On Monday, the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) wrapped up its stop at the California State Poker Championship at the Commerce Casino in Commerce, CA. The $1,650 Main Event attracted a field of 584 players, which created a prize pool of $846,800, and after a full weekend of play, Jeff Madsen emerged victorious to capture the $160,060 first-place prize.
Madsen began the final table as the short stack, but the established pro from Santa Monica was able to keep his composure, chip up, and navigate his way to the title.
|1st||Jeff Madsen||Santa Monica, CA||$160,060|
|2nd||Alex Greenblatt||Atherton, CA||$112,200|
|3rd||Amit Makhija||Redondo Beach, CA||$72,150|
|4th||Doug Lee||Calgary, AB, Canada||$53,430|
|5th||Luther Quach||Arcadia, CA||$40,050|
|6th||Brett Murray||Santa Rosa, CA||$32,090|
|7th||Jasmin Oh||Los Angeles, CA||$26,760|
|8th||Wes Nally||Rio Dell, CA||$21,340|
|9th||Steve Ayoub||Santa Monica, CA||$16,000|
*Prize includes $3,000 HPT Championship package
According to the HPT, Madsen kicked things off by chipping up and then eliminating Steve Ayoub in ninth place. Ayoub fell when his pocket queens failed to hold against Madsen’s ace-king.
Madsen then picked up pocket aces to eliminate construction worker Wes Nally in eighth place for $21,340. “In all reality, I’ll probably have to ask the wife,” Nally said when asked what he’ll do with the prize money.
From there, Day 1 chip leader Jasmin Oh of Los Angeles fell in seventh place for $26,760 — not too shabby considering she got into the tournament via a $240 satellite — and then Brett Murray, who won an HPT preliminary event at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort earlier this year, exited in sixth after his failed to improve against Alex Greenblatt’s .
Luther Quach of Arcadia, CA was perhaps the quietest player at the table, but eventually he made a stand with . Unfortunately for him, Greenblatt woke up with and held. Quach took home $40,050 for his fifth-place finish.
Canada’s Doug Lee, who began the final table as the chip leader, was the next to go after he got it in with pocket kings only to have Madsen make a straight with . Lee took home $53,430 for his fourth-place finish.
On Hand #106 of the final table, which took place in Level 31 (60,000/120,000/20,000), Amit Makhija, who has more than $3 million in lifetime earnings, moved all in from the button and received a call from Greenblatt in the big blind.
It was another flip, and Makhija was looking to hold. He did so on the flop, but then disaster struck as the dealer burned and turned the . The river failed to help Makhija, and he bowed out in third place for $72,150. “HPT is fun,” Makhija said of his first-ever HPT event. “I’d definitely recommend it to other people.”
Madsen entered heads-up play with a more than 3-1 chip lead over Greenblatt, and it’d take just 14 hands for him to seal the deal. In what would be the final hand, a raising war saw Greenblatt, who finished runner-up at the HPT in Black Hawk, Colorado last September, seven-bet shove and Madsen call him.
Madsen was priced in after six-betting, but he was in need of some help. The flop gave him some in the form of a flush draw, and while the turn failed to complete it, the river did. Greenblatt finished as runner-up for $112,200 while Madsen captured the $157,060 first-place prize.
This year is basically a culmination of a lot of hard work and things have come together. Great momentum going into the WSOP. I # pokerFollow @JeffMadsenobv
For more on the HPT stop at the Commerce, check out this video:
The HPT’s next stop will run from July 11 – August 3 at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Michigan.
*Data and photos courtesy of Heartland Poker Tour.