Indiana - Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago Recap

Local Man Wins $142k On HPT in Chicagoland

Kloeckner defeats tough table at Ameristar East Chicago

East Chicago, IN (September 7, 2015) – Jeremy Kloeckner exterminated the competition at Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago Monday evening to earn $142,386 and the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) championship bracelet. The pest control employee from Lockport, Illinois had a few minor cashes under his belt coming into the day, but nothing near the six-figure score that he captured for the victory.

“I don’t even know how to feel right now,” said the new champ. “I’m extremely excited and this win is going to change my life.”

The last opponent standing between Kloeckner and the Title was Robert Edelstein of Chicago. A poker player and fisherman by trade, Edelstein got the last of his chips in holding a pair of nines to the eventual champ’s pair of kings. His hand didn’t improve and he was sent to the rail as the runner-up with $87,909.

This was Mike Deis’s second appearance under the bright lights of a televised HPT Final Table. The Ann Arbor, Michigan man was able to improve on his 2013 seventh-place finish by four spots Monday. Deis, who works in logistic sales, will take home $58,503 for his third-place finish.

Chicago Police Officer Michael Younan plans to use his winnings to get a new car for his wife. He’ll have $40,550 to make the purchase after earning that much for fourth place. Younan enjoyed his weekend experience at Ameristar East Chicago. “HPT has been run phenomenally,” he said.

The Main Event at Ameristar East Chicago drew 432 entries, creating a total prize pool of $619,080. Several notables were spotted in the field throughout the weekend, including poker pros Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, Jeff Madsen, and Robert Williamson III. Madsen and Williamson joined Jaymz Larson to provide commentary for live streaming of the event as did past HPT champion Dave Gutfreund.

The overwhelming chip leader at the start of the day was Buffalo Grove’s Greg Koutelidakis. The poker player was able to ride his stack to a fifth-place finish for a score of $30,644. He hopes to put that sum towards buying investment properties.

Local business owner Joe Sidoryk has amassed over $1 million in career earnings playing poker online. Until Monday though, his best reported cash in a live tournament was just over $6,000. Sidoryk, of Elmhurst, Illinois, nearly quadrupled that number by taking home $23,835 for sixth place.

Shortly before Sidoryk’s elimination, the colorful Kenny Nguyen became the third player to get knocked out on the day. Nguyen kept the conversation at the table lively and will be a fan favorite when the episodes from this tour stop make their way to television. The business owner from Lansing, Illinois finished in seventh place for $19,811.

Electrician Steve Sloan was the eighth-place finisher. The Sublette, Illinois man was making his first HPT Final Table appearance since 2007 and he dedicated it to his daughter Ashley who is currently serving in the United States Army. Sloan earned $16,406 for his efforts.

The first elimination of the day came when Milos Ivanovic’s pocket threes were outdrawn by the king-jack of Koutelidakis. Ivanovic added $13,867 to his career earnings total for the ninth-place exit.

Next up for HPT is a trip to Blackhawk, Colorado for an anticipated ninth consecutive million dollar prize pool. That event goes underway Wednesday. From there, the tour heads further west for stops in Reno, Nevada and Lincoln, California. Visit for a list of all upcoming stops.