Greg Raymer took down the 2020 Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Ameristar East Chicago $1,650 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event on Monday 20 January. It’s the fifth HPT title of his poker career. He received $171,411 as the main prize pool and a $3,500 prize package for the HPT Season XVI Championship.
After securing his fifth HPT title, Raymer said- "It feels great"
Raymer, mostly known as "FossilMan" outfighted a field of 520 entries to win the main event of the tour, and managed to break his own record of the all-time wins leader in HPT history. He won his previous four HPT titles in 2012 when he was honored as the HPT Player of the Year.
The final day began with Evan Bethyo in the lead and Raymer was sitting comfortably on the second position. However, Raymer performed an epic fashion to defeat the chip leader Bethyo in a thrilling heads-up match which Raymer said that the right amount of luck helped him to conquer the battle. As he stated-
"When I catch the queen on the river to make a better two pair, that's just luck. There's a lot of luck in poker, and there's a lot more luck in heads-up poker, because if you fold every time you don't have top pair or better, you're gonna get run over and you'll have no shot. Evan did not let me run him over at all. I'll definitely say luck was on my side in the heads-up play, for sure."
Among the nine players in the final table, the Chicago native Benjamin Craig was the first one to go. He received $14,906 for his ninth position.
Dale Hackney was the second player to depart, when his couldn’t help him with the pocket eights of Dave Gutfreund. Hackney flopped top two pair, but Gutfreund hit a set on the turn to recapture his chips. So, a blank on the river sent Hackney home happily with $18,633.
Bethyo played his second elimination of the day, holding in the big blind and calling the early-position shove of Matt Schurter, who got . As a result, Schurter had to go as the seventh-place finisher with $22,732.
Bohdan Slyvinskyi had nothing to do but to follow Schurter because his A-6 failed to beat out the A-J of Marc Yofon. Securing the sixth-place, Slyvinskyi leave the table packing with $27,949.
Tim Barany’s unlucky performance came to an end when he ran into the of Bethyo. The dual “A” made the nut flush by the river to send Barany out of the table with $36,147. The cheap leader Bethyo increased his chips to 9.2 million before heading into four-handed action.
Yofon raised the button holding and Bethyo three-bet shoved from the big blind. Yofon had been dealt and quickly called. Bethyo was in rough shape, but quickly turned the situation by hitting a set on the flop. Yofon failed to make a straight or at least spike an ace. He cashed $48,295 as the fourth place finisher and David Gutfreund followed him in the next hand earning $69,462 for his deep run.
By the time, Bethyo earned 2.5 times more chips than Raymer which took nearly an hour and a half to level the playing field and then the game went to Raymer’s side.
In the final hand, Bethyo limped in from the button holding and Raymer checked with . The flop came down and Raymer check-called a bet of 300,000. The gave Raymer two pair for the lead.
Raymer checked and the former chip leader fired 400,000. Raymer check-raised all-in and he called for around 2.1 million. Bethyo had outs, but he was unable to improve. Raymer’s two pair was enough to secure the pot as well as the title, while Bethyo earned $104,789 for his bold performance in this event.
|1||Greg Raymer||Raleigh, North Carolina||$171,411|
|2||Evan Bethyo||Vernon Hills, Illinois||$104,789|
|3||David Gutfreund||Las Vegas, Nevada||$69,462|
|4||Marc Yofon||Rolling Meadows, Illinois||$48,295|
|5||Tim Barany||Chicago, Illinois||$36,147|
|6||Bohdan Slyvinskyi||Chicago, Illinois||$27,949|
|7||Matt Schurter||Crystal Lake, Illinois||$22,732|
|8||Dale Hackney||Durand, Michigan||$18,633|
|9||Benjamin Craig||Chicago, Illinois||$14,906|
Raymer's plan for the game is one that will surely gratify the group of investors that stake him throughout the year. He has done well on the Heartland Poker Tour in the past and he has started the New Year with tremendous success. He said-
"I have a deal with people who invest in my bankroll for the entire year, and we tripled our bankroll in the first event. It all has to stay in the bankroll, it means I can play some bigger events if it fits the schedule. I only gave 'em a small profit last year, so I'm looking forward to this being the start of a huge run!"