Monday, August 12, 2019

Saleh Comes Out on Top in Vicksburg

See below for a full recap of the recent HPT event at Ameristar Vicskburg from PokerNews' Brandon Temple:

Yousef Saleh outlasted a field of 146 runners to become the champion of HPT Ameristar Vicksburg $1,100 Main Event, good for $36,895 and a $3,500 HPT Season XV Championship package. The vast majority of Saleh's $89,576 in Hendon Mob reported tournament earnings have been accrued all in 2019, and this latest bounty pushes him above the six-figure mark in lifetime earnings.
Saleh, who already picked up a mid-major title earlier in the year when he took down the RunGood Poker Series Tunica Main Event in March, kept his aggressive style of play on full display for the duration of the final table, constantly putting maximum pressure on his foes with his huge chip stack. It seemed like the few times that anyone would play back at Saleh, he would wake up with a monster, a plan that Saleh said he had in motion before the day even began.
"That was my plan; if you stay on top, you stay on top the whole way," Saleh told HPT's Tournament Director Jeremy Smith after his victory. "Everybody thinks I'm lucky; you need luck, I know that. I folded a lot of good hands, I played my spots where I had it."
Saleh, who went wire-to-wire as he held the chip lead for the entirety of the final table, had a premonition that he was going to win this tournament before he even arrived, "I've been saying this before I come here; my sister's wedding is Wednesday. If i win this, I'm going to the wedding. It's in Jordan, so, I might be on the airplane tomorrow." As for his newfound windfall, Saleh said simply, "Poker money stays poker money, I play tournaments all over; I played in the Main Event in Vegas, cashed in it for the first time. I was proud." Now Saleh has his first HPT Main Event title to add to the growing list of accolades in his poker career.
JW Carter's stay at the final table lasted exactly one hand, as his flopped two pair were no match for the flopped straight of Judge Leo Boothe, sending him home in ninth place. The defending HPT Ameristar Vicksburg Main Event champ BJ McBrayer ground a short stack for two hours, but never was able to gain any ground, and finally succumbed in eighth place when he lost a flip to Sley Sanchez.
Another flip would spell the end of Boothe's run in seventh place, as his ace-ten couldn't catch up to the pocket fives of Saleh, and Kip Jones followed Boothe out the door in sixth a short time later, when his ace-deuce was outkicked by the ace-nine of Shomari Williams. Sanchez fell victim to a bad beat one level later, when his pocket tens were bested by CT Hoffecker's ace-nine, when Hoffecker managed to make nines-full, and Sanchez was ousted one hand later.
Williams would be next to fall, his king-queen failing to improve against the ace-jack of Jaron Bailey. Bailey then took out Hoffecker one level later, leaving Bailey and Saleh separated by just a few big blinds at the start of heads up action. As had been the case for most of the day, however, Saleh turned up the heat and ground Bailey down to just under twelve big blinds before the final hand of the tournament commenced.
Bailey found himself all in and at risk with queen-three with a queen-king-five-ace board on the felt, but Saleh, as had been the case the majority of the day, had the best of it with his king-four. The ten of clubs on the river was a brick for Bailey, and Saleh secured the victory.
"On the first day, we said we were gonna be together at the final table, and here we are!" Saleh told Bailey moments after the river fell to seal Saleh's victory, and the two shared a handshake and were in good spirits after a hard-fought heads up battle.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Final Table Set in Vicksburg

