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Saturday, September 30, 2017


Players are retuning from their final 15-minute break of the night. Dan Loizzo, Shawn Roberts, Grant Hinkle, Chan Pelton, Greg Radosh, Matt Donaldson, Cody Brinn, Josh Turner, Jeffrey Landherr, Nick Davidson, Ed Sebesta and Don Havener are among those #BagHunting with 3 full 40-minute levels in Day 1C.

Level - 13
Blinds - 1k/2k
Antes - 300
Entries - 63/172

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

$110,386 to HPTPoker @AmeristarSC Champ

With 338 total entries, the HPT $1650 Main Event at Ameristar St. Charles is paying $110,391 to the champion - and a bracelet like the one above.

Here are the payouts available to the 36 players who are going to finish in the money.

$1650 Main Event
338 Entries
$479,960 Prize Pool
36 Places Paid


Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Level 11's 6-Figure Club

Last November's HPT St. Charles champ Matt Donaldson leads the pack midway through Level 11 of Day 1C. Here are the players with stacks of 100k or more. (If I missed you, tweet your stack to @HPTupdates)


Level - 11
Blinds - 600/1200
Antes - 200
Entries - 81/172

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

He Turned It

I showed up with almost all the action complete .. 58,000 in the pot, a 20,000 bet from Mike Budde on a Kc KcKc Kc Kc board and action on Grant Hinkle.

A few quizzical looks, and out came four of the tan 5k chips.

Budde turned over Kc Kc, open-ended on the flop and he got there on the turn - no bonus for a 6-card straight here, folks.

Mike Budde - 137,000
Grant Hinkle - 34,000

Level - 10
Blinds - 500/1k
Antes - 100
Remaining - 90/172

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

338 For Main Event

Registration is now closed on the third and final starting flight in the @HPTPoker $1650 @AmeristarSC Main Event and the board shows 172 entries today.

Combine this with the 166 entries from the first two flights and the total reaches 338.

This - unofficially - creates a prize pool of $479,960.

Stay tuned for the official numbers and the full #PayTable shortly.

Level - 10
Blinds - 500/1k
Antes - 100
Entries - 172

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Registration Closes in an Hour

Players in Day 1C of the @HPTPoker $1650 Main Event @AmeristarSC are off for their hour-long dinner break (and so is the live reporting team).

Registration and the unlimited re-entry period for this flight closes when cards go back in the air to start Level 10 at about 8:30pm.

We'll be back after 8:30 with the final Main Event field size, prize pool, player chipcounts and more ... but for now ...

When play resumes post-dinner (avoid the food coma), action is going to be at

Level - 10
Blinds - 500/1k
Antes - 100
Entries - at least 167

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

1 2 Food

Catch some of the remaining College Football games on your hour-long break starting at 7:30pm by heading over to AmeriSports Bar and Grill inside Ameristar St. Charles.

Players are in their final level of the day before dinner, counting down to good food at AmeriSports, Bugatti's, Pearl's, Landmark Buffet, Asia, Fifth Street Deli ....

Click on the restaurant names and check

Level - 9
Blinds - 400/800
Antes - 100
Entries - 167

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Donaldson Gets One

The flop is Queen-high, there's a shove and Matt Donaldson snap-calls, turning over one of the two available overpairs, showing pocket Kings.

His challenger flips over pocket Eights, there's no eight on the turn or river and Donaldson - who won here last November for a $132,917 score - moves to 86,000.

Level - 8
Blinds - 300/600
Antes - 75

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Sun Eclipses One

Pocket Aces hold for Zhongliu Sun, eliminating his challenger on a Q-3-3-x-x board and moving Sun up to 75,000.

Level - 8
Blinds - 300/600
Antes - 75
Entries Today - 162
Total Entries So Far - 328
Prize Pool - $465k

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates


There's an open to 2,200 from Stephen Lee, a call from Nick Davidson on the button, then a raise to 6k from Sameer Al-Dbhany in the BB - or was it?

The board is Kc Kc Kc and floor is called as Al-Dbhany explains he thought he grabbed calling chips and had a 5k chip in there instead.

"I'm ok with whatever (the ruling) is," he tells JessTheTD.

The ruling is a raise, Lee calls and Davidson folds.

Kc hits the turn, Al-Dbhany moves all in and Lee looks upset, and he finds a fold.

