This week put the end to the Heartland Poker Tour’s latest event which took place at the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles, Missouri. The poker festival took began on the 20th September and it took the poker industry by storm with its $1,650 buy-in Main Event which was won by the local poker player Matt Paten. He defeated the all-time HPT winner Craig Casino in a heads-up duel and claimed the throne, the HPT champion’s bracelet, and $110,386 cash.
The Main Event attracted a total of 338 poker player entering the competition for the first place and the special bracelet which came with it. Only the top 36 of them received payment for their excellent run. Among those fortunate ones to reach the upper half of the leaderboard were poker pros to the likings of Sal DiCarlo, Michael Hahn, and Shawn Roberts. They all were sent home before the final table, which consisted of the top nine players among the participants in the tournament.
Craig Casino Finishes Second
In this turn of events Casino had to settle for the runner-up position only and this is something the poker world does not see that often. He received $69,882 for his good performance at the tournament, but his name is one of the most recognizable in the poker field, since he participates in every stop of the Heartland Poker Tour, often winning impressive prizes and top positions. This was his 11th final table in the HPT since his poker career began in 2010, and all of his live appearances so far have been at HPT tournaments.
As it often happens in life, even the most proficient players could have their crown taken by someone with more luck or skills, and this was the case with Paten who managed to defeat “The Legend” as Casino is known in the industry. The heads-up duel was over in no time and the poker players needed four roller coaster hands in order to reach the end of the game. At the very beginning of the heads-up Casino doubled up his chips and became the leader among the two of them. The third hand was not that favorable towards him and it left Casino with only a several blinds, insufficient for a winning and a first place.
When asked how he feels about his performance after the tournament’s end, Casino said that Paten has been playing proficiently the whole day and he earned the win fair and square. The third position was reserved for the former winner of the Main Event, which took place in April. Tom Morse reached the top three and laid his hands on $46,796, after arriving at the final table as the chip leader and being very close to the first place at all times.