California - The Commerce Casino Los Angeles Recap
Entrant Is Last Man Standing on HPT
man wins $159k at The Commerce
Commerce, CA (September 22, 2014) –Jonathan Chen was the final player to
register for the Heartland Poker Tour Main
Event at The Commerce Casino this weekend. When it was all said and done, he
was also the last player with chips. Chen finished off a tough field at the
nationally-televised Final Table on Monday to earn $159,780 and an HPT Title.
The recent college grad has been playing poker professionally
but says he plans to get a new job soon because, “my mom’s making me.” It took
the new champ only sixteen hands to defeat film editor David Rosenbloom. When the two got all of the chips in the middle Chen
held top pair and Rosenbloom had a straight draw. The straight never came and
Rosenbloom was eliminated in second place for $112,010. “I’m very happy with
how it all turned out,” said the runner-up from Los Angeles.
Poker pro Jeff
Madsen may have had the most at stake when the day began. Madsen, who won
this event in May, needed a top two finish in order to take the lead in the
Player of the Year race. He was in good shape when he went all-in with pocket
aces against the ace-queen of Chen in a massive pot. However, the board brought
two queens and Madsen’s quest to repeat was thwarted, sending him packing in
eighth place. The Los Angeles native earned $21,300 for his efforts. “I’d like
to play more events on HPT,” Madsen said. “It’s a good mix of recreational players but
also good players. I just felt very comfortable here.”
Hengsakul reiterated that thought. “HPT is awesome.
Everyone’s super friendly. It’s definitely the friendliest tour of all the
major tours,” remarked the real estate investor from Pasadena. Hengsakul had
made one previous Final Table with HPT, finishing in eighth place at Commerce
last September. He was able to improve on that performance this time around
with a fifth-place finish for $39,990.
Third-place finisher Danny
Geyser plans to use his newfound winnings to purchase a new car. The
software engineer from Redondo Beach should have plenty of options after
Players who entered
the Main Event at The Commerce Casino hailed from all over the country, but
each of the elite nine at the Final Table call California home. The tournament
saw 583 entrants build a prize pool of $845,350. Stan Jablonski set a landmark over
the weekend, finishing in 40th place for $4,230 to move ahead of
Craig Casino for most career cashes on the HPT. Other notables in the field
included David “ODB” Baker and last year’s Gold Rush champion, Shawn Motameni.
Commerce is the second of four California stops that make
up the second annual Gold Rush series. In this series, players compete for
points in preliminary events and the Main Event at each stop. The player with
the most points at the end of the series earns a sponsorship package to play
the HPT Main Event in Las Vegas in November. Learn more about the Gold Rush here.
Ron Jenkins of Los Angeles became the third player
knocked out at the Final Table when his king-queen was unable to outdraw the
ace-king of Hengsakul. Jenkins, a real estate broker, collected $26,710 for his
One of the favorites coming into the nationally-televised
table on Monday was Chris Hyden. The
poker pro felt very good about his chances of coming out on top. “Commerce is kind of
a home for me in a sense. I’m very comfortable here,” said the poker pro from
Laguna Beach. Hyden’s run for the title came to an end in the form of a classic
race when he found himself all in with ace-king against Chen’s pocket queens.
The queens held and Hyden was sent to the rail in sixth place with $32,040.
Hyden’s departure, Bruce Kramer made
his exit. Kramer finished in fourth place and walked away with $53,340. The
owner of a commercial construction business enjoyed his time at the venue.
“Commerce Casino is excellent,” said the Westminster, California man. “The
staff here is perfect.”
The only true short stack coming into the day belonged to Gary Hawkins of Long Beach. He knew
he’d have to get lucky early on. Unfortunately, the poker gods were not on his
side. The event consultant was the first to be eliminated, earning $15,980 for
ninth place. The early exit didn’t lower Hawkins’ spirits. “HPT is awesome. I
love it,” he said.
HPT now heads to Lincoln, CA for the third leg of the Gold
Rush series. From there, the tour returns to Fresno California to crown the
Gold Rush champion before heading east to Daytona Beach, Florida. See a full
schedule of upcoming events at HPTpoker.com.