Missouri - Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City Recap

Local Business Owner Earns $118k on HPT

Jennings outlasts tough table at Ameristar Kansas City

Kansas City, MO (August 24, 2015) – Coming into the Heartland Poker Tour Final Table Monday afternoon, Greg Jennings knew he’d have to outlast some of the most accomplished players the tour has ever seen to take home the Title. At the end of the day, it was Jennings’ solid play and relentless aggression that led him to victory. The business owner from Overland Park, Kansas walked away from Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City with $118,560 and the HPT champion’s bracelet.

Tour veteran Stan Jablonski was making his eighth appearance under the bright lights, joining Shawn Roberts as the only other player to do so on HPT. In all of those past Final Table visits, Jablonski had never finished better than runner-up. With more than a two-to-one chip lead when heads up play began, it seemed that Jablonski may finally capture the elusive Title. Alas, after coming out on the losing end of a few key pots, the Bullhead City, Arizona native was short stacked. On the final hand, Jablonski tried to make a move only to run into Jennings’ flush. He would once again finish in second place, this time earning $73,195.

Another player at the table with plenty of experience in front of the HPT cameras was Joey Brown of Springfield, Missouri. Not only does Brown play a lot of cards, he’s a poker dealer as well. He attributes that job to his success as a player, which includes a pair of runner-up finishes with HPT. “I’ve dealt to a lot of these guys deep in tournaments before. I think there’s a little bit of an advantage there,” he said. Like Jablonski, Brown came up short in his quest for a victory, falling in third place for a score of $48,711.

In all, the Main Event at Ameristar Kansas City saw 363 entries create a total prize pool of over half a million dollars. From tour veterans Craig Casino and Cash Carpenter to local favorites Blair Hinkle and Frank Patti, there were plenty of notables spotted in the field throughout the weekend.

Current Player of the Year Aaron Massey was in search of his third HPT championship in just over a year when the day began. The Elmwood Park, Illinois native came in poised and ready to outlast his competitors, but it wasn’t in the cards this time. Massey, a poker pro by trade, lost the last of his chips in a virtual coinflip when his pocket sixes failed to hold up against the ace-queen of Jennings. He added $33,763 to his career total for the fourth-place finish, which was good enough to propel him into the top five all-time earnings list on HPT.

Justin Young, a business management employee from Kansas City, came into Monday’s Final Table with more chips than any of his opponents. Young saw his stack dwindle as the day progressed and he was ultimately sent to the rail in fifth place with $25,515.

Though this was only the second time poker pro Matt Bond had played on the tour, he had nothing but great things to say about HPT. “I think there’s a lot of value in these tournaments,” said the Dallas, Texas man. “They’re very, very well run and I love the structure.” The sixth-place finisher plans to apply a portion of the $19,845 that he earned towards the purchase of a new home.

Omaha, Nebraska’s Jon Lawson became the third casualty at the felt on Monday when his pocket queens ran into Massey’s kings. A queen on the flop gave Lawson the lead, but Massey went on to make a flush ending the health care recruiter’s day. Lawson will take home $16,495 for his weekend’s worth of work.

The eighth and ninth place finishers at the Ameristar Kansas City Final Table were Alan Curl and Tom Tolbert, respectively. Curl, a business owner from Belle Fourche, South Dakota, turned his $700 investment into a $13,660 payday when it was all said and done. Tolbert, a Yellow Page publisher from Ypsilanti, Michigan, was the only true short stack when play began. He earned $11,546 after becoming the first player eliminated.

From here, HPT gets right back on the road with its next stop scheduled to begin Thursday at Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago. The Main Event for that series kicks off September 3. After that, the tour goes straight to Black Hawk, Colorado for an anticipated ninth consecutive million dollar prize pool. Stops in Reno-Tahoe and Northern California follow shortly thereafter. For a full list of remaining stops on the 2015 schedule, visit HPTpoker.com.
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