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Topping a field of 496 entries, Wendy Freedman (cover image) has won the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Black Hawk $1,650 Main Event hosted in Colarado for a whopping payday of $167,696.
Freedman is the second woman player to win an HPT Main Event title. Prior to her, Teresa Hemingway had won the event in 2013. Freedman’s live tournament earnings have now surpassed $1 Million with this win. She has two World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) rings in her resume, and has final tabled two WSOP events. Recently, Freedman scored a 26th place finish in the WinStar River Poker Series $2,500 Main Event.
The event ran through two consecutive days and the top 54 finalists made the money. Ben Keeline (21st for $5,177), two-time HPT Black Hawk Main Event winner Lance ‘Cord’ Garcia (27th for $5,177), Max Young (36th for $4,229) and Chris Tryba (41st for $3,427) were among the players who managed to earn payouts.
Jake Burnett (10th for $11,812) bubbled the final table leaving the nine finalists in contention for the title. Freedman dominated right from the start and entered the final table with the biggest stack of 3,345,000.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Wendy Freedman – 3,345,000
2. Mark Morris – 2,560,000
3. Alex Greenblatt – 2,405,000
4. Corey Zedo – 1,570,000
5. Richard Alsup – 1,380,000
6. Reginald ‘Shawn’ Roberts – 1,130,000
7. Paul Richardson – 975,000
8. Chris Barrett – 855,000
9. Carl Oman – 650,000
Final Table Recap
Early into the final table, Carl Oman who had entered as the shortest stack exited in ninth place.
Oman was followed to the rail by Rich Alsup who, despite flopping top pair with ace-queen, was beaten by Freedman’s ten-deuce of spades that improved to a flush when a spade hit on the turn, spelling an end to Alsup’s run in eighth place even before the river card fell on the board.
Shawn Roberts was railed next, in seventh place, by defending champion Alex Greenblatt who called an all-in move by Roberts. Greenblatt was lagging behind with his ace-seven against Robert’s ace-nine but paired his seven on the turn while Roberts missed the board completely.
Next player to exit the final table was Chris Barrett who moved all in for 995,000 after Freedman opened for 140,000. The action folded to Freedom who called. Barrett, who looked confident enough with pocket eights was in for a surprise when Freedman tabled her pocket nines. Freedman’s hand held through the board and Barrett was eliminated in sixth place.
A short stack Alex Greenblatt then moved all in for his last 865,000 and Mark Morris snap called to put Greenblatt at risk. Greenblatt tabled against Morris’s . The flop fell and Morris hit a set. The turn gave Morris a full house, and Greenblatt departed for the rail in fifth place.
One hand later, Freedman cracked Corey Zedo’s aces to send him out in fourth place. In the hand, Freedman opened to 340,000 and Zedo 3-bet to 825,000 on which Freedman announced all-in. Zedo instantly moved all in with his remaining 2,890,000. Zedo tabled against Freedman’s . While it looked like Zedo would win the pot, it wasn’t to be since the flop came and Freedman hit a boat. The turn and the were pointless for Zedo and he bowed out of the tournament.
The chips exchanged hands in the three handed play and Morris stacked up to emerge the front runner. However, it wasn’t long before Freedman regained the lead after railing Paul Richardson out in third place. In the hand, all the chips went in the middle preflop between Richardson and Freedman and Richardson, who doubled up five times before this on the final table was at risk. He tabled vs. Freedman’s . Richardson led through the flop and while the on the turn gave Freedman extra outs, she paired her queen on the river to win the pot and eliminate Richardson.
Freedman entered the heads-up match with 10,470,000 as against 4,400,000 held by Mark Morris. Just a few hands into play, the final hand was witnessed where Freedman opened and Morris moved all in, prompting Freedman to snap call. Freedman tabled while Morris held . Clearly Morris needed help from the board, and the flop of improved his chances. “I feel better about that, we see the turn and we still get it in,” Morris said. However, his hopes were dashed on the turn and the river. Morris finished his run in second place, conceding the title to Freedman.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Wendy Freedman – $167,696
2. Mark Morris – $102,514
3. Paul Richardson – $67,954
4. Alex Greenblatt – $47,247
5. Corey Zedo – $35,362
6. Chris Barrett – $27,342
7. Shawn Roberts – $22,238
8. Rich Alsup – $18,228
9. Carl Oman – $14,582