Mississippi - Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg Recap
Crowned HPT Champ in Mississippi
White wins the Title at Ameristar Vicksburg
Vicksburg, MS (March 30, 2015) –Larry White avoided getting tangled up
in too many big pots early on at the Heartland
Poker Tour Final Table on Monday. The retiree from Braxton, Mississippi hid
in the shadows long enough to quietly play his way to an HPT Title and a payday of $32,678 inside the Bottleneck
Blues Bar at Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg.
“Luck was on my side,” said the new champion, who is fittingly
known as “Lucky Larry”.
Houston’s Jeff Niedelman
eliminated three players at the Final Table, but he wasn’t able to get the one
that counted most. When heads-up action began, White had nearly two-thirds of
the chips in play. Niedelman made a run and nearly pulled back to even before the
fireworks of the last hand ended his night. The two players got all of the
chips in the middle on the flop with White’s two pair way ahead of Niedelman’s
middle pair. The turn nor river changed the outcome and Niedelman, a poker
player by trade, was sent to the rail in second place with $20,424.
Baton Rouge native Benjamin
Thomas was one of two players at the table with previous experience in
front of the HPT cameras. The engineer finished eighth at Ameristar Vicksburg this
time last year. Although he was unable to capture the Title, Thomas did improve
this time around by climbing his way to a third place finish. He’ll take home
The other player with TV experience was John “Cowboy” Land. Land, a general contractor from Frisco, Texas,
was coming off of a runner-up finish at an HPT event in Oklahoma just a few
weeks ago. He was in good shape to double up early on when he got all-in with
pocket queens against Michael Traylor’s
pocket tens. Alas, a ten fell on the flop and Land’s day was finished. He
earned $4,902 for seventh place.
Traylor made the most of his freshly earned chips and rode out a
few more eliminations before losing a couple of keys pots and becoming the
short stack. The poker player from Spring, Texas would go on to lose at the
hands of Thomas for a fourth place finish that was good for $9,701.
The player with the smallest chip stack when the day began was Michael
Monaghan. The self-employed man from Jackson, Mississippi played a solid game
and climbed the pay ladder before exiting in fifth place for $7,148.
Building contractor Freddie Ardoin has respectable plans for his
newfound earnings. The Lacassine, Louisiana man took home $5,617 for his
sixth-place finish and he plans to pass those winnings on to his grandchildren.
Scott Mauer was proud to have Final Tabled his first ever HPT
event. Unfortunately for the florist, his stay at the nationally televised
table was short-lived. Mauer, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was eliminated in
eighth place. He plans to apply the $4,391 that he won towards the purchase of
a new car.
The player with the most social media support was Hazlet, New
Jersey’s Antonio Payne. Twitter was buzzing with well wishes for the
professional photographer when the day began. The part-time poker player was
poised to make a deep run before losing a big coin flip early on to Ardoin.
Payne wasn’t able to get things going from there and ended up getting knocked
out in ninth place for $3,881.
The next HPT series starts later this week at River City Casino
& Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. The Main Event for that tour stop is
scheduled to begin next Friday. From there, the tour will make its way to the Chicago
area for another televised event in early May. For details, visit HPTpoker.com.