Christman, Massey win local Heartland Poker Tour titles

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Prize money was pumping through the veins of Northern California recently with action spreading throughout the region. Much of the prize money came from the Heartland Poker Tour, which had stops at Thunder Valley Casino Resort (Lincoln) and Club One Casino (Fresno).

The HPT and Thunder Valley have had amazing turnouts in the past and the most recent stop (Sept. 15-29) was no exception. The Players Championship series had 10 events capped by the $1,650 main event with $700K-plus prize pool. Joseph Christman of Pacifica, Calif., took home an impressive $165K and the title of HPT champion. After 29 hands of heads-up play, Christman beat Jon Des Pois (Auburn) earning Des Pois a six-figure payday of $101K.
The rest of the all-California final table included Erle Mankin of Sacramento (third, $66K), Haroun Dalaig of San Francisco (fourth, $46K), Alex Greenblatt of Atheron (fifth, $34K), Abrahim Aboukhalil of Hillsborough (sixth, $26K), Jeff Griffiths of Alameda (seventh, $23K), Archie Snider of Atherton (eighth, $19K) and Sargon Shiba of Cupertino (ninth, $15K).

The HPT Gold Rush Series at Club One ran Sept. 26-Oct. 5 and five events, ending with the $1,650 main event, which had a tough final table. Aaron Massey from the Chicago area earned the title and $77K. He’s in the lead in the HPT Player of the Year standings. Runner-up Danny Gonzales of Denver took home $48K after a 49-hand heads-up match against Massey. Gonzales is also no stranger to the HPT, having cashed multiple times throughout Colorado. The only woman at the final table, Dee Timmons of Manteca, Calif., finished third for $29K.

The other members of the final table were Jed Hoffman from Reno (fourth, $21K), Billy Huynh from San Mateo, Calif. (fifth, $16K), Chris Taylor from Exeter, Calif. (sixth, $13K), Mario Sequeira from Hanford, Calif. (seventh, $11K), Sean Drake from Ione, Calif., (eighth, $10K) and Kevork Vorperian from Glendale, Calif. (ninth, $8K).

WIN-RIVER CASINO: The Redding, Calif., property hosts the $50K River’s Classic on Nov. 15-16 at 10 a.m. on each day. This event will have a $520 buy-in with a 20K starting stack and an optional $250 rebuy that will get you an additional 10K chips. If players rebuy before the event begins, they will receive 5K extra chips for a starting stack of 35K.

Blind levels are 30 minutes and Win-River has a special room rate of $49 per night for all tournament players looking to play the River’s Classic.

— Email Garrett at roth@anteupmagazine.com.