Wendy Freedman is no slouch at the felt. She has two WSOP Circuit rings, two WSOP final table appearances and a number of cashes at tournaments around the United States. She just improved her résumé this week when she wiped out the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Black Hawk Main Event in Colorado, picking up an additional $167,696. Freedman has now tipped the scales and has picked up over $1 million in live action, according to Hendon Mob.
With the win, Freedman became only the second woman to ever win a HPT Main Event title, and the first to do so within the past five years. Her most recent tournament final table was in May, when she finished fourth at the #365 NLHE event as part of the WSOP Circuit in New Orleans.
The Main Event attracted 496 entries—not a bad turnout for a tournament with a buy-in of $1,650. Cord Garcia, who has twice taken down the event, cashed, but couldn’t make it to Day 2. Likewise, Chris Tryba and Ben Keeline weren’t able to find Lady Luck and fell in 41st and 21st place, respectively.
As the final nine players sat down to battle for the win, Freedman was sitting on the biggest stack of chips at the table. It wouldn’t take long for players to start hitting the rail, beginning with Carl Oman. Rich Alsup followed next after Chris Barrett wiped out most of his stack. Barrett, who was the short stack going into the hand, doubled thanks to Alsup, who was left with only 20 big blinds. Freedman stole his diminished stack soon after when she scored a turn flush to beat Alsup’s pair of Aces.
Shawn Roberts, a regular at the HPT, hoped to get lucky with his A-9 against Alex Greenblatt, but things didn’t go as planned and he struck out in seventh place. Barrett would soon follow after Freedman continued to pound away at the table. Barrett lost to 9s over 8s and Freedman took his remaining 16 big blinds.
Freedman kept the pressure on and kicked Corey Zedo off the table next. The two mixed it up with Zedo starting down at pocket rockets, but Freedman flopped a boat and now controlled almost half of the total chips on the table. Zedo’s fifth-place exit awarded him $35,362.
Greenblatt, who won the event in 2017, was hanging on at the final table, but would be the next to fall. His stack began to dwindle, first in an A-8 vs A-2 duel against Paul Richardson that cruelly saw a 2 give Richardson the hand, then in a K-J vs QQ matchup against Mark Morris. After Morris picked up a set on the flop, Richardson was relegated to watch the game from the sidelines with $67,954 in his pocket.
As Freedman and Morris faced off in the final heads-up battle of the game, Morris was down by about half of Freeman’s stack. Heads-up action didn’t last long, with both finding sets on the final hand. Unfortunately for Morris, Freedman’s set of Kings was better than his set of 8s, and the match was over. As a consolation prize, Morris took home $102,514.