Missouri - Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City Recap
Lustgraaf Wins HPT
Title for $111k
of 341 at Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City
City, MO (November 21, 2016) – Walt Lustgraaf more than
doubled his career poker earnings Monday by defeating a field of 341 entries to
win the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT)
Main Event at Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City. The Arizona man collected
$111,370 for the victory, which he plans to use by celebrating with friends,
paying off some bills, and keeping himself in action on the felt.
“The tournament was well organized,” said
Lustgraaf after winning the first HPT tournament he’s ever participated in.
“Everything was very top shelf.”
The victor wasn’t the only one playing with HPT
for the first time. Local server and bartender Nicholas Summervill was also
making his debut with the tour. The Manhattan, Kansas man made the most of the
opportunity. With $0 in previous earnings, Summervill was guaranteed to receive
the biggest payday of his life. He slowly built his stack throughout the day
and in the end found himself heads up with Lustgraaf for the title.
On the final hand, Summervill pushed the last of
his chips in the middle with ace-jack only to be quickly called by Lustgraaf’s
pocket queens. A queen on the flop pretty much sealed the deal. Summervill was
more than pleased to walk away with $70,502 for second place.
“I’m getting married in May,” said Summervill
with a smile. “I think we probably upgraded our honeymoon a little bit. It’s a
nice little nest egg to start our life with.”
One of the biggest chip stacks when play began at
the televised final table belonged to Keith Murrell. The Kansas City native won
a few key pots early to build a sizeable lead on the competition. As the table
progressed, Murrell saw that lead fade away. He was eventually eliminated in
third place for a score of $47,211. Not bad, considering that Murrell won his
way into the event through a $375 qualifier event.
The only player with more chips than Murrell at
the start of the day was Blue Springs, Missouri’s Chris Scott. The regional
sales manager bullied short stacks early and often for the first few hours
before tangling with Murrell in a monster pot. The two went back and forth
before the flop, eventually getting all of the chips in the middle with Scott
holding pocket nines to Murrell’s ace-queen. Scott was in good shape to double
up and take the chip lead until a queen on the river left him with only a few
big blinds. He was knocked out in the following hand. Scott would go home with
$32,927 for fourth place.
Minneapolis’s Jonathan Hanner had previous
experience playing under the lights at an HPT final table, having finished
ninth in an Iowa event a few years back. Hanner was able to improve on that
finish this time around, but the title still eludes him. He went out in fifth
place with $24,695.
Local DJ Nam Phan and Quincy, Illinois’ Garrett
Riley went out in similar fashion. Both went all-in with pocket tens only to
end up getting sent to the rail. Phan took sixth place for $19,369 and Riley
collected $16,367 for seventh.
The most familiar face at the table was current
HPT Player of the Year Ryan Gregor. The local operations manager was looking to
repeat as champion in this event. He took it down the Main Event at Ameristar
Kansas City in April for a six-figure payday. That win sparked a run that led
to him earning POY honors. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be this time around. Gregor
went out in eighth place for a $13,558 payday.
Overland Park’s Andrew Ernstein came into the day knowing he’d have to make a move
early if he wanted a shot at making a deep run. Unfortunately for him it wasn’t
meant to be as his ace-queen fell to Gregor’s pocket kings. Ernstein became the
first casualty of the day, exiting in ninth place for a $11,670 score.
From here, the HPT truck will head straight to
Southern Indiana for its last event of the year. That series will take place at
Belterra Casino Resort. A $300 buy-in $100k guarantee and $1100 Main Event are
a few of the schedule highlights. Visit HPTpoker.com for all the details.