Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Minnesota's Aaron Johnson has had some great results already in 2018. He's managed 20 cashes, including two wins, for nearly a quarter of a million dollars in earnings. One of his two victories came with HPT at Belterra Casino Resort back in March for a $86,189 score. He followed that up with another final table appearance at the Ameristar East Chicago event in May.

Those two results were good enough to catapult Johnson to the lead in the current Player of the Year race. The current HPT season comes to a conclusion with the $2,500 Chicagoland event in mid-November. You can check out the complete list of current POY standings by clicking HERE. Impressively, Johnson is also the current POY leader with MSPT.

Johnson is seated for Flight A today at Golden Gates. We'll keep an eye on his progress throughout the day.

Blinds: 100/100
Entries: 50


The Golden Gates staff has made the opening announcements and cards are in the air for Flight A of the HPT $1,100 Main Event in the Rocky Mountains. Players in today's field will play fifteen 40-minute levels or until 13% of the field remains, whichever comes first.

The Bravo clock shows 47 entries at the start of Level 1 with several notables already seated at their tables with their 30,000 stacks in front of them. Keep it locked here all day for the latest. Tweet @HPTUpdates or @HPTKorey to interact with the blogging.

Blinds: 100/100
Entries: 47

$1,100 Main Event in Colorado Kicks Off Today

The current series at Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour is already in full swing. The opening $400 event last weekend drew 832 entries, Monday's $300 Seniors NLH saw 227 participants, and attendance in qualifiers for the Main Event has been high all week.

Today marks the start of the highlight of the series, the $1,100 Main Event. The first of four flights is set to kick off at 12:00pm Mountain Time. Players will begin the tournament with the usual 30,000 starting stack and blinds are set at 40 minutes. Late registration will be open until the start of Level 10 right after dinner break or roughly 7:30pm. Once players return from dinner they'll continue play until they complete 15 full levels or reach 13% of the field, whichever comes first. Click HERE for a look at the full tournament structure.

This tournament features the increasingly popular Big Blind Ante format. Historically, when players reach the ante stages of the tournament each of them posts their own ante. With this new format, the small blind and big blind will post the usual blinds but the big blind position will also post antes for the entire table. The ante amount is equivalent to the big blind.

Golden Gates has long been one of the more popular stops on the HPT schedule. Millions of dollars in prize pool money have been awarded here in Black Hawk over the years. Last July, this event had 606 total entries for a prize pool of $587,820. Shane Faulk (pictured)
topped the field and took home $132,262 for the win.

Flights B, C, and D are at noon on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Those players that make it through their respective flights will be combined for Day 2 action on Sunday. The remaining field will then play down to the final nine who will return for the filming of the final table Monday afternoon. That table will be streamed on a short delay at In addition to prize money, Monday's winner will take home a custom Citizen Eco-Drive watch for their efforts.

Players are encouraged to follow the action through our blog all weekend long at Feel free to tweet your stack and table position to @HPTupdates or @HPTKorey to be included in the updates.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Alex Ziskin - East Chicago Champion - $201,391

Alex Ziskin used a Big Stack to his advantage throughout the day, cracking the Aces of Mike Kamenjarin on the final heads-up hand to take the HPT East Chicago title and with it a $201,391 cash  - along with a $3,500 package to the November HPT Season Championships at Ameristar East Chicago.

Ziskin was the dominant stack for much of the final table play, up to as much as 11 million early of the 18 million total in play. He eliminated both reigning HPT Belterra champ Aaron Johnson (8th, $22,377) and Niel Mittelman (7th, $26,852) in a single hand to establish that dominant stack. Johnson made his fourth final table in four months with his 8th-place finish.

Stacks leveled out by the time play was 3-handed with Kamenjarin and Ben Castle, with each of the three players having 50 or more BB. Three-handed play lasted more than three hours as Castle twice doubled through Ziskin in this timeframe, and Ziskin once through Castle.

Ziskin eliminated Castle (3rd, $81,540) a few hands after doubling-up through Castle, setting up the heads-up match where he held a 70/30 advantage to begin play.

Kamenjarin was unable to cut substantially in to that stack the first 75 minutes of HU play, but caught two doubles-up to take the chiplead for a few hands. Ziskin came back, grabbed the lead then cracked the Aces of Kamenjarin with Queen_Six, flopping two pair and rivering a full house for the win.

Castle and Johnson started Day 2 play well back of the chipleaders, starting out 93rd and 95th of the 109 players making Day 2. Kamenjarin and 5th place Mike Shin were the only two players who started Day 2 in the top-10 in chips to make the final table.

