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Heartland Trip Report

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  • Heartland Trip Report

    Heartland Poker Tour

    RodgerK, called me and wanted to meet and play some at the Majestic Star which is just across the state line in Indiana from Chicago. We agreed to meet on Friday morning December 7th at about 7:30 am. After arriving we found the poker room had only a few tables running with no satellites into the Heartland Poker Tour. We both set down at the same $1- $2 NL table to play a few till some thing else opened up. I was up about $56 when I left the table to play in the $560 qualifier to the Heartland Poker Tournament. This was the last of several qualifiers, as the 1st group “A” started later that day. The top 20% from each qualifier get an entry to the $2700 buy in for the main event. This is much like a super satellite for any 10k seat that some of you may have played, without rebuys.

    The qualifier I played in had 170 players with 34 qualifying into the main event. For the most part I played a tight game as far as the “sailors” play goes, due to not needing to win but just make the top 34. We started with 10k in chips, 30 minute rounds with blinds at 100-100. After the first round, the small blind was ½ the big blind as you would expect. I did drop to about ½ average stack at one point but was able to come back After doing some math I knew I was golden when I had 50k in chips with about 44 players left, as I would still be at average when we got down to 34 players, so could more or less fold my way into the tournament. The short stack on my right got a little up set with me when he raised my big blind & I called with q-5. The flop was q-5-x and when he bet I raised. He told me, “you have the game in the bag”, so you could give me the hand so I could make it. I never said a thing but was thinking, “are you kidding me” I don’t even know you & I don’t have any friends at the table. 

    The Tournament was set up a lot like the WSOP with groups. Group “A” played on Friday evening at 7:00 pm, group “B” Saturday at 10:00 am and group “C” at 7:00 pm Saturday evening. I had the choice of playing group “B” or ”C”, in which I took group “C”.

    My wife, “Pattyroo” tried to get me to stay in Chicago due to the long drive and bad weather, but I refused. She tells me I am stubborn and I guess I must agree. I was thinking I should have listened to her, while driving home in the freezing rain with all the traffic in Chicago & very little sleep.

    The Tournament itself, started with 15k in chips and 30 minute rounds with a few extra blinds added, so the increase wasn’t as large as the qualifier. The last hand on the first break, I over bet the pot with next to nothing, knowing everyone was getting up from the table and should fold. On the second break I was at about ½ of average and I wanted to do it again, but the player on my right went all in. I looked over to the player on my right and said, “I know that play, I did it last break”. 

    All the groups played thru level 10 which was 400 ante, with 2000, 4000 blinds. The players left from all groups came back on Sunday to play.

    I started Sunday with 63k which was in the top 1/3 of the group with the average being 47k give or take a few. I was playing tight trying to get a read on the players & also trying to make the money like everyone else. It paid 34 spots but I forget what the money was, but thinking it was in the $3800 area. With the blinds moving up the short stack were holding on as long as they could. The player with the shortest stack was at my table, and tried to hold on as long as he could, but busted on the bubble. He is a fellow poker player I play with a lot at the Rockford Charities Games, as well as Vegas, Tunica, Canterbury, and any other casino I play at. With his bust it left me & and another at my table on the short list, but by the time of 2nd break we had move up to the $4700 level & that looked like my fate.

    On second break I called bgdgg to let him know how it was going. I believe I had just over 20k. Knowing I had to make a move soon with the blinds at $15000 – $30000k with an ante of $2000, it was time to do it. This is where the fun started! I got hit with the deck like no one ever has….it was a rush for sure. I went all in several times & keep getting called.

    The first hand after break which started it off was 44. I went all in and got two callers. One had A-Q & the other had A-J. My 44 held and I more than tripled up due the antes & blinds. I can’t remember all the hands I had, but I’ve never had a rush of cards like I had for about 40 minutes or so. I went from 20k not enough to cover the blinds to the chip leader with over 1million in chips folks. That’s in less than 40 minutes! The rush did end with a bang but it was too late as I was the chip leader and had busted about 7 players in the run.

    On Monday, the final six played for the Heartland TV show which will be showed later. We all did an interview before the game, but had to sign a contract stating we could not wear any thing from any site or even talk about it in our interview. That even goes for wearing anything not related to poker, like a sports hat unless you turned it around so the team didn’t show. Also was informed that no deals were to be made, and was told we forfeit any money if heard in trying to do so.

    When I said the rush was over, it was over. I never did get but a few hands that should have been played at the final six. I’m interested in seeing how it looks on TV after the cutting is over. I won several hands that I was behind, when the money went in, but all in all not many I would of played different, “well maybe a couple”. 

    I’m leaving the hands on the show blank for all to see for your self. I’m interested in how I look on TV as far as timing goes. Most times I count to 6 before I make any play and here on TV I didn’t. Without looking at the show I believe it would be a tell for a pro player, so looking forward to seeing the show. What better way to learn from your mistakes that watching them. 

    I’m not sure of the total number of players but it was in the 450 player range, with well over 1500 trying to qualify by way of the $560.

    For more times than I can count, my wife “Pat” has brought me lunch at the computer while I played poker. She told me today it was well worth it, as I gave her ½ of the winning for a nice tip!

    P.S. Thanks everyone for all the kind words!

    2 Time Bracelet Winner

  • #2
    Indy & I just couldn't be happier for you Leon!!!!!

    Well done.


    • #3
      Congratulations Leon.


      • #4
        Nice one,well done Leon.


        • #5
          WTG Leon! Couldn't be happier for ya!



          • #6
            what a great story i am so happy for you.

            RON THE RONDSTER


            • #7
              Very good trip report. I know how you hate writing them, so thanks! ( I am still waiting for my interview questions...)

              When I looked on the HPT home page, it shows that televised part will be in MAY. Is that possible? May 24 and May 31. I sure hope we don't have to wait that long to see you on tv!

              It will be great to watch. I usually watch every week in Fargo, and it will be more fun than usual when I know a WINNER!

              See you in Tunica and Merry Christmas!


              • #8
                As a Catholic, I knew the value of relics, touching them ,etc. I get to tell people I touched--shook--the hand of a real winner (not that you are a relic) and (usually 8) ) a nice bloke.



                • #9
                  wtg Leon

                  You deserve it all. I've witnessed your excellent play here at PSO.
                  Keep it Up.



                  • #10
                    Hey Leon! I just wanted to say...


                    Many congrats again!!!


                    • #11
                      Wow Leon!!!!

                      That's awesome.

                      I'm speaachless ...

                      (which is highly unusual for me)

                      I'm so happy for you.


                      • #12

                        Thanks for the excellent report.Looking forward to the show.Great job!


                        • #13
                          WELL DONE LEON !!!

                          You have just disproved the old adage that nice guys finish last.
                          Leon on a rush, what a nightmare for the table, great job and well deserved.



                          • #14
                            Congrats Leon...........
                            Awesome Job..................



                            • #15
                              it's just so odd to think I have my pic of you in Vegas on my camera with the 1st to bust out prize.
                              Nearly the same look on your face with that beautiful porcelin clown as you did with th 233K!! (well, almost )
                              I can hardly wait to see it on TV!
                              Many conrats, leon.
                              And I can certainly commiserate with those poker lunches being served. A big hug for Pattyroo too!



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