Al-Dbhany shows Kc for two pair and rakes in the chips.

Sameer Al-Dbhany - 55,000

Level - 7
Blinds - 250/500
Antes - 50
Entries - 159

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Level 6 Chipcounts

Day 1C @HPTPoker @AmeristarSC players are on their second 15-minute break of the day. here are chipcounts for Ryan Tepen and others ...


When play resumes, action is at

Level - 7
Blinds - 250/500
Antes - 50
Entries - 155

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Ed Hits 100

Ed Sebesta - currently 2nd in the @HPTPoker Season XIII Player of the Year Race - is the latest palyer to reach 6-figures.

Sebesta - with a 3rd, 4th and 7th already this season - is up to 105,000 as level 6 gets moving.

Level - 6
Blinds - 200/400
Antes - 50
Entries - 154

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

I'd Be Afraid to Bet a Set Today

I'm losing track of how many horror stories I've heard in the first 5 levels here today of players flopping sets and losing most - if not all - of their chips on boards that sure don't look all that scary to begin with.

Sure, there's been ones where there were draws that connected, but set-over-set-and-to-the-rail seems to be the theme of the day here.

Top Set is not immune, either, having seen that fall to rivered quads.

If set you have, beware you will.

Level - 5
Blinds - 150/300
Antes - 50
Entries - 148

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Castle Down

Ben Castle's chips go in the middle with pocket Kings on a 7-8-9 board, only to run in to 5-6 and Castle - winner of the 6-Max here earlier in the week - is eliminated early in Level 5 of the Main Event.

Castle's 6-max winner's photo didn't get published on the blog, so despite his knockout, we'll showcase that photo now ..

Level - 5
Blinds - 150/300
Antes - 50
Entries - 142

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

First 100k Stack

Straight-over-set-over-set, with Jeffrey Landherr as the beneficiary and he moves to 105,000 - the first player to six figures in Day 1C of the Ameristar St. Charles Main Event.

Landherr was runner-up here in the Apri HPT Main Event, and also runner-up in January 2016 at the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Choctaw.

Level - 4
Blinds - 100/200
Antes - 25
Entries So Far - 141
Total Entries So Far - 307
Prize Pool - ~$436k

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Sets Alive

Scott Vedder took a rough hit back in Level 2 when he flopped bottom set on an A-4-2 flop, only to have his challenger flop middle set.

Down to fewer than 10,000 chips here in Level 3, Vedder moves all in on the Q-4-3-2 board, and Greg Jennings calls, tunring over 2-3 for #BottomTwo.

Vedder, however, has a set of Threes and they hold this time as the river is a King.

Level - 3
Blinds - 100/200
Entries - 124

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

More than $400,000

Two Day 1C @HPTPoker @AmeristarSC levels are in the books and the board shows 118 entries so far today - pushing the prize pool to more than $400,000 with 6 more hours of registration today.

Flights A and B combined for 166 entries, with 26 players advancing from those flights.

Registration and unlimited re-entries today is available through the dinner break, up to the start of Level 10 at 8:30pm.

Level - 3
Blinds - 100/200
Entries - 122

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Loading Up

Players are pouring in steadily as Level 2 gets moving. Among those now seated for Day 1C is Ed Sebesta, Dan Loizzo, Grant Hinkle (above), Jason Brin, Bryan Skreens, Jason Darland, Ben Castle, Jerry Siemienas, Ryan Tepen, Ross Guthrie, Mike Rieck, Vijay Natarajan and Craig Welko.

Level - 2
Blinds - 75/150
Entries - 114

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Scary Out There Today

There was already a set-over-set elimination in the first orbit of Level 1, I've seen two more set-over-set clashes, and one player flopped top set against bottom set, only to be eliminated by quads on the river.

Watch your step out there, folks, the waters be a wee bit treacherous.

Level - 2
Blinds - 75/150
Entries - 111 Today
Total Entries So Far - 278
Prize Pool = $393k

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

The Champs Keep On Arriving

Many @HPTPoker Main Events around the country have former champions come out to play, but it sure seems like there's been a ton of them here at Ameristar St. Charles this weekend.

