Linda Lieder took down the 2015 Hollywood Poker Open St. Louis Regional Main Event minutes before midnight on Sunday in St. Louis, Missouri. She topped a field of 173 players to earn the title, a $48,440 first-place prize, and a seat in the season-ending $2,500 Championship Event to be held at M Resort Casino and Spa in Las Vegas this June.
Final Table Results
The Pontoon Beach, Illinois, resident won her seat to the event through a $45 satellite at Hollywood Casino in St. Louis, then took on all comers, including beating five-time World Series of Poker Circuit ring winner and WSOP bracelet winner Kyle Cartwright in heads-up play.
Cartwright began the day with a huge lead over the other 24 players who survived Day 1. He even managed to increase that lead, starting the final table of 10 as the only player over 1 million in chips, as veteran grinders like 2008 European Poker Tour Copenhagen champ Tim Vance and HPO ambassador, 2003 WSOP Main Event champ, and HPO St. Louis Regional Main Event defending champion Chris Moneymaker hit the rail. In fact, Cartwright held on to the lead all the way down to six-handed play. That's when Lieder started winning a number of pots off him, eventually doubling through him with the against the after flopping a five.
Lieder took the lead for the first time after busting George Cepicky in fifth with ace-high, then took control when she sent Josh Lozada home in fourth, flopping a set of fives against his pocket queens.
Three handed, Lieder doubled Damian Radanov once, getting it in with a dominated ace, but when she did the same thing on a flop soon after, she managed to spike a pair on the river to bring what would be an insurmountable lead into heads-up play against Cartwright.
Although she doubled Cartwright once, Lieder used a series of unorthodox raise sizes to keep her opponent off balance and eventually got him to commit all of his chips having turned a straight against his top pair. With that, she became the latest HPO champion.
That's all from St. Louis as the HPO packs up and leaves for the next Hollywood Poker Open Regional stop at Charles Town Races in West Virginia. The PokerNews Live Reporting team will also be on hand for the Regional Main Event there, beginning on May 9, and you can find more coverage on these pages. We'll see you then.