The Heartland Poker Tour Ameristar East Chicago stop is always one of the marquee events on the schedule, and the Season 12 edition didn't disappoint, bringing in 670 players, a record for the stop. Amateur player and satellite qualifier Steve Jewell took down the $1,650 buy-in event for $211,777, topping a final table that included two-time HPT champ Craig Casino.
Jewell also won a $3,000 package to the HPT season-ending championship.
Final Table Payouts
|1||Steve Jewell||Dyersville, IA||$211,777|
|2||Jim Casement||Pingree Grove, IL||$131,208|
|3||Kris Bradshaw||Jackson, MI||$86,156|
|4||Andrew Mills||Davie, FL||$60,165|
|5||Craig Casino||Winfield, IL||$43,993|
|6||Jorge Postigo||Evanston, IL||$33,692|
|7||Steve Karp||Miami, FL||$26,205|
|8||Raney Yousif||Madison Heights, MI||$23,585|
|9||Ryan Hohenstein||Eden Prairie, MN||$19,253|
The tournament paid 56 places and a number of notable names booked cashes, including Tom Koral (35th), Michael Younan (33rd), 2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada (26th), Jonathan Gaviao (25th), Matthew Shepsky (23rd), and Millard Hale III (17th).
By the time the final table was reached, Jewell was sitting with a mediocre stack of about 1.6 million with blinds at 30,000/60,000/5,000, according to the live updates. Everyone was looking way up in the counts at Andrew Mills, who has over 100 big blinds, nearly double the stack of second-place Casino.
After a couple of early eliminations, Jewell caught a break when he opened a pot and a short-stacked Steve Karp shoved over him holding . Jewell was priced in with and managed to find an ace on the flop to send Karp packing in seventh. That pushed Jewell to 5.25 million with blinds at 40,000/80,000/10,000 and he was suddenly in business.
In the meantime, Casino hadn't had much early luck, and the tour's all-time money winner was down to 13 big blinds after the elimination of Jorge Postigo in sixth. He shoved over a Jim Casement open with and found himself dominated by a pair of tens. After failing to improve, Casino added $43,993 to his HPT winnings, which now total $595,741.
Mills went out fourth, and three-handed play saw another key pot go Jewell's way. He got aces in on a flop against chip leader Kris Bradshaw and held against the to double up into the lead. Jewell then finished Bradshaw off with kings against the all in preflop.
During heads-up play, Casement doubled up twice to take the lead, but Jewell pulled back in front and then flopped a flush with the in a limped pot. The two got stacks in with the board reading on fourth street, and Casement revealed for two pair. He didn't fill up on the river, shipping the win to Jewell.
Jewell credits his win to a mixture of good luck and good play and said he felt he was destined to win after taking down a $375 satellite.
*Image courtesy of the HPT.