Drikakis wins HPT at the Soaring Eagle

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The Heartland Poker Tour had the first of two events this year at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., on Aug 1-3. The $1,650 entry, two-day event drew 407 entries as the top 45 cashed with $137,014 going to winner John Drikakis of Battle Creek.

Alex Barill of Ann Arbor, who finished 13th in the Mid-States Poker Tour at Firekeepers this year and eighth out of 379 entries in a two-day tournament the week before, was went out seventh. He took home $19,183.

Drikakis made the final tabled at the last HPT event at Soaring Eagle in November, finishing sixth for $26,796. This time he eliminated runner-up Anthony Mastraieni of Temperance when Mastraieni bluffed all-in on the turn trying to represent the flush. Little did he know Drikakis had a 10-high flush and quickly called leaving Mastraieni drawing dead. Mastraieni pocketed $84,547.

They were followed by fellow Michigan players Theodore Tober (Bay City, $55,393), Gus Vergos (Shelby Township, $38,483), Bruce Rowland (Pierson, $28,571), Clarence Alchambo, (Cheboygan, $22,157), Barill ($19,183), Nicholas Pupillo (Addison, $15,743) and Millard Hale (Kalamazoo, $12,828).

— Email Scott at anteupscottm@gmail.com.