Mark Jones had his work cut out for him at Heartland Poker Tour’s latest stop at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. The business owner from Canyon Lake, Calif., faced a tough field of 260-plus players, including top pros Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer and HPT Player of the Year Allen Kessler.
“I am a recreational player,” Jones said before filming began at the final table for two episodes of the HPT. “So I have lots of challenges ahead of me.”
He rose to the occasion to claim the title and $90,169 from the $375K prize pool. “It’s certainly a life-changing experience,” he said of his victory.
Lily Kiletto from Manasota Beach, Fla., was looking for her first victory after racking up 21 cashes and a handful of final tables, but she had to settle for second and $55,607.
They were followed by Ron Hauser of Canada ($37,572); Dan Heimiller of Las Vegas ($26,676); Triet Nguyen of San Francisco ($20,665); Chris DeMaci from Shandon, Calif., ($16,907); Larry Kenzy from Palm Desert, Calif., ($14,090); Chris Karambinis of Chicago ($11,835) and Stanislav Barshak from Northbrook, Ill., ($9,769). The event paid 27 spots.
PECHANGA: In the heart of the Temecula Valley’s wine country, Pechanga Resort and Casino has a lot to offer. With 43 poker tables, there is always action. Whether you prefer cash games or tournaments, there’s something for everyone. Limit and no-limit hold’em and Omaha are the main games. High hands, bad-beat jackpots and splash pots are just a few of the promotions. There are daily tournaments with buy-ins as affordable as $30 and food service is available tableside.
For more information, visit pechanga.com.
— Email Kittie Aleman at email@example.com.