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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Break It Up, Folks


Day 1A Main Event players are on their final 15-minute break of the night. Play continues to the end of Level 15, the bag-n-tag taking place at about 1:45am.

Day 1B starts at 2pm - 30,000 stacks and 40-minute levels.

When play resumes, action for JW Carter (above) and friends is at

Level - 13
Blinds - 1k/2k
Antes - 300
Remaining - 42/117

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

All In, All Out, All In


Kenneth Harrington moves all in preflop for his last 20BB and is called by his challenger on his right, putting Harrington at risk.

Harrington is in a flip JJ v AQ for his tournament life.

He's on his way out the door when a Queen comes in the window.

He's back when a Jack falls on the turn, giving him a set.

Kenneth Harrington - 75,000

There was a LevelUp and a table broke as I wrote, this, so action is now at

Level - 12
Blinds - 800/1600
Antes - 200
Entries - 45/117

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Our Best to Sebesta


The current leader in the @HPTPoker Player of the Year Race - Ed Sebesta - is away from poker due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Sebesta lives in the Houston metropolitan area and is dealing with the unbelievable storms that have hit the region in the last week.

Our best to Ed and to all the residents of that region as they deal with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey.

Level - 11
Blinds - 600/1200
Antes - 200
Remaining - 48/117

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

But Jack Gets His Chips Back


It took two orbits, but Jack Torcolese got all his chips back from Stephen Lee - along with the balance of Lee's stack as well - a few minutes in to Level 11.

Yeah, I missed the hand, I only saw the chips being pushed Jack's way....

Jack Torcolese - 100,000

Level - 11
Blinds - 600/1200
Antes - 200
Remaining - 48/117

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Jack's Aces Go Bad


Jack Torcolese probably didn't mind the 2-3-5 flop, and still felt fine with the Ace on the turn. When a 4 fell on the river, well, so much for feeling fine.

Then there was the fact Stephen Lee moved all-in, and suddenly the Pocket Aces of Torcolese didn't seem that good at all, as they had been corrupted by the board Going Wheel.

Torcolese made the call, and saw Lee turn over Sixes, a 6-high straight and Torcolese's Aces were cracked.

Jack Torcolese - 65,000
Stephen Lee - 39,000

Level - 10
Blinds - 500/1k
Antes - 100
Entries - 63

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

117 for Day 1A


Registration has closed on the first of three @HPTPoker @AmeristarEC flights in the $1650 Main Event and the board shows a total of 117 entries.

63 players returned from dinner to play six more 40-minute levels, or when down to 18 players - 15 percent of the starting field - whatever comes first.

Day 1B goes tomorrow at 2pm, with Saturday's Day 1C starting an hour earlier at 1pm.

Level - 10
Blinds - 500/1k
Antes - 100
Remaining - 63/117

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Level 9 Chipcounts


Players are getting ready to head off on dinner break, so I thought I'd grab some chipcounts early and try to bet the rush to the buffet.

160,000 - Fabi Hamadi
130,000 - Ed Ochana
124,000 - Jacob Baumgartner
110,000 - Rob Richmond
105,000 - Greg Raymer
96,000 - JW Carter
83,000 - Judge Leo Boothe
82,000 - Shane Slovick
80,000 - Paul Fisher
60,000 - Mark Geith
58,000 - Nick Jivkov
55,000 - Jack Torcolese
55,000 - Greg Baird
42,000 - Brad Sailor
42,000 - Jeff Grimes
32,000 - Roger Campbell
31,000 - David McGowan
28,000 - Ryan Gregor
28,000 - Joe Elpayaa
27,000 - Casey Carroll
19,000 - Mike VanderWoude

Level - 9
Blinds - 400/800
Antes - 100
Entries - 115

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Was it the Hat?


The flop didn't look all that scary, neither did the initial bet, but when Jeff Grimes (above) 3-bet, his challenger went away pretty fast.

It was either the hat, or me walking up ... I vote on it being the hat ...

Jeff Grimes - 37,000

Level - 8
Blinds - 300/600
Antes - 75
Entries - 114

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

A New 6-Figure Stack


Jacob Baumgartner has run very well here at @AmeristarEC in the last two $1650 HPT Main Events. He was 4th in January for a $53k cash, and 22nd in May.

While his first entry today did not produce positive results, he quickly doubled on his second entry, and just doubled again to move to 145,000.

Level - 8
Blinds - 300/600
Antes - 75
Entries - 112

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Raymer KO's Kamenjarin


A 4-way limped pot is nothing to write home about, but the action ramped up fast once there was a flop over at Table 7.

Kc Kc Kc was the flop, there was a bet, a raise from Greg Raymer, another raise, a 5-bet-shove from Michael Kamenjarin once the action reached him, and Raymer wa sthe one to call to put Kamenjarin at risk.