Already in today's field is Gary Herstein (This month at East Chicago) 3-time champ Shawn Roberts, Bruce Hugon (Dec. 2016 Belterra), Greg Jennings (Aug. 2015 KC), Greg Radosh (May 2016 here), Nick Davidson (Sept. 2016 East Chicago) and Sameer Al-Dbhany (March 2016 Belterra).

Craig Casino, Mike Puccio, Roger Campbell, Michael Hahn and Jay Friedman already bagged in the earlier flights.

Level - 2
Blinds - 75/150
Entries - 105 today
Total So Far - 271
Prize Pool so far - $384k

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Straight Flush Good

There's already been quite a bit of action early in Level 1, but nothing like what just took place over at Table 45.

The board is a pretty scary Kc Kc Kc Kc Kc.

Si Vu lead out, Matt Downs shoved and Vu called off the rest of his stack.

Vu shows, Kc Kc, he flopped trips and rivered a straight.

, however, flips over Kc Kc for a flopped top pair that went runner-runner straight flush.

We have a chipleader ..

Level - 1
Blinds - 25/50
Entries - 84

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Oh Say Can You 1C

@HPTJeremy just started the final flight in @HPTPoker's $1650 @AmeristarSC Main Event. Players have 30,000 stacks and play 40-minute levels all day long.

There are 15-minute breaks every two hours and a hour-long dinner break at 7:30pm - the end of Level 9 - with registration and unlimited re-entries closing at the stat of Level 10 (~8:30pm).

Players who still have chips after 15 levels tonight (12:45am), bag up those chippies and come back Sunday at 1pm - joining 26 others who have already advanced - and play down to the final table.

The last nine players return Monday at noon for a LiveStream Final Table.

Level - 1
Blinds - 50/100
Entries - 68

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Casino Bags Top Day 1B Stack

In a flight that featured its share of tough exits and an end where few players hit the rail in the final 3 levels, it was HPT's All-Time Money Leader Craig Casino running it up to the top stack by the time Day 1B was over.

Casino increased his stack 3x from Level 13 to the close, finishing at 390,000 and the overall #TopStack after two of the three starting flights in this $1650 Main Event.

Saturday's Day 1C starts at 1pm, one hour earlier than today.

Here are the 2x players - from a starting field of 109, advancing to Sunday's Day 2.


Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

5 More Hands

LuisTheTD has stopped the play clock with minutes remaining and announced there's 5 more hands to play in Day 1B of the Main Event.

We'll be back right here in about 25 minutes with full chipcounts for the Day 1B survivors.

Level - 15
Blinds - 1500/3k
Antes - 400
Entries - 28/109

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Champs Bringing it Home

Former @HPTPoker Main Event Champions Mike Puccio (left) and Jay Friedman (right) are among the 29 players grinding their way through 40 more minutes while #BagHunting to try and move on to Sunday's Day 2.

Level - 15
Blinds - 1500/3k
Antes - 400
Entries - 29/109

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Carter Wants Bracelet to go with Belt

J. W. Carter won the belt you see pictured above by taking down Event 1 at HPT Vicksburg at the end of July, the $250 Monster Stack. He's up to 120,000 here late in Level 14 of Day 1B in the St. Charles Main Event, looking to add a Championship Bracelet to his collection.

Carter finished 4th in the Vicksburg Main Event to go along with the Event 1 victory. He earned $11,898 for the 4th place finish, $29 more than the Event 1 cash.

Level - 14
Blinds - 1200/2400
Antes - 300
Remaining - 29/109

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates

Champ KO's Champ

I showed up to see a postflop bet of 8,500 in front of Craig Casino and a raise to 20,000 from Gary Herstein in a battle of former HPT champs over at table 44.

The board was Kc Kc Kc.

Casino announced all in and Herstein called off his stack.

Casino showed Kc Kc for bottom pair, a gutshot straight draw to an 8 and a backdoor straight flush draw.

Herstein showed Kc Kc for a flush draw with a gutter to the other 8's in the deck for a better straight than Casino was drawing to.

The turn Kc added three more Queens to the boatload of outs Herstein had (20), but the river was  Kc and Champ eliminated Champ here early in Level 14.

Casino had doubled through Scott Sisler a few orbits earlier and now is at 234,000. the NO.2 stack in the room with 30 players left in Day 1B

Level - 14
Blinds - 1200/2400
Antes - 300
Entries - 30/109

Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates