The most important poker tournament hosted by Chicago in September was the Heartland Poker Tour, a competition that brought together 500 skilled players. All of them paid $1650 for a chance to win a prize that was predicted to revolve around $200,000 and also a WSOP circuit ring. The vast majority of those who found themselves at the tables were American players, with Europeans choosing to participate in the 2014 Sky Poker UK 6-Max Poker Championships Main Event.
There are plenty of professionals who booked a flight to Nottingham to make sure that they don’t miss out on the rare opportunity of competing against some of the toughest opponents. Among those who participated in the aforesaid tournament was Sam Trickett, the celebrated Everest Poker ambassador. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t survive long enough to make the money and was eliminated during the bubble stage, by a relatively unknown opponent.
Meanwhile, American poker pros spent some quality time in Windy City and over the course of three days they tried to outshine more than 500 opponents. Aaron Massey was of course present, which is hardly a surprise, since he is one of the most dedicated of all grinders. He had to overcome a lot of adversity in the early stages of the competition, surviving three coin flips but in the end he took advantage of the money want in those highly contested hands.
By the time the final table began, he was already in pole position and put his significant experience and sizable stack to good use. 2014 has been a great year for Aaron, who also finished third in the 2014 World Series of Poker Event #55 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em to win $255,000. It is clear for him, that even if the best case scenario did happen and he won the tournament, this paycheck would still be smaller than what he won a couple of months ago in Las Vegas.
Furthermore, Massey can also brag about a massive $651,000 collected two years ago when he won the River Guaranteed $4 million Poker Series Main Event. This time, he was more motivated by the prospect of winning on home turf, as he is a Chicago resident and he had plenty of fans cheering for him. The toughest opponents were Stan Jablonski and Michael Vanderwoude who made three handy play, but they were eliminated and won together the same amount that Aaron Massey received for winning the event.
This is how the final table of theHPT Ameristar East Chicago looked like and the corresponding prizes:
|1||Aaron Massey||Elmwood Park, IL||$177,502|
|2||Stan Jablonski||Bullhead City, AZ||$108,504|
|3||Michael Vanderwoude||Crown Point, IN||$71,924|
|4||James Richison||Fort Wayne, IN||$50,007|
|5||Mike Mustafa||Orland Park, IL||$37,428|
|6||James Nelson||Wheeling, IL||$28,940|
|7||Paul Vivacqua||Chicago, IL||$23,537|
|8||Adam Zimowski||Racine, WI||$19,293|
|9||David Berman||Solon, OH||$15,434|