The Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) visited the Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana this past weekend. The $1,650 Main Event generated a prize pool of $347,655, and after three long days of play, World Series of Poker bracelet winner Adam Friedman emerged victorious to capture the $83,439 first-place prize and a $3,000 package into the season-ending HPT Championship.
*Prize includes $3,000 HPT Championship package
According to the HPT Live Blog, Craig Casino of Winfield, Ill. was looking to take over the top spot on the HPT’s all-time money list with an eighth-place finish or better in this event. Unfortunately for him, he ended up falling in ninth place.
It happened of Hand #15 of the final table, which occurred in Level 22 (8,000/16,000/2,000), when Casino moved all in from middle position for his last 47,000. Steve Russell called from the cutoff and it was off to the races.
Casino needed to catch one of his overs to extend his tournament life, but he failed to do so after the board ran out . Despite not becoming the all-time HPT money leader, Casino notched his 11th HPT cash, which is the most in HPT history. “I don’t play to cash,” Casino said, “I play to win.”
Seven hands later, Iverson “Cotton” Snuffer was eliminated in eighth place for $10,951, and Kenneth Zuspan followed him out the door in seventh place for $13,037 five hands after that. On Hand #30, which was in Level 23 (10,000/20,000/3,000), well-known pro Keven Stammen opened for 45,000 only to have Friedman three-bet to 96,000. Stammen called, the flop came down , and Friedman led out for 72,000. Stammen responded by moving all in and Friedman snap-called.
Stammen was looking for a spade to crack Friedman’s pocket rockets, but it wasn’t in the cards as the blanked on the turn followed by the on the river. The professional poker player from Coldwater, Ohio collected $15,644 for his sixth-place finish.
John Michalak, who finished fourth earlier this year at the HPT’s last stop at Belterra, was the next to go on Hand #47 of the final table. It happened when Friedman opened for 41,000 from the cutoff and was met by a three-bet to 117,000 from Michalak in the small blind. Fridman shoved, Michalak called off, and the cards were turned on their backs.
The concert promoter from Cleveland was in desperate need of a nine, and he would be left wanting after the board ran out a dry . Michalak took home $19,121 for his fifth-place finish.
After Adam Bacon, who finished in fifth-place finish earlier this year at Soaring Eagle Casino Resort, was sent to the rail in fourth place for $24,684 on Hand #64, Russell followed him out the door. It happened in Level 24 (12,000/24,000/3,000) on Hand #75 when Russell opened for 95,000 and then called off when Friedman shoved.
It was a classic flip, but in this hand the coin would come down in Friedman’s favor as his pocket pair held up after the board ran out . Russell was eliminated in third place and took home $34,766 for his efforts.
The heads-up match between Friedman and Jason Andrews was a quick affair – just four hands — as Freidman held 85% of the chips in play. On Hand #79, Andrews raised to 87,000 and Friedman called, which brought about a flop of . Friedman check-called a bet of 75,000, both players checked the turn, and the completed the board on the river. Friedman checked for a third time and the moved all in after Andrews bet 175,000. Andrews called off with the for a straight, but it was no good as Friedman held a flush with the .
Andrews took home $51,453 for his runner-up finish while Friedman became the latest HPT Champion and captured the $83,439 first-place prize.
Just beat a great guy @jayandrews0722 Hu, glad to win and joining @FossilMan as winners of @HPTPoker BelterraFollow @AdamFriedman119
The HPT’s next event will take place from November 1-11, 2013 at the River City Casino in Missouri.
*Photos courtesy of Heartland Poker Tour.