The final table is set at Ameristar Vicksburg. See below for a recap from PokerNews' Brandon Temple. Head to for more information.
A whirlwind Day 2 here at the HPT Ameristar Vicksburg $1,100 Main Event saw a starting field of twenty-one players, from the original 146 entrants that began the tournament, zip down to the final table of nine in just under three hours time. Yousef Saleh will return for tomorrow's Day 3 as the chip leader, bagging up 1,020,000. Saleh, who started the day fifth in chips, started his day off by busting inaugural HPT Ameristar Vicksburg champ Jay Bishop by winning a flip.
The pot that helped catapult him to the top of the counts came when he flopped a jack-high flush on Jimbo Hughes, who had flopped an eight-flush of his own. Hughes couldn't escape, and Saleh took over as chip leader from that point all the way through the end of the day.
Second in chips is Jaron Bailey (806,000), who managed to hit quads twice in a three-hour period to help propel him up the counts in a hurry. Start of Day 2 chip leader Sley Sanchez (604,000) held steady through the day to secure third-place going into the final table.
Joining them at the final table are CT Hoffecker (546,000), Kip Jones (322,000), Shomari Williams (309,000), Judge Leo Boothe (281,000), and JW Carter (255,000), while defending champ BJ McBrayer (234,000) also managed to make it to the final day, but he'll have his work cut out for him as he starts the day as the short stack.
Three players were unfortunate enough to walk away short of a cash after making it to Day 2, and Chad ChisolmJoseph Imarata, and bubble boy Doug Segers were the trio to leave without a payday. Once the bubble burst, a flurry of eliminations followed, including Sam Ho (10th - $3,280), Nolan Burton (11th - $3,280), Wyatt Boothe (12th - $3,280), Hannah Guthrie (13th - $2,579), Jimbo Hughes (14th - $2,579), Morgan McBrayer (15th - $2,597), Jason Riesenberg(16th - $2,187), Corey Harrison (17th - $2,187), and Jay Bishop (18th - $2,187).
Play will resume Monday at Noon local time upstairs with 28:00 remaining in Level 19 (5,000/10,000/10,000) and the final table will be live-streamed and televised. Come back to PokerNews for live updates and be sure to visit HPT’s Twitch channel to watch all the action unfold in real-time as a champion is crowned and presented with the HPT trophy along with a first-place prize of $36,895 and a $3,500 Championship package.
Here's a look at where the final nine stand headed into tomorrow's final table:
Kip Jones - 322,000
Shomari Williams - 309,000
BJ McBrayer - 234,000
Jaron Bailey - 806,000
Yousef Saleh - 1,020,000
CT Hoffecker - 546,000
Judge Leo Boothe - 281,000
Sley Sanchez - 604,000
JW Carter - 255,000

Sanchez Tops List of Players Headed to Day 2 in Vicksburg

Head to to keep up with the action for this HPT Main Event from Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Day 1b of the HPT Ameristar Vicksburg $1,100 Main Event saw 90 entrants battle it out to attempt and advance to Day 2 along with the ten players that made it through on Day 1a. After fifteen levels of play, Sley Sanchez managed to bag up 652,000, almost 300k more than his closest competitor, to take the overall chip lead into Day 2.
Sanchez started building a stack early in the day, as he managed to double up his 30,000 starting stack in the first few levels. Sanchez then dropped down to under starting stack just before registration closed, but a double KO in Level 10 helped propel him back up the counts. Sanchez then went on a tear through the final few levels, closing out his night by taking the last of David Lee's chips to seal up his chip-leading stack.
Hannah Guthrie (380,000) and Yousef Saleh (315,000) were the only other players to crest 300k, while Jason Riesenberg(296,000) and CT Hoffecker (256,000) round out the top five. The rest of the advancing field includes Kip Jones (227,000), Corey Harrison (198,000), Jaron Bailey (116,000), Shomari Williams (115,000), Morgan McBrayer (74,000) and Nolan Burton (72,000).
Phil Gilreath and John Cressend fought valiantly through the day, but were knocked out in the final seven hands of the evening to leave us with eleven players returning from the Day 1b flight. Others unfortunate enough to fail to advance to Day 2 include Dustin StewartMarco MoranDavid BrooksArthur HollowayGavin MunroeJared InglesRebecca CampbellHarinder ChawlaLarry WhiteTara Snow and Henry Friedler.
The remaining 21 players will return at Noon on Sunday, August 11th, to play down to the televised Final Table of nine. Action will start at Level 16 (2,000/5,000/5,000) and levels will continue to be forty minutes in length. The final eighteen players will make the money, with the following payouts:

