Nevada - Grand Sierra Resort and Casino Recap

Lee Wins HPT Title at Grand Sierra

California man tops the field in Reno/Tahoe for $59k score

Reno, NV (September 21, 2015) – Duke Lee has played several Heartland Poker Tour events in the past, but it wasn’t until Monday that he claimed his first HPT Title. The professional poker player from San Francisco beat out a tough group of competition, including a current November Niner, to lay claim to the $59,494 score at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

Fellow pro Robert Mitchell of Salt Lake City, Utah was the last opponent standing between Lee and the first place payday. On the final hand, Mitchell put the remainder of his chips into the middle with top pair but was quickly called by Lee’s straight. The straight held and Lee was crowned champion. Mitchell walked away with $36,994 for second place.

Local Reno man Marty Gorenc became the third-place finisher when his middle pair failed to improve against Lee’s top pair after going all-in. Gorenc, a semi-retired poker player, will add $22,460 to his career earnings total for his efforts. He hopes to use a portion of the winnings to go on a few ski trips this winter.

Kevin Weinmann parlayed his way into the nationally televised Main Event at Grand Sierra on a $750 investment. When it was all said and done, the architect from Redwood City, California turned that into $16,515 for finishing in fourth place.

Retiree Larry Odegard became another one of Lee’s victims on the felt Monday. The San Jose, California native found himself all-in with pocket queens against Lee’s ace-king. An ace on the turn sealed the deal for Odegard who exited in fifth place with $12,331.

George Kleinman plans to use his newfound earnings to purchase a piano for his wife Sherri. The commodity trader from Incline Village, Nevada will have $10,129 to apply towards that purchase after finishing in sixth place. Shortly before Kleinman’s exit, David Brewer was sent to the rail at the hands of Odegard. The retired computer programmer earned $8,918 for seventh place.

Dutch Boyd and Robert Williamson III were among the notables spotted at the Reno/Tahoe venue during the Main Event. Boyd, a three-time bracelet winner, commentated the action of the Final Table on HPT’s Twitch live stream with several guests joining him along the way.

One of those guests, and probably the most recognizable player at the Final Table, was November Niner Neil Blumenfield. The retired software executive used this HPT event to fine tune his skills for the WSOP main event table in November. He managed to play his way to a seat under the lights before being ousted in eighth place for $7,817. Blumenfield, a San Francisco native, plans to play in this weekend’s HPT event outside of Sacramento as well.

David Stamm became the first player eliminated on Monday when his pocket queens failed to hold up against the eventual champion’s ace-ten. Stamm, also of San Francisco, earned $6,606 for ninth place.

From here, HPT makes the short trip across the state border for this weekend’s Main Event in Lincoln, California. After that the tour takes one week off before trekking across the country for a series in Daytona Beach, Florida. For dates and locations for all upcoming tour stops, visit

Follow Us On Facebook