HPT continues hot run at Gates

October 31, 2014, Hans Hollenbeck  

The Heartland Poker Tour headlined September poker activities in Colorado, bringing big names and an energetic poker buzz to the Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk. The HPT has become Colorado’s most lucrative tournament, now boasting seven straight million-dollar-plus prize pools. Of the many events from Sept. 5-15, the nationally televised main event started Sept. 10 and ran six days, once again eclipsing a million-dollar prize pool with 686 entrants buying in for $1,650.

Many notable pros made the money, from the likes of Greg Raymer (57th, $3,630) and Bryan Devonshire (24th, $6,656). The event culminated with a grueling heads-up match between deli owner Nader Wahdan from Aurora, Colo., and a determined, but short-stacked Chad Leasure. At one point, after chipping away at Wahdan’s stack, Leasure momentarily claimed the chip lead, but a set of nines gave Wahdan enough momentum to cripple Leasure and finally put him away for a strong second-place finish and a payout of $140,170.

Wahdan’s triumph over the impressive field earned him a nice $226,891 return and a sense of gratification that only a cool six-figure victory can bring. Players will have to wait until next year to play another HPT event in Colorado, but the continued abundance of tournaments and cash games across the state should satisfy poker needs in its absence.

— Email Hans at anteuphans@gmail.com.