Last weekend's Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago $1,650 Main Event attracted a field of 432 entries and created a prize pool of $619,080. In the end, pest control employee Jeremy Kloeckner, who hails from Lockport, Illinois, emerged victorious to capture the $142,386 first-place prize and the HPT championship bracelet.
"I don't even know how to feel right now," Kloeckner said after the win. "I'm extremely excited and this win is going to change my life."
Prior to the win, Kloeckner had just two cashes to his name. The first was a mere $832 for a fourth-place finish in a $150 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo event at the 2014 Chicago Poker Classic, and the other came in January of this year when he took 10th in the 2015 Chicago Poker Classic Warm-Up Mini Series $150 No-Limit Hold'em for $2,104.
Final Table Results
|1||Jeremy Kloeckner||Lockport, IL||$142,386|
|2||Robert Edelstein||Chicago, IL||$87,909|
|3||Mike Deis||Ann Arbor, MI||$58,503|
|4||Michael Younan||Chicago, IL||$40,550|
|5||Greg Koutelidakis||Buffalo Grove, IL||$30,644|
|6||Joe Sidoryk||Elmhurst, IL||$23,835|
|7||Kenny Nguyen||Lansing, IL||$19,811|
|8||Steve Sloan||Sublette, IL||$16,406|
|9||Milos Ivanovic||Chicago, IL||$13,867|
The first final table elimination was that of Milos Ivanovic — whose pocket threes failed to hold against the king-jack of Greg Koutelidakis — and he was followed out the door by electrician Steve Sloan, who was making his first HPT Final Table appearance since 2007. According to updates from the event, Sloan got his short stack all in preflop with the only to run into the of Kloeckner. The board ran out a clean and Sloan was out the door in eighth place for $16,406.
Not long after, Kenny Nguyen, a business owner from Lansing, Illinois, fell when he ran pocket kings into the aces of Mike Deis, sending him to the rail in seventh place for $19,811. From there, local business owner Joe Sidoryk, who has amassed over $1 million in career earnings playing poker online, fell in sixth place after his failed to get lucky against the of Rob Edelstein.
Koutelidakis, the overwhelming chip leader at the start of the day, was the next to go after his turned straight was bested by the rivered flush of Edelstein. Koutelidakis earned $30,644 for his fifth-place finish, money he plans to use towards buying investment properties.
With four players remaining, Chicago police officer Michael Younan's failed to hold against the of Kloeckner, who made a straight after the board ran out . Younan plans to use his $40,550 in prize money to buy his wife a new car.
Deis of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who was at his second HPT final table, was the short stack three-handed and he got it all in with pocket fours against the of Kloeckner. An ace on the flop put a dagger through Deis' heart, and he had to settle for third place and $58,503.
Edelstein began heads-up play with a 3-2-chip lead over Kloeckner, but it was not meant to be for the poker player and fisherman by trade. Edelstein eventually fell behind, and in what would be the final hand of the tournament, Kloeckner bet 205,000 on a flop, Edelstein called, and the dealer burned and turned the . Kloeckner bet 710,000, Edelstein moved all in, and Kloeckner called with the for kings, which bested the of his opponent. The river was no help to Edelstein, and he had to settle for second place and a $87,909 consolation prize.
"Got close but came up short again," Edelstein said after the win. "Thanks for all the nice comments and support. The HPT really ran a great show. Shout out to Jeremy Smith, the rest of the staff, crew, and dealers for all their hard work."
Congratulations to Jeremy Kloeckner on becoming the HPT Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago champ for $142,386!
The HPT's next stop is at Blackhawk, Colorado, which is happening now through September 14. For more information, visit hptpoker.com.