HPT on the High Seas - Card Player Cruises Recap
Wins HPT at Sea
Elezra among the final table participants
Western Caribbean (February 4, 2017) – Scott Waltenburg managed to
turn a $250 investment into $34,920 by winning the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main
Event – all while sailing through the Caribbean on the world’s largest cruise
ship, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas.
The cruise marked HPT’s
fifth time teaming up with Card Player Cruises for a voyage at sea. The poker
room aboard the ship was packed each day of the weeklong cruise, with cash
games and tournaments running all day and night.
Over 450 guests signed
up for the cruise and the $1100 Main Event drew 120 total entries. The field
had a nice mix of seasoned pros, HPT regulars, and casual players. Orel
Hershiser, Stan Jablonski, David Levi, and Barry Brown were a few of the
notables who played.
For Waltenburg, the
cash was the largest of his poker career. He won his seat into the event
through a $250 qualifier. “I’m just as excited as could be. This is a great
experience. Happy to be here and take this thing down,” said the champ after
Mark Milam was the
final competitor standing between Waltenburg and the title. The two battled
back and forth heads up for over two hours of play before Waltenburg was able
to send Milam to the rail. Milam, a consultant from Coral Springs, Florida,
collected $21,583 for second place.
One of the highlights
of the day for the champ was eliminating one of the game’s all-time greats, Eli
Elezra. At times, the day seemed to belong to Elezra as he consistently faded
outs and caught cards. In the end, his luck ran out and the Vegas pro went out
in third place with $15,367.
Jacky DiMeglio quietly
played his way to a great finish. The Bermuda man came into the six-handed
Final Table with the second smallest stack of chips. He played well and hung
around for a few hours, but still exited in fourth place. DiMeglio took home
Alex Gem was playing in his first ever HPT event. The Tampa, Florida man made
it one to remember by playing his way to a fifth-place finish, good enough for
The crowd favorite at
the final table was Card Player Cruises regular Mona Otto. The room erupted
when her name was announced at the start of play. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in
the cards as she was the first player eliminated. Otto, of Prescott Valley,
Arizona, earned $6,243 for sixth place.
“We’re going to go on a
vacation at the end of the month,” Waltenburg said in his winner’s interview. “And then we’ll reinvest it back into the HPT”.
To take a look at
upcoming land-based tour stops, visit HPTpoker.com.