Indiana-Majestic Star Casino Recap
HPT Wraps Up Record Year in Chicagoland
Ochana Wins $152k
Indiana (December 10, 2014) – Heartland Poker Tour completed 2013 with their 20th stop
of Season IX, making it a record year for the televised poker tour. The recent stop in Gary, Indiana also pushed
HPT past the $50 million mark in prize money awarded to date. Over $152k of it went to the latest champ,
Edward Ochana of Elgin, Illinois.
The heads-up battle between accomplished pro Aaron
Massey and Ochana lasted ten hands. Ochana started with the lead and maintained his control,
only allowing Massey to win four hands during their match. Massey moved all-in when
the board showed a pair of twos, a nine, an eight, and
an ace. Ochana called after asking for a count and thinking for a couple of minutes. Massey paired his eight, but Ochana paired a nine. Massey collected $94,082 while
Ochana scored $152,447.
Ochana and Massey
were joined by a handful of notable players at the Final Table. Past champion
Nick Schwarmann started things off right like a seasoned pro. He was responsible for the downfall of
29-year-old pro Ryan Olson of West Chester, Illinois. Olson started the day towards the
middle of the pack, but became the
first elimination when Schwarmann got a majority of
his stack. Olson collected $14,274.
Nemesio Alegado managed to squeeze
every bit of play that he could from his Final Table starting stack. Alegado came into the Final Table as the
short stack but managed to get himself all the way to a sixth-place finish. His
final hand did not involve much theatrics as he got all-in with king-ten
against Joseph Hebda’s ace-queen. He did turn an inside straight
draw but was unable to finish it off on the river sending the Rolling Meadows,
native home with $24,656.
Hebda only held onto his newly acquired
chips for one hand. The 28-year-old professional poker player was eliminated in the next hand when
he got all-in with pocket kings against Aaron Massey’s pocket aces. One of the
two remaining kings did not appear on the board for Hebda, eliminating him in
fifth place for $31,793.
After back-to-back eliminations, the next knock-out didn’t come for another
forty hands. It finally happened when Schwarmann moved all-in and was called by Ochana. Schwarmann's
king-jack was ahead with Ochana holding
king-ten. A ten came on the flop to flip the lead and
Schwarmann was unable to improve. He
adds a fourth-place finish for $42,823 to his HPT resume, which includes a first and second place.
Schwarmann was not the only player to
have previous experience under the lights at an HPT Final Table. Imari “Doc” Love
finished in fourth place in Gary,
Indiana in 2011. The 39-year-old stock analyst from Chicago improved on his
best career HPT finish by one spot for
$61,640. Earlier in the day, Love eliminated new
father George Dietz of Chicago in eighth place for diaper money totaling $17,519.
John Grace started the Final Table
second in chips but was eliminated in seventh place when he ran his king-queen into the
pocket queens held by Aaron Massey. The Ohio retiree takes home
$21,347, his highest career cash.
HPT kicks off their
milestone 10th season aboard a Card Player cruise next month. Two dozen stops fill the calendar so far,
making 2014 another record year for the tour.
Some dates and locations have already been posted at HPTpoker.com.