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Day 1B Underway at Ameristar Vicksburg

Follow tournament action from Mississippi all weekend long at
Season XV of the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) continues rolling along today here at the Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The $1,100 buy-in Main Event kicks off today with Day 1b, the second of two starting flights, at Noon local time.
Yesterday in the Day 1a flight, 56 entrants were whittled down to ten after fifteen full levels of play. James Hughes (333,000) and inaugrual HPT Ameristar Vicksburg champ Jay Bishop (326,000) were the only players to bag over 300k, while the defending champ BJ McBrayer (111,000) was able to ensure his title defense will extend on to Day 2.
Others that found a bag include Judge Leo Boothe (279,000) and his son, Wyatt Boothe (86,000), Doug Segers (148,000), Sam Ho (141,000), JW Carter (116,000), Joseph Imarata (98,000), and Chad Chisolm(43,000).
Today's Day 1b flight kicks off at Noon. Players will start with 30,000 in tournament chips, with blinds beginning at 100/100, while big blind ante starts at Level 4. Levels last 40 minutes on Day 1's and Day 2, then extend to 60 minutes on Day 3, until heads-up play is reached, at which point they revert back to 30 minutes in length. Registration and unlimited re-entry is available for players up until the beginning of Level 10 (approximately 7:30 p.m.) and all players that manage to move on to Day 2 will return at Noon on Sunday to play down to the final table of nine. Play will conclude after 15 levels of play or 13% of the field remains, whichever comes first.
“HPT is excited to have PokerNews providing additional event coverage in 2019,” said Korey Stewart, HPT Marketing Manager. “Season XV is shaping up to be another record-breaking year for the tour. We’ve already added several new venues to the schedule and we’re hoping to announce a few more new additions soon. There will be plenty of opportunities for poker enthusiasts across the country to take a shot at winning life-changing money at nationally televised final tables. We’re looking forward to having an industry leader like PokerNews there to report on it every step of the way.”
PokerNews will be here all weekend long catching all the action straight from the tournament floor, so be sure to stay tuned as the action gets underway here for the final Day 1 flight at Ameristar Vicksburg!

Hughes Narrowly Bags Lead for 1A at Ameristar Vicksburg

Follow along with this tournament all weekend long with reporting from PokerNews' Brandon Temple at
Day 1a of the HPT Ameristar Vicksburg $1,100 Main Event saw 56 entrants hit the felt in search of a Day 2 bag, and when the dust settled, just ten were able to make it through, with James Hughes and his 333,000 stack leading the way, narrowly eclipsing inaugural HPT Ameristar Vicksburg champ Jay Bishop and his 326,000 stack. Judge Leo Boothe was the only other player to eclipse 200,000, finishing the night with 279,000 to end the night in third-place overall, while his son Wyatt Boothe also managed to find a bag, putting 86,000 away for Day 2.
Headlining the remaining field is defending HPT Ameristar Vicksburg champ BJ McBrayer (111,000), who survived an up and down day to return to defend his title. The rest of the field includes Doug Segers (148,000), Sam Ho (141,000), JW Carter (116,000), Joseph Imarata (98,000), and Chad Chisolm (43,000).
An early storyline was the meteoric rise of Sam Cittadino, who was playing in today’s Day 1a flight after winning a cash game promotion at Hollywood Gulf Coast Casino that earned him a Main Event seat. Cittadino saw his stack grow to 150,000 in the first few levels, but just as quickly as he amassed his stack, he found himself on the rail just before the dinner break, losing the majority of his stack to Elbert “Cincinnati” Campbell.
Campbell was unable to hold on to those chips, falling just before the end of the night. Other players that were unable to secure a Day 2 bag include Corey HarrisonShomari WilliamsJared InglesRay AlbrittonAlton PetersonCT HoffeckerMichael MonaghanWilliam HendrixJessie Baldwin, and Rhonda Hart.
Those players, along with any newcomers, will have one more flight in which they can attempt to advance to Day 2, during tomorrow’s Day 1b flight at Noon. All players that manage to make their way to Day 2 will return on Sunday, August 11th at Noon to play down to the televised Final Table of nine. Monday, August 12th will see the final nine return at Noon and play down to a winner.

