Mitchell had one of the largest stacks at the start of the
day. He was in good shape to win a big pot against the eventual champ with two
pair, threes and fours, vs. Donaldson’s pocket kings. The king on the turn left
Mitchell drawing dead. The Caseyville, Illinois man hit the rail in sixth place
Indianapolis’ Robert Geith was one of the few players at the table with previous
HPT experience. This was his fourth cash with the tour in 2016. The title would
remain elusive, though, as he was knocked out in seventh place. Geith, a
business owner, collected $18,494 for that finish.
The first two eliminations of the day came at the
hands of Engel. Rolla, Missouri’s Mary
Sturges became Engel’s first victim going out in ninth for $12,946. Shortly
after that, Engel eliminated Nicholas
Weber in eighth place. Weber, of Foristell, Missouri, won $15,315 for his
weekend’s worth of work.
From here, HPT will travel across the state of
Missouri for its next stop in Kansas City. The series kicks off Thursday and
begins with a $350 event that has a $100k guarantee. The newest HPT champ plans
to be there to defend his title.
“I love the HPT,” Donaldson said with a big smile
on his face.