Michael Schlegel finished 4th while Tony Aldridge - in his first-ever tournament of any type - took 6th. Other notables who cashed in the 624-entry Main Event was Michael Wang (23rd), Robert Geith (25th), Jason Dewitt (27th), Michael Esquivel (40th), Reginald 'Shawn' Roberts (44th), Jason Ramos (48th), Al Hencheck (56th), Ben Ponzio (58th) Garrett Riley (60th) and Aaron Massey (62nd).

Among those who came to play the main event but did not cash was Keven Stammen, Ralph Massey, Craig Casino, Roger Campbell, Greg Raymer, Darrell Haywood, Joe Kuether, Gary Herstein, Kevin Saul, Matt Shepsky, Sameer Al-Dbhany and Nick Davidson.

Here are all the payouts from the May 2018 HPT East Chicago Main Event.

5/10-15/18HPT Main Event
$898,560Prize Pool
63Places Paid
*= 1st placeAlso gets $3500Champs Package
1AlexZiskinVernon Hills, IL$201,391*
2MichaelKamenjarinChicago, IL$124,413
3BenCastleWest. Spgs., IL$81,540
4MichaelSchlegelBatavia, IL$56,657
5Myung 'Mike'ShinMt. Pleasant, IL$41,173
6James 'Tony'AldridgePrinceton, IN$31,954
7NielMittelmanChicago, IL$26,852
8AaronJohnsonRed Wing, MN$22,377
9BrendanShillerChicago, IL$17,901
11AhmadZughayarChicago, IL$13,784
12JoeKuetherLas Vegas, NV$13,784
13ChristopherMoonSterling Hts, MI$10,293
14DavidMcGowanChicago, IL$10,293
15ChristopherWeberChicago, IL$10,293
16GaryLiebovitzNorthbrook, IL$7,877
17CaseyBlakeleyAthens, IL$7,877
18SamiShurbajiDyer, IN$7,877
19MatthewRadcliffeWesterville, PA$5,907
20JohnSimonNaperville, IL$5,907
21KenKomberecMenomonee Falls, MI$5,907
22PerryErnestLisle, IN$5,907
23MichaelWangLivingston, NJ$5,907
24DavidWeissChicago, IL$5,907
25RobertGeithIndianapolis, IN$5,907
26CarterMyersBreckenridge, MI$5,907
27JasonDewittSan Diego, CA$5,907
28ChristopherUnderwoodMooresville, IN$4,923
29JoeHackMokena, IL$4,923
30StevenClarkWarren, MI$4,923
31AlanAqelOrland Park, IL$4,923
32FaridJattinMiami, FL$4,923
33ShivaDudaniChicago, IL$4,923
34GregoryWilsonStreamwood, IL$4,923
35PaulBianchiChicago, IL$4,923
36ToddIvensHinsdale, IL$4,923
37ArthurHarbChicago, IL$4,117
38RyanScullyAurora, IL$4,117
39DrakeBronkRoscoe, IL$4,117
40MichaelEsquivelClarendon Hts, IL$4,117
41DavidYinglingCape Girardeau, MO$4,117
42ScottBohlmanLemont, IL$4,117
43Reginald 'Shawn'RobertsOzark, MO$4,117
44DavidMcDermottFlossmoor, IL$4,117
45MarkVan KeirsbilckEdmond, OK$4,117
46AndrewMacenisDarien, IL$3,491
47StevenPedlowOrland Park, IL$3,491
48JasonRamosCarol Stream, IL$3,491
49RajDhanekulaDallas, TX$3,491
50BenGriseIndianapolis, IN$3,491
51TracyGarrettDeMotte, IN$3,491
52AlanKrockeyChicago, IL$3,491
53RIchardRosasChicago, IL$3,491
54PerryStoneBloomfield, IN$3,491
55SandeepSikandIndianapolis, IN$3,222
56AlexanderHencheckLoveland, OH$3,222
57LarryBielfussWest Allis, WI$3,222
58BenPonzioChicago, IL$3,222
59RobertKochIndianapolis, IN$3,222
60GarrettRileyQuincy, IL$3,222
61JamesMaahsChicago, IL$3,222
62AaronMasseyChicago, IL$3,222
63PeterCowlesSeattle, WA$3,222

-- Dan Ross, Hold'em Live Updates

Mike Kamenjarin - 2nd Place - $124,413

Alex Ziskin limps and Mike Kamenjarin completes. The flop comes out, and the action rapidly heats up, with bets, raises, an all in and a call.

The flop is Kc Kc Kc

Kamenjarin - Kc  qc for the ultimate top pair.

Ziskin - Kc Kc for a flopped two pair

The board runs out Kc Kc and Kamenjarin is eliminated in 2nd place, cashing for a career-best $124,413.

-- Dan Ross, Hold'em Live Updates