Frank Patti cooked the opposition at Heartland Poker Tour Ameristar Kansas City as he dominated the final table, holding the chip lead most of the way through en route to a $103,326 payday. The $1,650 event drew 312 runners through three Day 1 flights, with Patti coming out on top at a final table that included three-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner and RunGood team pro Dan Lowery.
The Missouri native notched the second-biggest cash of his live tournament career, behind only his third-place finish at Event #9: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em at the 2014 WSOP, which paid $138,160. The win bumps Patti's career cashes north of $300,000.
Final Table Results
According to the live updates, Patti was fortunate to even survive and bag a stack on Day 1a, as he jammed his last 15 big blinds in with under the gun as the night wound down, only to see a player behind him pick up and call. Luckily for Patti, he found a deuce on the flop to begin his run to the top, ultimately bagging 98,000 at the conclusion of Level 15 (1,500/3,000/400).
Two days and two flights later, 61 players convened for Day 2, with 36 set to receive some cash for their efforts. Some of the players heading out empty-handed included Zal Irani, Brandon Steven, and Terry Presley among those unfortunate runners. When eight-time ring winner Alex Masek busted Sean Lindsey with a three-outer on the bubble, the money was reached. Masek (32nd), HPT Indigo Sky champion Reginald Roberts (28th), and Andrew Rubinberg (27th) were among those collecting pyouts before the official final table was set late Sunday night.
Patti returned for the final day with the lead holding 1.6 million at Level 23 (10,000/20,000/3,000) but drew an unfavorable seat with the accomplished Lowery on his left. Lowery gained strength early after scoring the first elimination, sending Kenny Baggert home in ninth. After Pete Rios busted in eighth, Lowery and Patti had run away from the rest of the pack with 2 million and 2.9 million, respectively, while Matthew Lawrence was a distant third with 1.3 million.
Patti then played the role of executioner twice more, first knocking out Bryan Moon when the latter shoved on the button with the only to see Patti wake up with a dominating the in the big blind. Then, Patti made a set of kings on the river and got Martin Abraham to call his check-shove with top pair of aces for his whole stack, leaving the table five-handed.
By the time Level 25 (15,000/30,000/4,000) began, Patti and Lowery had further distanced themselves from the others with more than 3 million apiece while nobody else was above 900,000. A short time later, one of the most pivotal pots of the tournament occurred when the two leaders took in an flop with Patti having defended his big blind from a Lowery open. A five-bet raising war later, the two were all in with Lowery having flopped middle two pair with the but drawing thin against Patti's . No duck arrived to turn things around for Lowery, and he lost nearly all of his stack, busting moments later in fifth and leaving Patti with an overwhelming lead.
"At that point in the game, neither of us were getting away from the hand," Patti told tournament reporter Paul Oresteen.
After the dinner break, Patti dodged the held by Travis Remmert on an flop, as Patti's stayed best for another knockout. Aaron Wilt had just 12 big blinds remaining, and those went in with preflop, but Lawrence picked up the to call and reduce the field to two after a run out.
Heads-up play began with Patti holding a 7.1 million-to-2.2 million lead at Level 26 (20,000/40,000/5,000). He quickly took control of the match, and things were all over in less than hour. On the final hand, Lawrence saw his three-bet to 215,000 called and then continuation-bet a flop. He opted to call it off with the when Patti put him all in but found himself well behind his opponent's . Two bricks later, Patti had his win.
Patti said he already has a game plan for the loot.
"I think I'm going to start a college fund for my daughter with the money," he said.
Image courtesy of HPT.