The last Heartland Poker Tour event of 2013 came to an end on Monday at the Majestic Star Casino Hotel in Gary, IN. The tournament attracted 448 entries and created a prize pool of $648,840. The tournament attracted quite a few notables, and as fate would have it one of them — 39-year-old Eddie Ochana, who had nearly $900,000 in career earnings — emerged victorious to capture the $152,477 first-place prize.
|1st||Eddie Ochana||Elgin, IL||$152,477*|
|2nd||Aaron Massey||Chicago, IL||$94,082|
|3rd||Imari Love||Chicago, IL||$61,640|
|4th||Nick Schwarmann||Orlando, FL||$42,823|
|5th||Joseph Hebda||St. John, IN||$31,793|
|6th||Nemesio Alegado||Rolling Meadows, FL||$24,656|
|7th||John Grace||North Dibsted, OH||$21,347|
|8th||George Diezt||Chicago, IL||$17,519|
|9th||Ryan Olson||West Chester, IL||$14,274|
*Prize includes $3,000 HPT Championship package
According to the HPT live blog, the first elimination came on Hand #22 of the final table, which took place in Level 26 (20,000/40,000/5,000). It happened when Ryan Olson opened for 120,000 — leaving himself just 5,000 behind — and Nick Schwarmann called from the small blind. Schwarmann then bet in the dark, the flop came down , and Olson called off.
Neither player had hit the flop, which meant Olson was in the lead with his ace high. That changed when the dealer burned and turned the , which thrust Schwarmann into the lead with a pair of fives. The river changed nothing, and Olson was eliminated in ninth place for $14,274.
After George Dietz and John Grace were eliminated in eighth and seventh place respectively, Nemesio Alegado joined them on the rail in sixth place. It happened on Hand #47 in Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000) when Alegado raised and then called off after 28-year-old Joe Hebda three-bet all in.
According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Hebda was a 62.48% favorite while Alegado had a 37.07% chance of surviving the hand. The flop was disastrous for Alegado, who saw his chances drop to 14.65% after Hebda paired his queen. The turn gave Alegado an open-ended straight draw, and he saw his chances jump to 22.73%. Unfortunately for him, the blanked on the river and Alegado, a 63-year-old retiree, had to settle for sixth place and $24,656.
Despite scoring the elimination, Hebda was eliminated in the very next hand after running the into the of Aaron Massey. The board ran out and the cooler sent Hebda out the door in fifth place for $31,793.
Two hands after Schwarmann fell in fourth place for $42,823, Imari Love exited in third. It happened on Hand #90 in Level 29 (40,000/80,000/10,000) when Love moved all in from the small blind and Ochana called from the big. Love tabled the , which was behind the of Ochana. The board ran out and that was all she wrote for love, who took home $61,640 for his third-place finish.
Heads-up play began with Ochana holding a near 3-1-chip lead over Massey, and it would take just 11 hands for a winner to emerge. In the final hand, Ochana opened for 160,000, Massey called, and the flop came down . Massey checked, Ochana bet 175,000, and Massey check-raised to 420,000. Ochana made the call, the turned, and Massey bet 900,000. Again Ochana called, and then Massey moved all in for 1.83 million on the river. Ochana called with the for a pair of nines, and it was good as Massey could only muster an eight for an inferior two pair.
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Massey finished as runner-up for $94,092 while Ochana took down the last HPT title of 2013, $152,477 in prize money, and an HPT Championship package.
The HPT’s next event will take place on a cruise ship for the Caribbean — HPT on the High Seas. The HPT has announced the first four stops on their 2014 schedule, which you can view by clicking here.
*Data courtesy of Heartland Poker Tour.