Post by Ryan Knuppel on -

The Season XIV $2,500 came to an end this Tuesday at the Ameristar located in East Chicago. It was the final event of Heartland Poker Tour, and there were a total of 434 players that created a decent prize pool of $965,650. The final table consisted of some real poker stars. Some of them are Richard Bai, who won the 2017 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker championship, and Ala Aqel, the winner of WSOP Circuit Potawatomi Main Event. However, the only winner in this event was Josh Reichard, who managed to take home $221,293. This event was also important because it determined who will get the Player of the Year title. Reichard is a professional poker player from Wisconsin, and he managed to eliminate the last four opponents and be the only one remaining in the race. This was yet another victory for him that was added to an outstanding portfolio of poker achievements that includes 10 WSOP Circuit gold rings and a title in Mid-States Poker Tour. Furthermore, this was the biggest sum he ever won in a single poker event, and now his live earnings add up to approximately $1.2 million.

The other player that was a part of the heads-up play was Bobby Noel, who did not have luck against Reichard. Noel managed to flop a top pair of kings, only to face a flush that Reichard made with clubs. Therefore, he had to hit the rail as the second-place and take home a total sum of $136,625. Some other players who attended this event and managed to cash it out but did not make it to the final table are Yoon Kim, Ari Engel, Sammy De Silva, Casey Carroll, and Cody Brinn. On the other hand, the players that managed to become a part of the final table are Emmett Hickey, George Pappas, Jimmy Gumila, Ala Aqel, Aaron Johnson, Richard Bai, Adam Greenberg, Jim Kasputis, and of course Bobby Noel and Josh Reichard.

As we already said, this was an important event that finally decided on who was the HPT XIV player of the year. Up until this event, Ossama Estafanous was leading the race, but he did not manage to cash this tournament which meant that Aaron Johnson and Jim Kasputis could take the throne. Johnson needed the 8th place or better to become eligible for the first place, but he could only secure it if he was 4th or better since Kasputis was the other main contender and their performance on the last tournament affected their positions a lot. It all ended with Kasputis failing to close it out, which eventually gave the title to Johnson, who ended up sixth in this tournament. He won a prize package that contains $10,000 for HPT Main Event buy-ins along with paid hotel accommodations.