Raymer's set of Fives was up against the Kc Kc top pair and second-nut-flush draw of Kamenjarin on the final hand before break.

No hearts on the turn or river and Raymer moved to 65,000.

(Hand reporting from sideline reporter Greg Raymer)

Level - 7
Blinds - 250/500
Antes - 50
Entries - 112

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Ochana Chipping Up


2013 @HPTPoker East Chicago champ Edward Ochana has better than a 4x stack after 6 levels of play today. Ochana - who defeated Aaron Massey heads up at Majestic Star in 2013 for his HPT title - eliminated Jason Baumgartner and another challenger on a single hand, en route to amassing 127,000 so far.

Level - 7
Blinds - 250/500
Antes - 50
Entries - 110

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Carter Gets VanderWoude


JW Carter had quite a run at @AmeristarVI, winning the opening event - earning the inaugural HPT Champion Belt - and making the Main Event final table and taking 4th place.

Carter was struggling early here in Day 1A, but just reversed his fortunes with a knockout of Mike VanderWoude right before break to get up to 40,000.

Level - 7
Blinds - 250/500
Antes - 50
Entries - 107

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Casino Gets Some Back


There's an open to 1,000, a call and Craig Casino (above) also calls.

The flop comes out Kc Kc Kc, the original raiser checks, a bet to 2,000 and Casino moves in for his last 8,625.

Both players find a fold, with the original bettor announcing he laid down 99.

Casino just grinned and raked in the chips.

Players are now on their second 15-minute break. When play resumes, action is at

Level - 7
Blinds - 250/500
Antes - 50
Entries - 107

Dan Ross - Hold'em live Updates

Level 5 Chipleaders


There's a huge gap between first and the rest of the field here with 5 levels down in Day 1A of the HPT $1650 Main Event at Ameristar Easy Chicago. Here are chipcounts from around the room

154,000 - David McGowan
87,000 - Nick Jivkov
81,000 - Rob Richmond
66,000 - Mark Geith
61,000 - Dan Loizzo 
58,000 - Judge Leo Boothe
56,000 - Mike VanderWoude
48,000 - Paul Fisher
47,000 - Shane Slovick
37,000 - Brad Sailor
36,000 - Ravi Raghavan
32,000 - Ryan Gregor 
31,000 - Mike Kamenjarin
30,000 - Roger Campbell
28,000 - Henry Zou
28,000 - Jeff Grimes
27,000 - Greg Raymer
22,000 - Joe Elpayaa
19,000 - Kevin Saul
14,000 - Craig Casino
13,000 - Jacob Baumgartner
11,000 - JW Carter
10,000 - Greg Baird

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Another KO at Table 5


The Table of Bustouts claims another.

Robert Castoire is all in with A9 on a Kc Kc x flop, with David McGowan (above) calling with Kc
Kc and a boatload more chips than Castoire.

The turn is Kc to complete the flush, with Castoire needing an Ace or 9 for a boat. He misses and is out here in Level 5, while McGown moves to 154,000.

Level - 5
Blinds - 150/300
Antes - 25
Entries - 101

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

And Away They Go


Aces twice in one orbit for Joe Elpayaa. He doubles the first time, holding against a King-high flush draw.

He's ahead of the AK of Brad Sailor on a King-high flop this time ... but there's another King on the turn, and Elpayaa is back to about 22,000. Sailor moves to 37,000.

Level - 5
Blinds - 150/300
Antes - 25
Entries - 100

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Make it 100 to Go


Just a few minutes in to Level 5 and the board shows triple digits for Joe Elpayaa and friends in the first of four starting flights in the $1650 Ameristar East Chicago Main Event.

Elpayaa just doubled, calling off his last 17,550 with Aces and holding against a King-high flush draw from his challenger.

Level - 5
Blinds - 150/300
Antes - 25
Entries - 100

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

The Story Gets Better


OK, we already know Rob Richmond more than doubled with AA > KK > KJ back in Level 3, but there's More to the Story.

Let's start with  ...

Part A - and me mis-identifying Richmond .when the blog first posted.
Part B - Richmond busted the $375 satellite 5 players from earning a Main Event seat.
Part C - he went in to the main casino and hit a promotional Blackjack hand for more than the $1650 Main Event buyin.
Part D - AA > KK > KJ was the FIRST hand he played today.

#EasyGame

Level - 4
Blinds - 100/200
Antes - 25
Entries 99

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Aces Are a Poker Player's Best Friend


There's good times to pick up Aces, and then there's the time you get Aces AND get your chips in the middle preflop with two callers. That just happened over at Table 3.

