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HPT Hollywood St. Louis Sets State Record with Opener; Main Event this Weekend

HPT Hollywood St. Louis
  • The @HPTPoker @HollywoodSTL Opening Event set state record for largest tournament in Missouri history

Season XV of the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) continues this week at Hollywood Casino in St. Louis, Missouri. The stop features a $1,650 buy-in Main Event this weekend that will be live reported right here on PokerNews.

That tournament kicks off with Day 1a on Friday, March 15 at 2 p.m. local time. Players will start with 30,000 in chips and play 40-minute levels. Day 1b will take place at noon on Saturday, March 16 with the surviving players from both flights returning for Day 2 action at 11 a.m. on Sunday. The final table will then be live-streamed at noon on Monday, March 18.

"We’re looking forward to having an industry leader like PokerNews there to report on it every step of the way.”

“HPT is excited to have PokerNews providing additional event coverage in 2019,” said Korey Stewart, HPT Marketing Manager. “Season XV is shaping up to be another record-breaking year for the tour. We’ve already added several new venues to the schedule and we’re hoping to announce a few more new additions soon. There will be plenty of opportunities for poker enthusiasts across the country to take a shot at winning life-changing money at nationally televised final tables. We’re looking forward to having an industry leader like PokerNews there to report on it every step of the way.”

HPT St. Louis Prelim Results

The HPT Hollywood St. Louis Event #1 final six players struck a deal.
The HPT Hollywood St. Louis Event #1 final six players struck a deal.

The stop actually kicked off last weekend with Event #1: $350 No-Limit Hold'em, a tournament that drew 1,283 entries and set the Missouri state record for the largest poker tournament. Among the top 130 players to get paid were Rodney Crum (15th - $3,632), Jerod Smith (25th - $2,451), Courtney Pipitone (42nd - $2,082), Arthur Combs (64th - $1,280), and Mark Braman (101st - $835).

In the end, the final six players struck an ICM deal ensuring them each five-figure paydays.

HPT St. Louis Event #1 Final Table Results

1Craig WelkoBallwin, Missouri$37,402*
2Virgil MullenBenton, Illinois$33,399*
3Mark PearseTaylorville, Illinois$29,993*
4Robert JohnsonSt. Louis, Missouri$27,446*
5Mike RieckLouisiana, Missouri$24,557*
6Michael EsquivelClarendon Hills, Illinois$22,986*
7Andrew EcheleSt. Peters, Missouri$8,467
8Josh ThatcherGwinn, Missouri$7,112
9Alexander HillMadison, Wisconsin$6,010

[i]*Denotes six-handed deal.[i]

In other prelim news, Event #2: $300 Seniors (50+) drew 264 players and created a $67,320 total prize pool. A four-way deal was struck that saw Daniel Kloepper of Chesterfield, Missouri claim the title and $13,000 in prize money, while Thomas Lunch, William Sinnard, and Martin Warren all locked up $8,209.

Meanwhile, Event #3: $200 7-Game Mix had 87 runners and a $13,920 prize pool that was paid out to the final nine. In the end it was John Struges of Rolla, Missouri prevailing to win the title and accompanying $4,454 first-place prize.

Upcoming HPT Stops

PokerNews and the HPT plan to continue their live reporting relationship for stops throughout 2019. Those include visits to the Cincinnati area (Lawrenceburg, Indiana), The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Pittsburgh, and Ameristar East Chicago.

Here’s a look at the current Season XV schedule with more stops expected to be announced in the near future. For more information, visit and follow them on Twitter @HPTPoker.

HPT Season XV Schedule

Series DatesVenueLocationMain Event Buy-In
March 21-April 1Hollywood Casino LawrenceburgLawrenceburg, Indiana$1,100
April 4-15The Meadows Racetrack & CasinoPittsburgh, Pennsylvania$1,100
April 18-29Hollywood Casino ColumbusColumbus, Ohio$1,650
Mary 2-14Ameristar East ChicagoGary, Indiana$1,650

Images courtesy of HPT.

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