John Drikakis Wins HPT Michigan For $137k

John Drikakis Wins HPT Michigan For $137kLast weekend, the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) pulled in at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and after three days of action at the Main Event John Drikakis emerged atop of the 407 player field to claim the title, as well as the $137,014 first place prize.
Drikakis from Battle Creek actually qualified for the $1,650 Main Event via a $360 qualifier and by the time he took his seat in the tournament the prize pool had already swelled to an impressive $583,080. Drikakis then had to battle his way through a tough field which included such notable players as Joe Cada, David Williams, Dutch Boyd and Allan Kessler before eventually reaching the final table.
At the final table of  nine, John Drikakis (7-7) scored his first elimination by knocking out Gus Vergos (K-Q) in 4th ($38,483), but it would take another two hours before the next elimination took place after Drikakis (A-Q) decided to call Theodore Tober’s preflop all-in shove with A-J. The dealer subsequently put out a K-Q-J-9-A board to send Tober to the rail in 3rd ($55,393), whilst ushering in the heads-up phase of the competition.
As the final battle commenced, Drikakis had an 8 million to 4.5 million chip advantage over Anthony Mastraieni, and nine hands is all it would then take before the defining hand was played. Hand #202 of the final table began with Drikakis (10h-9h) and Mastraieni (9d-8c) checking a Qh-Qc-2h flop, but after a 4h fell on the turn Mastraieni bluffed all-in, only to find he was drawing dead against his opponent’s flush. An Ad on the river was meaningless, and having secured a runner-up finish worth $84,547, a magnanimous Mastraieni, commented:
“I can’t say thank you enough to everyone. It’s an honor to be here. It’s been really enjoyable.”
Meanwhile, John Drikakis boosted his live tournament earnings to $166,636, with his previous biggest score also occurring on the HPT when he placed 6th at the very same Michigan Main Event for $25,796.
Final Table Results:
1 John Drikakis – $137,014
2 Anthony Mastraieni – $84,547
3 Theodore Tober – $55,393
4 Gus Vergos – $38,483
5 Bruce Rowland – $28,571
6 Clarence Archambo – $22,157
7 Alex Barill – $19,183
8 Nick Pupillo – $15,743
9 Millard Hale – $12,828

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