Click HERE for a full list of Day 1A chip counts.
Be sure to tune in right here to PokerNews for continuing coverage of the HPT Ameristar Vicksburg $1,100 Main Event!

Friday, August 9, 2019


The first of two flights at Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg kicks off this afternoon at 2:00pm. This nationally televised Main Event features an $1,100 buy-in. PokerNews will provide beginning to end coverage of this tournament all weekend long at

This is a big blind ante tournament where players start with 30,000 chips and blinds are 40 minutes each. Late registration will be available until the start of Level 10 which will come at approximately 9:30pm this evening. Today's field will play 15 full levels or down to 13% of the field, whichever comes first.

This series marks the eighth time that Heartland Poker Tour has visited Ameristar Vicksburg. A number of local players, such as Jay Friedman, Leo Boothe and Jay Bishop, have established themselves a force to be reckoned with each time HPT comes to town. All three of them have appeared at two HPT Main Event tables since the tour's first visit to Mississippi in 2014.

The defending champ, however, is accomplished poker pro B.J. McBrayer. Last August McBrayer topped a field of 199 entries in the Main Event to take home the $45,946 top prize. The Alabama man is expected to appear in the field this weekend to take a shot at defending his title.

Vicksburg, located on the western border of Mississippi just across the river from Louisiana, is known as the site of a key Civil War battle. The history runs deep in this small town. From the Vicksburg National Cemetery to a number of historical museums, there is plenty to see.

As a reminder, all tournament updates this weekend can be found at For a look at results so far from this Ameristar Vicksburg stop, click HERE.

Monday, August 5, 2019


Mike Shin defeats Nick Pupillo, earning the $160,632 first place prize in the @HPTpoker $500,000 Guaranteed $1,650 Main Event at @StLouisPokerHC. Pupillo takes home $98,195 as the runner-up.

Shin came in to the final table as chipleader and held that spot for much of the day. Heads-up play began with Shin holding a 10.5 million to 3.9 million lead on Pupillo. Pupillo gained some traction early in the heads-up match, but Shin regained his advantage quickly and went on to the win.

Pupillo finished 7th two weeks ago at the HPT Black Hawk $1,100 Main Event, the location where he won in February in a $1,650 HPT for a $194,478 cash. Pupillo leads the Season XV HPT Player of the Series race by a substantial margin. Shin moves to 3rd in the POY race with his win.

Pupillo's cash moves him to more than $500,000 in career HPT earnings and the No. 4 spot on the HPT All-Time Money List, just $412 shy of No. 3 Alex Greenblatt.

Tom Gabriel finished 3rd for a $65,091 cash and Austin McCormick pickup up $45,256 for his 4th-place finish. Jeff Sauer was the table’s short stack for most of the day, successfully laddering up to a 5th-place finish, cashing for $33,875.

6-handed play lasted more than 90 minutes, and while there were few big pots that made it to showdown, there were plenty of preflop 3-bets that were able to get through. Josh Turner ended up falling in 6th to Shin for a $26,190 payday.

Among the players who came out and earned a cash in the main event was Alex Hoff (13, $8,451) Cody Brinn (16, $6,495) John Richards (18, $6,495) Nick Davidson (20, $4,959) Stan Jablonski (21, $4,959) Blair Hinkle (23, $4,959) Derek Schroeder (31, $4,051) Bryan Johnson (33, $4,051) Adam Lamphere ($36, $4,051) Patrick Ray (41, $3,282) Chris Moon (43, $3,282) March 2019 champion Bill Byrnes (44, $3,282) and Craig Casino (49, $3003) earning his 36th HPT main event cash, an all-time record.

Here’s the final results.

