The latest winner of a six figure first prize, courtesy of the Heartland Poker Tour, is Aurora deli owner, Nader Whaden, who beat Chad Leasure in heads-up action to capture the $226,891 first prize.
It just keeps doing it’s thing; creating million dollar prize pools with its eyes closed and passing out six figure scores to players from grass roots origins.
The show is also beamed live across 42 states, and has the likes of Maria Ho and Greg Raymer in the commentary booth.
Pretty impressive stuff.
The $1,650 Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main Event, at Golden Gates Casino Resort, in Black Hawk Colorado, attracted 686 entries, which means it was the seventh consecutive HPT Main Event carrying a seven-figure prize pool.
The final table was headlined by John Sacha who was trying to win his second HPT Main Event title after defeating Raymond Wright back in this event in 2009 for a $174,375 score. Unfortunately, Sacha couldn’t get anything going and had to settle for an eighth place finish.
Sacha wasn’t the only member of the final nine who had been there before. Edith Mortellaro finished sixth back in 2011, and had to make do with ninth, on this occasion; and Adam Zimowski was making his second successive final table after finishing eighth in the Aaron Massey final table back in the Ameristar Casino just weeks ago – Zimowski making do with fourth this time around.
Eventually, the heads-up showdown would come down to a pair of first-time live cashers. Nader Wahden, a deli owner from Aurora, taking on the man who qualified for the event for just $200: Chad Leasure.
Wahden began with a 3:1 chip lead, and 36 hands later it was all over, after the short-stacked Leasure moved all-in, holding [Qc] [4d], was called by [Th] [7h], and three more hearts saw the title head to Wahden.
Chris Tryba (21st), Bryan Devonshire (24th) and Greg Raymer (57th) were the most notable cashers in the event. Aaron Massey maintains the lead in the Player of the Year race, although seventh place finisher Colin York was able to close the gap in second place.
The next three stops for the HPT are all in California: The Commerce, Thunder Valley and Club One.
Final Table Standings
1st. Nader Wahden – $226,891
2nd. Chad Leasure – $140,170
3rd. Phil Mader – $91,867
4th. Adam Zimowski – $63,833
5th. Matthew Schierenberg – $46,387
6th. Nils Bardsley – $36,001
7th. Colin York – $30,253
8th. John Sacha – $25,211
9th. Edith Mortellaro – $20,168