Jonathen Chen beats Academy Award nominee David Rosenbloom, in heads-up action, to take the first prize of $160,060 in the Heartland Poker Tour Main Event at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.
According to the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) blog, Jonathen Chen was the last of the 584 entrants to pony up the $1,650 buy-in, at the Commerce Poker Series, and when the action ground to a halt he was the only player left.
According to the Hendon Mob database Chen’s victory was his first live tournament cash of his career. So does the six-figure score whet the appetite? Is the youngster going to be carving out a career as a professional poker player?
“My Mom is making me get a job.” Chen told the HPT blog after his win.
That’s a wise woman.
When the final table of nine was set it was the former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year (POY) Jeff Madsen who was the headline act. He was by far the most experienced player at the final table, arguably the most talented, and he was searching for a top two finish to take over from Aaron Massey at the top of the HPT POY leaderboard.
The poker gods had other ideas.
Madsen – who won this event the last time it was held in the Commerce – having his pocket rockets blown to smithereens by the ace-queen of Chen after two queens turned up on the flop. An eighth place finish means Massey retains his POY lead over Colin Yorke, with the dangerous Madsen settled in third.
Peaking over Madsen’s shoulder is the HPT legend Stan Jablonski. His 40th place finish creating a new record for HPT cashes.
The heads-up encounter would fall between Chen and David Rosenbloom. A college grad versus an experienced film editor. Rosenbloom is a former Academy Award nominee for his work on the 1999 movie The Insider: starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino, but he wasn’t able to rework this script to end up with a happy ending.
Chen took the title after just 16-hands of heads-up action after his top pair survived the straight draw attempts of Rosenbloom. The final table was a wash of Californians with all nine members coming from the Golden State, in the second of four HPT events known as ‘The Gold Rush Series’.
It’s the second time the HPT has promoted the Annual Gold Rush series. It runs from Aug 28th through Oct 5th and features a special leaderboard for four events held at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa, The Commerce Hotel & Casino, Thunder Valley and Club One Casino. The winner of the Gold Rush leaderboard will win a series of prizes including a sponsorship deal and special airtime on the TV show.
The next HPT Main Event will be served at the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln.
Final Table Standing
1st. Jonathen Chen – $159,780
2nd. David Rosenbloom – $112,010
3rd. Daniel Geyser – $72,020
4th. Bruce Kramer – $53,340
5th. Peter Hengsakul – $39,990
6th. Chris Hyden – $32,040
7th. Ron Jenkins – $26,710
8th. Jeff Madsen – $21,300
9th. Gary Hawkins – $15,980