Wheeling and Dealing: Car Dealer Loukas Michael Wins HPO Charles Town Main Event
Loukas Michael took down the Hollywood Poker Open Season 3 Charles Town Regional Main Event at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, West Virginia, early Monday morning. The car dealer from Tysons Corner, Virginia, bested a field of 118 entries en route to winning a $35,803 first-place prize and a $2,500 seat in the HPO Championship Event at M Resort Casino and Spa in Las Vegas this June.
HPO Charles Town Results
The second and final day of the event began with just 12 players left on the money bubble. Short stack Lowell Turner soon busted in 12th leaving empty-handed and after Casey Glick took an 11th-place min-cash, the final table of 10 was set.
Michael actually started the final table with just two players below him on the leaderboard. One of those players was an extremely short stacked Steven Gurney-Goldman, who won the HPO Grantville title last month, and he doubled through Michael early on to start what looked to be a comeback for the ages. In fact, as Friedrich Neunkirchner busted 10th, Gurney-Goldman quickly started moving up the ranks and building a contending stack in an attempt to become the first player ever to win two HPO titles.
Mike Axen had the lead before he snap-called a river shove from Chris Yeary in a huge pot with top two, giving away that lead when Yeary showed a flush. A few hands later, he was out ninth. Eight-handed play lasted a good few hours with Tommy Ingram climbing the counts before he was forced to to give up on a big pot with Gurney-Goldman and called his stack off with the when Michael shoved the , busting in eighth place soon after.
After dinner, start-of-day chip leader Carl Garland, who played very few hands and never got anything going, busted seventh before a massive hand played out between Gurney-Goldman and Yeary. With about 90,000 in the middle on a flop, Yeary checked-raised Gurney-Goldman, but could not get him to fold. They both checked the turn, but when the river came down, Yeary pushed in. Gurney-Goldman snap-called with two jacks and a full house and Yeary could only show pocket sixes, bowing out sixth.
Gurney-Goldman moved into the lead and soon had half the chips in play as Chris Grove lost a race to bust fifth. However, fortunes changed fast and Ken Moore soon doubled through Gurney-Goldman to take the lead, eventually busting him fourth when Gurney-Goldman shoved top pair of aces into Moore's nut straight. Moore was the man during three-handed play, but when Ronald McDonald busted third running the into Michael's , Moore and Michael entered heads-up play dead even.
It didn't take long before Michael grabbed a 2-1 chip lead with some well-timed aggression and decent cards. Finally, Moore, who also finished fourth at HPO Grantville earlier this season, five-bet shoved the , and Michael picked him off with the . Michael held on to win it all in dominating fashion.
That's all she wrote for the PokerNews Live Reporting team from Charles Town. Next up for the Hollywood Poker Open is the last stop of the regional season in Columbus, Ohio, with the Regional Main Event set to begin May 23 and our team will surely see you there.