Day 3 Completed
|Blinds||50,000 / 100,000|
Day 3 Completed
The Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) was visiting the Hollywood Casino St. Louis for the first time, and the $1,650 Main Event drew 444 entries, which created a $646,020 prize pool.
In the end, 47-year-old criminal defense attorney Bill Byrnes emerged victorious to claim a $148,587 first-place prize.
“It was awesome,” Byrnes said after the win. “I was pretty comfortable the whole time. I came in third in chips today, which I felt good about. The guy that came in second, I’d been playing with the past couple of days, he was a hell of a player. I was definitely worried about him. There was a number of good players at the table but I felt comfortable going in. I’m going to take my wife to Europe, not sure what else to do with the rest.”
Byrnes pledged to donate some of his winnings to the charity First Descents, which offers young adults living with and surviving cancer a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them.
Interestingly, Byrnes almost didn’t get the chance to compete at the final table as he had a court meeting Monday morning that had the potential to keep him preoccupied.
“I had a case set for jury trial this morning. If it was going to go I would’ve had to be blinded down,” he admitted. “I wouldn’t have made it back here. I was pretty far down the list so didn’t think they’d get to me but I was holding my breath.
Prior to the win, Byrnes had $429,719 in career tournament earnings including a previous best of $55,968 for finishing 11th in the 2015 World Series of Poker Colossus.
HPT St. Louis Final Table Results
Others to cash the tournament included Day 1b chip leader Josh Mullins (13th - $8,334), Shawn “Reginald” Roberts (19th - $5,168), Allen Kessler (30th - $4,199), Mary Sturges (31st - $4,199), Day 1a chip leader Ryan Gregor (32nd - $4,199), and Ryan Tepen (40th - $3,553).
Final Table Action
The first final table elimination came about an hour into play when Greg Wood jammed ace-jack only to run it smack dab into Steve Green’s two black aces. Wood didn’t get so much as a sweat and was sent packing in ninth place.
Not long after, Joe Landazzi fell when his pocket aces were cracked by Kou Vang, who had flopped a set of fives, and Tim Burden followed him out the door in seventh place. Burden, the 2018 MSPT Indiana State Poker Champion, began the final table with a big chip lead but nothing seemed to go his way. Eventually, he was whittled down before four-betting all in with pocket four. Dave Simon, who had three-bet with nine-seven suited, called and turned a straight to eliminate Burden.
With six players remaining, Andy Echele had pocket aces and flopped two pair. Unfortunately for him, Keith Heine flopped trips and turned a boat, which is when the chips went in. The river wasn’t an ace and Echele headed for the payout desk to collect $24,872.
Minnesota poker pro Kou Vang bowed out in fifth place after shoving his short stack from the small blind with ace-deuce and getting called by Simon, who held six-three in the big. A six on the turn was the final nail in the coffin for the MSPT Hall of Famer, who took home $24,872 for his fifth-place finish.
Simon was the next to go after running a bluff against Heine, who had flopped a full house, and then Green took his leave in third place after losing a flip with deuces to Bill Byrnes’ ace-queen.
Byrne entered heads-up play with 6.33 million to Heine’s 6.975 million and immediately set about chipping up.
Eventually, he had Heine on the ropes when the final hand developed. Byrnes slow played pocket aces and flopped a set while Heine flopped a flush draw. The chips went in on the turn and Heine failed to find a fifth heart to fall in second place for $91,735. It was one spot better than last year when he finished third in the HPT St. Louis for $48,042.
In what would be the final hand of the HPT St. Louis, Keith Heine raised the button to 300,000 and Bill Byrnes called to see a flop.
Byrnes check-called a bet of 500,000 and then checked the turn. Heine moved his short stack all in and Byrnes snapped him off.
Brynes had flopped a set of aces but he wasn't out of the woods as Heine had a heart flush draw.
The dealer burned one last time and put out the . Heine missed and had to settle for second place.
Bill Byrnes opened to 300,000 and Keith Heine announced all in. Byrnes called.
Heine looked good after the flop but had to dodge 12 outs after the came on the turn.
The on the river wasn't the card Byrnes wanted and he doubled up Heine.
Keith Heine called from the button, Bill Byrnes raised to 500,000 from his big blind, and Heine made the call.
On the flop, Byrnes continued for 700,000, and Heine made the call.
Byrnes then check-called a 1,100,000 bet from Heine on the turn.
After Byrnes checked again, Heine bet 1,200,000 on the river, but then mucked his hand when Byrnes made the call.
Bill Byrnes limped the button and then called when Keith Heine raised to 225,000. When the flop came down , Heine led out for 500,000 and Byrnes moved all in. Heine called off for 1.86 million and the hands were turned up.
Byrnes had flopped top pair but was behind Heine's overpair. Neither the turn nor river helped Byrne and Heine shipped the double.
Action was raised to 200,000 by Bill Byrnes and called by Keith Heine.
Both players checked the flop.
Heine check-raised to 500,000 after Byrnes bet out 200,000 on the turn. Byrnes called.
Heine bet out 800,000 after the came on the river and Byrnes three-bet to 2,500,000. Heine counted out his chips and put them in the middle. While Heine turned two pair with it was no good as Byrnes flipped over for the eight-high straight.
In the first big heads-up confrontation, Bill Byrnes emerged the victor.
After Keith Heine raised it to 205,000, Bill Byrnes three-bet to 500,000, and Heine made the call.
Byrnes continued for 300,000 on the flop, only to be raised to 750,000 by Heine, and this time Byrnes made the call.
Byrnes led out again on the turn for 300,000.
After Heine eyed Byrnes' stack, he put out a raise to 1,000,000, which was met with an "All in." announcement from Byrnes.
Heine asked the dealer to pull in the 1,000,000 to see how much more Byrnes had behind.
Once the dealer confirmed an extra 3,340,000, Heine re-checked his cards and folded his hand, which sent the huge pot to Byrnes.