Matt Culberson, a baseball coach and poker player, won the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) $1,650 buy-in main event, which had a $538,115 prize pool. He had qualified for the main event by taking part in a $375 buy-in satellite. As the champion of the event, Culberson collected a first-place prize of $129,147.
The final table results of the event are as follows: The runner-up Michael Ross of Chicago collected a prize of $78,350. The players who finished third and fourth were Jeffrey Brin and Ron Amos, who won $52,466 and $36,592, respectively. The players who finished fifth and sixth were Matt Cannella and Reginald Roberts, who won $21,525 and $18,188, respectively. The players who finished eighth and ninth were Carl Masters and Matthew Mueller, who won $15,067 and $12,915, respectively.
At Level 26, player Matt Cannella raised to 105,000, in response to which Matthew Mueller placed a three-bet for 280,000. When Cannella called he had a queen of clubs and a queen of diamonds while Mueller had an ace of hearts and ten of hearts. The first player to be eliminated was Mueller. Later, he was followed by Carl Masters, who began the final table play with the second biggest stack of chips; Josh Turner, a professional poker player from St. Louis; and Reginald Roberts, who had won the HPT championship title twice in the past.
Although Cannella got a Flush on the flop, he was defeated because Culberson got a Full House on the river. Ron Amos exited in the fourth position when he bet all-in with an ace of spades and a ten of spades against Culberson’s ace of diamonds and nine of clubs. Although initially Amos appeared to be in the lead, the flop showed a jack of diamonds, a nine of hearts, and a three of spades, which presented a nine pair to Culberson. Amos therefore had to leave in the fourth place with a prize of $36,592.
When the heads-up match began, Culberson’s chip stack was four times larger than his opponent Michael Ross’s. Although Ross played well, his queens were no match for his opponent’s pocket aces. Culberson took advantage of this by doubling his bet on the next hand, as a result of which Ross had to finish as the runner-up of the event.
The HPT will next stop at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel, & Tower, located in Las Vegas. The schedule can be viewed at HPTpoker.com.