Big names highlight HPT’s 100th event

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Will Failla continued his great 2012 run with a St. Louis Poker Showdown victory in the Heartland Poker Tour’s 100thevent, which was co-hosted by River City Casino and Lumiere Casino in St. Louis. Failla, who pocketed $119,064 for first, said this event wasn’t on his schedule and jokingly said he only played because “Allen Kessler dragged me here.”

Three Day 1 flights yielded 328 players, including many well-known pros such as Kessler, Phil Hellmuth, Darvin Moon and Chris Moneymaker. Players with a local connection included Dennis Philips, Greg Raymer and rapper Nelly.

For Moneymaker, this was his first HPT event. “I can’t believe it took me 100 events to get out to my first one,” he said.

Two pros made the money as Kessler missed the TV final table with a 10th-place finish. Failla was the chipleader going into a final table with mostly local players.

Greg Lang, co-founder and executive producer of the HPT, said: “River City has been very accommodating to us and has treated the players very well.” The HPT returns Sept. 21-30.

— Don Matusofsky is Ante Up’s Missouri Ambassador. Email him at anteupdonm@gmail.com.

$1,650 HPT Main Event

Players: 328 • Prize Pool: $476,256
1. Will Failla, $119,064
2. Brian Nguyen, $67,390
3. Bill Matula, $42,863
4. Gary Lambert, $36,910
5. Robin Parks, $28,575
6. Henry Osterkamp, $23,337