Rob Richmond (above) - AA
Ryan Gregor - KK
James Calkins - KJ

There's an Ace in the window, along with a Ten on the flop so Calkins - the short stack of the three - has a gutterball Broadway draw .. but it misses on the turn and river.

Calkins is eliminated on the hand and Gregor ships just shy of 30,000 over to Richmond.

Gregor doubled earlier so he still has about 45,000 as Level 3 comes ot an end and players head out on their first 15-minute break of the day.

When play resumes, action is at

Level - 4
Blinds - 100/200
Antes - 25
Entries - 90

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Adding to the Field


May 2016 @HPTPoker @AmeristarEC Champ @KCCarroll10 joins the Day 1A field, along with Nick Jivkov, Judge Leo Boothe, Tyler Reiman and Joe Elpayaa.

Level - 3
Blinds - 100/200
Entries - 84

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Speaking of Tables to Fear


Table 8 in @HPTPoker @AmreistarEC Day 1A is ridiculously tough, with a number of major titles and 6-figure (7-figure, too) cashes on the respective player resumes. Among the players is ...

Kevin Saul - $3.3 milly in earnings, including a runner-up here last September, with his biggest cash a $1.3 milly WPT title

Edward Ochana - $1.9 milly in earnings, a 2013 HPT East Chicago title, a CPC title and runner-up ... and many more top-finishes.

Roger Campbell - former HPT St. Louis champ.

Michael VanderWoude - 3rd here in 2014.

Jacob Baumgartner - 4th here last January.

Paul Fisher - 5th at WPT Choctaw last month for $150k.

JW Carter - winner of one event and also made final table at HPT Vicksburg two weeks ago.

Level - 3
Blinds - 100/200
Entries - 82

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Beware of Table 5


Shane Slovick (above) and David McGown (below) already have 2x stacks over at table 5, as three players have been knocked out from that table in less than an hour of Day 1A play. So, if you are al late-reg or a rebuy, you might want to avoid that table to get your day started. Then again, it DOES have more chips on it ...


There was a LevelUp as I was writing this up, so action is now at

Level - 3
Blinds - 100/200
Entries - 81

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

74 Through 1


Greg @FossilMan Raymer joins the @HPTPoker @AmeristarEC Day 1A Main Event field as Level 2 kicks off with 74 total entries in the field so far.

Registration is open to the start of Level 10, right after the hour-long dinner break at about 9:30pm.

Level - 2
Blinds - 75/150
Entries - 74

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

And They're Off


@RyanGregorKC, reigning @HPTPoker Player of the Year, is among those here for the start of Day 1A play in the $1650 Ameristar Easy Chicago Main Event.

Joining Gregor as cards get in the air is Roger Campbell, Dan Loizzo, Craig Casino, Robert Castoire, Greg Baird, Henry Zou, Jeff Grimes, Michael Kamenjarin, Mike VanderWoude and Mark Geith

Level - 1
Blinds - 50/100
Entries - 57

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Get Your Main Event On


Some of the largest prize pools each year for @HPTPoker Main Events come from the stop at Ameristar East Chicago.

Time for you to get your share of this prize pool, as Day 1A of the $1650 Main Event kicks off today at 2pm.

There's 30,000 starting stacks, 40-minute levels for Day 1 play. Registration is open until the start of Level 10 - the end of dinner break - at about 9:30pm.

Check the Main Event Structure sheet in the tab above for all the details.

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Monday, August 28, 2017

AND THE WINNER IS...


After 12 grueling hours of poker play, Mark Owens and Artem Markov agree to chop the remaining prize pool.


With the commanding chip lead, Owens agrees to take 1st place and $50,000 in prize money with the remainder going to Markov.  This is Owens' 5th and largest HPT cash.


Markov takes 2nd place and prize money totaling $43,874.  This is his biggest recorded cash and his first win in an HPT event.


Jessica Parente - Hold'em Live Updates

Kirk Stowell Finishes 3rd - $27,005


In an unusual hand between Kirk Stowell and Artem Markov, Stowell raises to 1,800,000 pre-flop and Markov announces "call" and turns up his hand, showing Kc Kc.  Stowell follows Markov's move and also turns his hand face up, showing Kc Kc.

Flop:  Kc Kc Kc

Despite the fact that the players are playing the hand with their hole cards face up, Stowell is first to act and goes all-in for the rest of his chips.  Markov makes the call.

Turn:  Kc

River:  Kc

Stowell finishes in 3rd place for $27,005.  This is his second recorded live tournament cash, his other being a 33rd place finish in the HPT Main Event in Mount Pleasant in May 2011.

Blinds - 80k/160k
Antes - 20k
Remaining - 2

Jessica Parente - Hold'em Live Updates