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Kris Tong Wins 2013 Heartland Poker Tour Commerce Casino Main Event

Kris Tong

The Heartland Poker Tour Gold Rush Series traveled to Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, CA over the weekend for another $1,650 Main Event. The event attracted 577 entries and generated a prize pool of $836,650. When it came time for the final table, notables Joshua Pollock and Allen Kessler were the two biggest names remaining, and Kris Tong held the chip lead. Tong was able to ride that chip lead all the way to victory and take home the $165,090 first-place prize and a $3,000 HPT Championship package.

If you remember back to the summer, Tong made a splash at the 2013 World Series of Poker. He final tabled Event #5: $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo and took second behind champion Mike Gorodinsky for $134,017.

2013 HPT Commerce Final Table Results

1Kris Tong$165,090
2Shawn Motameni$117,880
3Mel Weiner$75,800
4Huy Quach$56,060
5Joshua Pollack$42,080
6Quan Tran$33,720
7Peter Hengsakul$28,110
8Louis Werman$22,240
9Allen Kessler$16,820

Kessler fell first, getting the last of his money in with the {A-Diamonds}{Q-Spades} against the {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts} for Tong. The flop, turn, and river ran out {A-Spades}{6-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}{6-Spades}, and Kessler was eliminated in ninth place for $16,820.

Following Kessler to the payout desk were Louis Werman in eighth place, Peter Hengsakul in seventh place, and Quan Tran in sixth place. That left five players remaining with Huy Quach on the short stack. Quach wasn't the next payer to fall, though, as that result belonged to 2013 WSOP gold bracelet winner Pollock.

Pollock was all in preflop with the {Q-Hearts}{J-Spades}, but well behind the {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts} for Shawn Motameni. The {A-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{10-Hearts} flop left Pollock drawing dead to only a miracle chop if two running tens came out, but the {8-Clubs} on the turn sealed his fate. The {4-Spades} on the river finished the board, sending Pollock out the door with $42,080 in prize money.

Quach hit the rail next in fourth place, then it was Mel Weiner eliminated in third place. That set up the heads-up match between Motameni and Tong. When the match began, Motameni held 9.86 million in chips to Tong's 7.455 million.

After Tong battled his way back into the chip lead, the final hand came up. The flop was {J-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{5-Clubs}, and Tong led with a bet of 500,000. Motameni raised to 1.2 million, but Tong came right back over the top with a reraise to 2.7 million. Motameni moved all in, and Tong quickly called holding the {10-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} for middle set. Motameni had the {A-Hearts}{A-Spades} for an overpair, but needed help.

Following the {5-Spades} on the turn, Motameni was left needing the help of an ace on the river. The {4-Spades} may have looked like an ace at first glance with its pointed tip, but it was far from the help Motameni had to have. Motameni took second place and pocketed $117,880.

The top 54 places paid out in the event, and other notables to finish in the money were Alan Myerson (17th - $8,620), Gavin Griffin (32nd - $5,190), Jesse Yaginuma (35th - $5,190), Owen Crowe (36th - $5,190), Todd Terry (47th - $3,850), David Daneshgar (50th - $3,850), and Bobby Suer (52nd - $3,850).

The next event on the HPT Gold Rush Series schedule will take place at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, CA. For complete tour information, please head to

Data and photo courtesy of

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