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James Jeff Wins Heartland Poker Tour at Club One Casino in Fresno, CA

James Jeff

Club One Casino in Fresno, CA played host to the latest stop on the Heartland Poker Tour, attracting a field of 246 entries and generating a prize pool of $354,930. Hometown player James Jeff emerged victorious to earn the $85,184 first-place prize and $3,000 HPT Championship package.

Final Table Results

1James JeffFresno, CA$85,184
2Triet NguyenSan Francisco, CA$52,530
3Yotam ShmuelovSan Francisco, CA$35,493
4Wendy FreedmanLas Vegas, NV$25,200
5Mike BallFresno, CA$19,521
6Mimi LuuSan Jose, CA$15,972
7Barbara EnrightLos Angeles, CA$13,310
8Lisa JacobsMerced, CA$11,180
9Jerry YangTemecula, CA$9,228

Outside of Jeff, two names stick out like sore thumbs at the final table, and those are Jerry Yang and Barbara Enright. Yang famously won the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event for $8.25 million. Since his major win, Yang has most recently been in the news due to a tax lien from the IRS and his WSOP Main Event gold bracelet being up for auction.

Enright has been a long time poker player, and she has three WSOP gold bracelets to her credit. Enright became the first woman to win an open event at the WSOP when she won her third piece of hardware in 1996, and she is also the only female player to have reached the WSOP Main Event final table (Enright placed fifth in 1995).

After reaching the final table, Yang was all in with pocket eights against Triet Nguyen's {Q-}{10-}. Nguyen went on to spike a ten on the flop, and Yang couldn't improve from there. He took home $9,228 for his finish.

Enright finished in seventh place for $13,310. The WSOP Hall of Famer was also eliminated by Enright, and once again Enright had to come from behind to earn the victory in this hand. Enright held pocket nines and Nguyen had pocket fours when the money went into the middle. A four on the flop gave Nguyen a set, and he held up from there to bust Enright.

Following a few more eliminations, Nguyen and Jeff were heads up for the title, and it would take 40 hands between them to determine a winner. On the final hand, it was a clash of two pocket pairs, and when it comes to heads-up poker, this is often all the two players need to get the money in. Jeff had pocket aces against Nguyen's pocket fives. This time, though, Nguyen would not be sucking out. Jeff's aces held up, and Nguyen was eliminated in second place for $52,530.

A local contractor from Fresno, Jeff earned the largest score of his poker career and first big victory. He also earned himself a $3,000 HPT Championship package to take place at the end of the season.

The next event on the HPT is at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room. You can find more information about the tour on the HPT's website.

*Winner photo courtesy of the HPT.

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