8/1-5/19HPT St LouisMain Event$500,000 GTD
$698,400Prize Pool
54Places Paid
1MyungShinMt. Prospect, IL$160,632
2NicholasPupilloGilbert, AZ$98,195
3ThomasGabrielSan Diego, CA$65,091
4AustinMcCormickBallwin, MO$45,256
5JeffSauerSt. Louis, MO$33,872
6JoshuaTurnerLas Vegas, NV$26,190
7HalKilpatrickStilwell, KS$21,301
8RobertMitchellScottsdale, AZ$17,460
9JasonDarlandKansas City, MO$13,968
10DanielChambersLas Vegas, NV$11,314
11SimonWebsterMcKinney, TX$11,314
12RichardBlythelebanon, IL$11,314
13AlexanderHoffO'Fallon, MO$8,451
14WilliamHanerTroy, IL$8,451
15LisaMorrow-McBrideBallwin, MO$8,451
16CodyBrinnElgin, IL$6,495
17BillyMcBrayerDuncanville, AL$6,495
18JohnRichardsRoxann, IL$6,495
19StevenWarrenSpringfield, IL$4,959
20NicholasDavidsonTroy, MI$4,959
21StanJablonskiBullhead City, AZ$4,959
22CherylChoonChicago, IL$4,959
23BlairHinkleLk. Waukomis, MO$4,959
24MichaelO'NeillRoyal Oak, MI$4,959
25DavidSimonSt. Louis, MO$4,959
26FrederickDuttelLeawood, KS$4,959
27HarrySlablotnyChatham, IL$4,959
28StevenSobelO'Fallon, MO$4,051
29RyanRamsdellShawnee, KS.$4,051
30GyanGurungSt. Louis, MO$4,051
31DerekSchroederSt. Charles, MO$4,051
32JohnLongowaLake St. Louis, MO$4,051
33BryanJohnsonEdwards, CO$4,051
34JeffreySchneiderBourbon, MO$4,051
35ZacherySchneiderHarvard, IL$4,051
36AdamLamphereLansing, MI$4,051
37AlanMendezSt. Louis, MO$3,282
38GaryBlandGlenCarbon, IL$3,282
39JamesGiddenIrondale, MO$3,282
40UmutOzturkApple Valley, MN$3,282
41PatrickRaySt. Louis, MO$3,282
42StevenBezlerJacksonville, Il$3,282
43ChristopherMoonSterling Hts. MI$3,282
44WilliamBrynesWentzville, MO$3,282
45KyleWeaverManchester, MO$3,282
46AustinTjadenPeoria Hts., IL$3,003
47StephenMayfieldSt. Louis, MO$3,003
48BrianGreenLas Vegas, NV$3,003
49CraigCasinoWinfield, IL$3,003
50BorisRonkoSt. Louis, MO$3,003
51StephenGreenWentzville, MO$3,003
52BradleyBeetzO'Fallon, MO$3,003
53RobertClarkFenton, MO$3,003
54StevenDillFenton, MO$3,003

-- Dan Ross, Hold'em Media


@Mike444s Shin moves all in preflop and @NickPupillo54 calls off his stack, heads-up for the @HPTpoker $500,000 Guaranteed $1,650 @StLouisPokerHC main event title. $160,632 on the line.

Shin - 8s 5s
Pupillo - 3d 3h

The flop comes out 9d Ks As to give Shin a flush draw that he fills on the 9s turn. Pupillo is drawing to a 9 or 3 to keep the tournament going - he even calls for his one-time - but the river is Ac and he is eliminated in 2nd place, cashing for $98,195.

Shin collects $160,632 for his first-ever HPT title.

SB Ante - 80k
Blinds - 80k/160k
Remain - 1/480

-- Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates


@Mike4444s Shin takes a 10m - 4m chiplead in to his heads-up match against @NickPupillo54 at the @HPTpoker $500,000 Guaranteed main event final table @StlouisPokerHC. The winner takes home $160,623, with a $98,195 prize for the runner-up. Play is going to begin in a few minutes. 

SB Ante - 50k
Blinds - 50k/100k
Remain - 2/480

-- Dan Ross - Hold'em Live Updates