Local Man Wins $111k on HPT

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Local Man Wins $111k on HPT

Kansas City, MO - Ryan Gregor outlasted the field at Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City on Monday to lay claim to $111,696 and his first Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) title. It took 13 hours and 284 hands of poker for the operations manager to become the victor.

Patience was the name of the game for Gregor. He began the day as chipleader and never looked back. Attorney Jason Darland was the final competitor standing in the way of the eventual champ. After a lengthy heads up battle, Darland got the last of his chips in the middle with queen-nine against Gregor's ace-six. An ace on the turn sealed Darland's fate and the Overland Park, Kansas man was sent home with $70,709 for second place.

Jeff Wigh of Olathe, Kansas played well consistently all day. An engineer by trade, Wigh was able to avoid elimination until he got tangled up in a big hand with Darland. He found himself all-in before the flop holding king-nine to Darland's ace-ten. The board did not deliver a king or a nine and with that Wigh was sent to the rail in third place for a $47,350 payday.

The Main Event at Ameristar Kansas City saw a total of 342 entrants over the course of the weekend, creating a prize pool of $485,640. Greg "Fossilman" Raymer and Craig "The Legend" Casino were among the notables to cash in the tournament but fall short of the nationally televised Final Table.

Cecilia, Kentucky's Robert Castoire has experience playing under the bright lights of an HPT Final Table. The retired ship captain finished third at an event nearly a year ago. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to top that finish this time around as he was knocked out in fourth place. Castoire collected $33,024 for his efforts.

Poker player Mike Vanier had one of the smallest stacks at the start of the day, but he was able to use his skill to his advantage and chip up to a fifth-place finish for $24,768. Shortly before Vanier's departure, accountant Jay McVeigh made his exit as well. McVeigh, of Shawnee, Kansas, finished second in the first event of the HPT series at Ameristar Kansas City last week. He continued his good run with an appearance at the televised table before going out in sixth place for $19,426.

Si Vo of St. Louis, Missouri put the last of his chips at risk with a pair of jacks on a flop that read ten-two-three with two hearts. He was called by Wigh's king-six of hearts and eventually lost when a king hit the river. Vo would go home in seventh place with $16,415.

Perhaps the most recognizable player at the table was Grant Hinkle. The IT consultant from Overland Park has over $1 million in career winnings at the tables. He had an active cheering section early on but, nonetheless, Hinkle's stay was short as he became the eighth-place finisher for a $13,598 payday.

Business owner Debbie Phillips became the first player to be eliminated when her pocket jacks failed to hold up against Wigh's king-jack on the very first hand of the day. Phillips collected $11,704 for the ninth-place finish. The Ozark, Missouri woman plans to donate a portion of her winnings to domestic violence victims.

From here, HPT will make a return trip to Chicagoland for a stop at Ameristar East Chicago. That series kicks off April 28 with a $300 buy-in $100k guarantee event. In January, the Main Event at that property nearly eclipsed the $1 million mark. For schedule details and a look at other upcoming tour stops, visit HPTpoker.com.

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