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Ron Bell Wins HPT Championship for $159,353; Allen Kessler Season 9 Player of the Year

The final table.

Season IX of the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) concluded on Monday with the HPT Championship finale at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The $1,650 Main Event attracted 473 entries and generated a prize pool of $678,120, of which $159,353 was reserved for the eventual winner. Season IX had crowned 18 champions up to that point, and on Monday 57-year-old Ron Bell of Toledo, Ohio became the 19th.

Final Table Results

1stRon BellToledo, Ohio$159,353
2ndAndrew BeardsleySwartz Creek, Michigan$98,327
3rdChuck TonneChesterfield, Michigan$64,421
4thBen GriseIndianapolis, Indiana$44,756
5thArdeshir AzadniaOkemos, Michigan$33,228
6thJohn DrikakisBama Creek, Michigan$25,769
7thWilliam RogersMidland, Michigan$22,310
8thTonya Provost-HawkinsWhite Lake, Michigan$18,309
9thDapreesch ScatesSterling Heights, Michigan$14,919

According to the HPT live blog, the first elimination of the final table took place on Hand #29 in Level 28 (30,000/60,000/10,000). It happened when Chuck Tonne opened for 175,000 under the gun and then called when Dapreesch Scates moved all in for 445,000 from the hijack.

Ron Bell Wins HPT Championship for 9,353; Allen Kessler Season 9 Player of the Year 101
Dapreesch Scates

Tonne: {q-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}
Scates: {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}

It was a flip, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Scates was a slight 54.36% favorite, while Tonne would score the knockout 45.25% of the time. The {j-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{5-Spades} was disaster for Scates, who saw his chances of survival dive to 12.42%. The {6-Clubs} turn delivered him some extra outs to a straight, but he only had a 13.64% chance of winning. Unfortunately for him, this wasn’t one of those times as the useless {6-Diamonds} completed the board on the river.

After Tonya Provost-Hawkins and William Rogers were eliminated in eighth and seventh place, respectively, John Drikakis followed them out the door in sixth. It happened on Hand #46 in Level 29 (40,000/80,000/10,000) when Andrew Beardsley opened for 500,000 from the hijack and then called when Drikakis moved all in from the cutoff. Beardsley tabled the {j-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}, but it was no good as Drikakis held the {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}. The {9-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} flop kept Drikakis in the lead, as did the {A-Diamonds} turn. All he needed to do was dodge a jack on the river to stay alive, but wouldn’t you know it, the {J-Clubs} spiked. Drikakis was eliminated in heartbreaking fashion and earned $25,769 for his sixth-place finish.

After Ardeshir Azadnia was felled in fifth place, Ben Grise hit the rail in fourth on Hand #72. It happened when he moved all in under the gun for 630,000, Tonne three-bet to 1.4 million, and Bell moved all in. Tonne made the call and two players were at risk.

Bell: {q-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}
Grise: {a-Spades}{4-Clubs}
Tonne: {a-Clubs}{k-Hearts}

With 4.78 million in the side pot, the board ran out {j-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{10-Hearts}, and Bell’s queens held. Tonne took a big hit, Bell more than doubled, and Grise took his leave in fourth place for $44,756.

Tonne was never able to recover from the hand and was eliminated in third place, which left Bell holding a nearly 2-1-chip lead over Beardsley in heads-up play. It’d take just nine hands for a winner to be determined. In the final hand, which happened in Level 30 (50,000/100,000/10,000), Bell opened for 300,000 and then called Beardsley’s shove.

Ron Bell Wins HPT Championship for 9,353; Allen Kessler Season 9 Player of the Year 102
Ron Bell

Bell: {a-Spades}{k-Hearts}
Beardsley: {j-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}

Bell was ahead, but Beardsley was drawing to two live cards. The {k-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{5-Hearts} flop was fairly decisive as it delivered Bell a king, which made him a big favorite. The {2-Spades} turn actually left Beardsley drawing dead, and after the {6-Spades} was run out on the river for good measure, he made his way to the payout desk in second place to collect $98,327. Not too shabby considering he qualified through a $360 qualifier.

On a side note, the year-end championship at Soaring Eagle signified the end of the HPT Player of the Year race. While he didn’t finish in the money in Michigan, Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler locked up the honor with six impressive cashes in Season IX including four final tables. Kessler, who became the first HPT POY not to win a championship, was awarded six complimentary Main Event buy-ins and hotel accommodations for Season X.

Four-time HPT winner Greg “Fossilman” Raymer immediately congratulated Kessler on his POY win:

While Season IX of the HPT has concluded, the tour has already announced the first four stops on their 2014 schedule, which you can view by clicking here.

*Photos courtesy of Heartland Poker Tour.

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