Matthew Shepsky has won the Heartland Poker Tour Main Event in Golden Gates after beating Rex Clinkscales in heads-up action.
Matthew Shepsky is the latest member of the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Main Event winners club.The Skokie, Illinois native, defeated the experienced Rex Clinkscales in heads-up action to capture the first prize of $227,864 – the largest score of his career – and a moment that felt left him speechless.
“It feels unreal, I’m very happy – I don’t have the words.” Shepsky told the HPT team after his win.
The event attracted 721 entrants. It was the ninth consecutive time that a HPT Main Event had accumulated a million dollar plus prize pool. The show is gaining momentum and popularity as one of the most impressive tours sweeping the States.
The $1,650 Main Event was held in the Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlor in Black Hawk, Colorado. It was a final table that created the largest ever scores for seven of the nine final tablists: only Matt Bond and Danny Gonzales ever winning more.
Shepsky has now earned $710,302 after his career best score of $227,864. This was his third HPT cash. In 2009, he made the final table of the event in Gary finishing in ninth place. His previous best score was $77,294, after besting a field of 329 players at a $1,100 buy-in event at the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza: Joseph Cheong Nick Jivkov and Jordan Cristos were at that final table.
It was a decent final table.
Brandon Miller continued his impressive 2015 with a short stack ninja performance to be proud of. Earlier this year Miller finished fourth in a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) event in Foxwoods for close to $50,000, and this time around nursed a three big blind starting stack into a third place finish worth $92,421.
Danny Gonzales was starring in his fourth HPT final table. His closest finish came in 2014 when he finished runner-up to Aaron Massey in Fresno. Matt Bond was also in fine form making his second final table in the last three HPT Main Events. They would finish fifth and ninth respectively in this one.
The main threat was always going to be Rex Clinkscales. The former WSOPC gold ring winner finished fifth at the World Poker Tour (WPT) main Event at Rolling Thunder earlier this year. He is a man of vast experience, but he couldn’t find the luck needed to overturn a 3:1 heads-up chip disadvantage to close this one out.
The final hand came after the pair got it in on a board of [Ks] [Td] [3h] [8d] [Ac]: Clinkscales tabling [7d] [5d] for the busted flush-draw, and Shepsky showing a pair of ladies to cue the celebrations.
Final Table Results
1st. Matthew Shepsky – $227,864
2nd. Rex Clinkscales – $144,069
3rd. Brandon Miller – $92,421
4th. Garrett Patrick – $63,910
5th. Danny Gonzales – $46,634
6th. Rich Dixon – $35,824
7th. Victor Taggart – $29,570
8th. Nikita Leschchinskiy – $24,695
9th. Matt Bond – $19,820
Other notables that cashed included: Chris Tryba (13th), Eddy Sabat (17th) and Stan Jablonski (19th).
HPT Player of the Year Standings
1st. Reginald Shawn Roberts – 224.30 points
2nd. Stephen Foutty – 121.50 points
3rd. Michael Puccio – 121.00 points
4th. Paul Belken – 121.00 points
5th. Jose Montes – 120.00 points
The HPT is currently is full effect at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno.