28 Year Old Dusty Hamers
Heartland Poker TourÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fourth season got under way last week as players traveled from the four corners of the U.S. to play in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“real peopleÃ¢â‚¬Â poker tour.Ã‚Â Grand Casino Mille Lacs, a regular HPT tour stop and located 90 miles north of Minneapolis,Ã‚Â was the host of 2008Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s first HPT event.Ã‚Â In all, there were five no-limit events and over a 1400 entries for the weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tournaments.
The main event got under way Sunday morning with 176 players, eager to be the first champion of 2008. All but 36 of those players were able to earn their $1650 seat through the HPT qualifying rounds on Thursday through Saturday.Ã‚Â At 1AM Monday morning, a champion was crowned when Dusty Hamers, a 28 year old machine operator from
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I told everyone I know that I was going to win this thingÃ¢â‚¬Â chuckled Hamers.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I guess I had to do what I said.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hamers, who has a full time job at a wood craft company in
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I definitely think I have the skills to be a pro poker playerÃ¢â‚¬Â said Hamers during his pre-final table interview.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Right now, the only thing stopping me is bankroll.Ã‚Â Winning this tournament could put me in the right direction. Ã¢â‚¬Å“
Once again this week the Heartland Poker Tour lived up to its reputation as the only TV poker tour that caters to the smaller buy in, Ã¢â‚¬Å“regularÃ¢â‚¬Â American poker player. Included on the final table was a contractor, a retail home improvement store manager, a plumber, and a former marine.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re thrilled to get the new season under way and to have another diverse and interesting final tableÃ¢â‚¬Â said HPT co-founder Greg Lang. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know we made a lot of new friends this week that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be seeing down the road.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be a great year.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Heartland Poker Tour will be back on the road March 2nd when the tour makes another stop to Meskwaki Casino in central
2008 Event #1 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Gand Casino Mille Lacs Ã¢â‚¬â€œ
689 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Players in the qualifiers
36 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Main Event Direct buys
176 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Players in the Main Event
Total Prize Pool $248,806
1st Place Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Dustin Ã¢â‚¬Å“DustyÃ¢â‚¬Â Hamers, 28,Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Waite Park
Ã‚Â 2nd Place Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ray Ã¢â‚¬Å“StingrayÃ¢â‚¬Â Bendijo, 50,Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ramsey
3rd Place Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Brad Flanagan, 50, Brainerd
4th Place Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Gabe Schultz, 23, Faribault
5th PlaceÃ¢â‚¬â€œ Brian Midtling, 46, Brownton
6th Place Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Justin Filtz, 20, Stevens Point
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