The Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) recently kicked off Season XI at the Iowa-Prairie Meadows Racetrack Casino Hotel in Altoona, Iowa. The $1,650 Main Event attracted 176 entries and created a prize pool of $255,720. In the end, Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Team Pro Matt Alexander, who won the 2010 HPT Mahnomen for $48,521, defeated Kou Vang in a tough heads-up match to capture his second HPT title and $69,043 in prize money.
Alexander is expected to head north this weekend for the MSPT Season 5 finale at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota. The stop, which was home to the first-ever MSPT, will culminate with a $1,100 buy-in $200,000 guarantee Main Event from Friday, Dec. 12 through Sunday, Dec. 14. For more information on that event, click here.
Final Table Results
|1||Matt Alexander||Robbinsdale, MN||$69,043|
|2||Kou Vang||St. Paul, MN||$42,691|
|3||Travis Remmert||Cedar Rapids, IA||$26,083|
|4||Michael Hahn||Indianapolis, IN||$19,179|
|5||Quang Pham||Omaha, NE||$14,320|
|6||Richard Fitzgerald||Sioux Falls, SD||$11,763|
|7||Roger Bennett||Kirksville, MO||$10,357|
|8||Paul McCaffrey||San Ramon, CA||$9,078|
|9||Jonathan Hanner||St. Paul, MN||$7,672|
According to updates from the event, the first elimination of the final table happened in Level 21 (6,000/12,000/2,000) when a preflop raising war saw Jonathan Hanner get his stack all in holding pocket queens and racing against the of Travis Remmert. Hanner got it in good, but he had to settle for ninth place after the board ran out .
Not long after, Paul McCaffrey fell in eighth when his failed to improve against Alexander’s , and then Roger Bennett followed him out the door in seventh place for $10,357. In Level 23 (10,000/20,000/3,000), Remmert opened with a raise, Alexander called, and Richard Fitzgerald shoved all in. Remmert folded but Alexander called with his , which was behind Fitzgerald’s . The board ran out and Alexander got lucky to send Fitzgerald out the door in sixth place for $11,763.
After Quang Pham bowed out in fifth, four-handed play became a marathon affair lasting nearly four hours. The chips moved about the table, and then in Level 26 (20,000/40,000/5,000) Michael Hahn got his short stack all in preflop with the and was primed to double against the of Vang. Unfortunately for him, the board ran out and Vang won the pot with a pair of kings.
Right after, Alexander doubled through Remmert after the former’s flush got there against the latter’s flopped straight. Remmert was crippled and took his leave in third place two hands later after his pocket kings failed to hold against Vang’s , which ended up making a diamond flush after the board four-flushed.
Alexander began heads-up play holding a chip lead over his good friend, but Vang didn’t go down easy; in fact, he managed to take over the lead at one point. Still, Alexander hung tough, reclaimed the lead, and then finished off his opponent in Level 27 (25,000/50,000/5,000). It happened when Vang moved all in holding the and was called by Alexander, who held the . The board ran out a clean and Vang, who is currently in contention for the MSPT Season 5 Player of the Year title, had to settle for second place and a $42,961 consolation prize.
“Thanks everyone for all the support and sweats. Means a lot,” Alexander said on Twitter after the win. “Played a world-class player in Kou Vang. He’s the best.”
The next HPT stop is currently underway at Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago. A full schedule of events is available at HPTpoker.com.