April was a big month for St. Louis poker tournaments

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April was a busy month for tournaments in St. Louis. Most days saw three tournaments running at all buy-in levels. Hollywood Casino St. Louis hosted the Hollywood Poker Open on April 4-15 and River City Casino hosted the Heartland Poker Tour on April 19-29.

The month opened with the inaugural HPO, including a variety of events (six-max and pot-limit Omaha).

“We had great cash action in the poker room during the series,” manager Denise Taykowski said. “The tourney was lighter than I had hoped, but it was the very first one.”

The series concluded with the main event as John Roberts took the title, $34,920 and an entry into the HPO Championship in Las Vegas this month.

River City hosted a media charity tournament to kick off the HPT series. I represented Ante Up Magazine on behalf of the American Cancer Society and won first place for a $2,500 donation. More than 5,100 players participated over the course of the HPT series. A busy schedule juggled three daily tournaments and a range of single-table satellites.

The main event ran with three Day 1 flights and drew 381 players for a $549K prize pool. The final table offered live streaming and hand-by-hand reporting. New for Season 9: The final table is nine-handed. A number of returning HPT names joined the final table, including Arizona business owner Stan Jablonski, who has made three HPT final tables in the past seven months, and 22-year-old Jordan Jayne, an HPT champion.

To make the return on investment even better, several players used satellites to earn their entries. Roger Campbell entered through a $375 mega satellite and Johnna Stewart invested $40 in a single-table satellite and grew that into a main-event entry. Campbell was chipleader coming into the final table.  

“We see these incredible Cinderella stories at every stop,” HPT executive producer Fred Bevill said. “Life-changing money is accessible on HPT.”

The HPT will return to St. Louis on Nov. 1-11. The hotel, under construction on property, will be open by that time and the casino expects to expand its operating hours.

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

Hollywood Poker Open, St. Louis, April 4-15

Event 1 • $350 NLHE
Entries: 91 • Pool: $26,481
Kyle Caslin, $8,474
Event 2 • $125 NLHE
Entries: 157 • Pool: $15,700
Matthew Schwab, $4,397
Event 3 • $125 NLHE
Entries: 121 • Pool: $12,100
Jessica Wolfe, $3,749
Event 4 • $350 NLHE
Entries: 298 • Pool: $86,718
Cory Robinson, $20,812
Event 5 • $125 NLHE
Entries: 99 • Pool: $9,900
Andrew Louvier, $3,167
Event 6 • $245 Seniors
Entries: 154 • Pool: $30,184
Mark Buckner, $8,452
Event 7 • $350 NLHE
Entries: 61 • Pool: $17,751
Jon Eaton, $6,035
Event 8 • $350 NLHE
Entries: 16 • Pool: $4,656
Albert Morrow, $3,492
Event 9 • $300 6-Max
Entries: 63 • Pool: $15,278
Thomas Wall, $5,194
Event 10 • $245 O/8
Entries: 83 • Pool: $16,268
George Prudhomme, $5,205
Event 11 • $350 NLHE
Entries: 16 • Pool: $4,656
William Corvaia, $2,328
Event 12 • $300 NLHE
Entries: 36 • Pool: $8,730
William Corvaia, $3,317
$1,620 Main Event
Entries: 75 • Pool: $109,125
John Roberts, $34,920
Event 15 • $245 Ladies
Entries: 20 • Pool: $3,920
Darlyn Goetz, $1,960
Event 16 • $350 NLHE
Entries: 22 • Pool: $6,402
Tom Rosenthal, $3,201