Stammen Takes Home the HPT Title

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Florence, Indiana - Professional poker player Keven Stammen has more than $5 million in career earnings on the felt, including wins with almost every major poker tour. On Monday, he added to that impressive resume by capturing his first Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) title at Belterra Casino Resort. The victory was good for an $87,303 payday.

"Everything went pretty well," Stammen said after the tournament. "I'm going to try to hang onto [the money]. Maybe put it in some other tournaments".

Early on at the nine-handed final table, Stammen faced an all-in bet on the river for his tournament life with three of a kind. His opponent in the hand, Louisville, Kentucky business owner, Bill Horsman, had the nut flush. After tanking for several minutes, Stammen made the disciplined fold and left himself with less than six big blinds. From there, the eventual champ doubled up several times and took a commanding chip lead, never looking back.

It was fitting that, in the end, Stammen found himself heads up against the earlier foe, Horsman. By that point, Horsman was short-stacked and virtually forced to push the last of his chips in the middle with queen-ten. Stammen called with pocket sixes and the board brought no help for Horsman. With that, the tournament was over. Horsman collected $53,898 for the runner-up finish.

"I enjoyed playing with him," Horsman said of his final opponent. "He's an excellent poker player."

Attorney Michael Shanahan has made a nice side job out of his poker hobby over the years. In total, the Avon native has earned more than $450,000 at the tables. Much of that has come from playing HPT events, though Monday was Shanahan's first time playing under the bright lights of an HPT final table. He came in as the chip leader and coasted through most of the day before a bluff gone bad sent him to the rail. Shanahan won $35,868 for third place.

Cincinnati, Ohio's Ray Attiyah became the fourth-place finisher when his pocket jacks failed to hold up against Shanahan's ace-five. The colorful Attiyah, an author and business entrepreneur, took home $24,861 for his efforts. Not long before Attiyah's departure, Bob Brandl tried to make a move with nine-eight suited. Unfortunately for him, Horsman made the easy call with pocket kings. Brandl, a screen printer from Clinton, Tennessee, earned $18,788 for fifth place.

One of the most familiar faces on the tour is that of Mason, Michigan's Steve Fox. Fox was making his second appearance at an HPT final table Monday. His previous best finish was ninth in 2013. This time around, Fox climbed his way to sixth. Fox got the last of his chips in the middle with his pocket eights up against Stammen's pocket queens. The queens held and Fox was eliminated in sixth-place for $14,613.

Chicago, Illnois' Gary Herstein had a lot on the line at this weekend's event. He needed to finish eighth place or better to take over the Player of the Year points lead with only one event remaining this season. It seemed like a tall task with 399 total entries in the tournament, but Herstein managed to succeed. The retired trader was knocked out in seventh place. He collected $12,146 for his weekend's worth of work.

Scott Schwalich was Monday's eighth-place finisher. The accountant from Centerville, Ohio, took home $10,058. Lawrenceburg's Michael Scarborough was looking to go back-to-back after winning the HPT main event at Belterra earlier in the year. Though he wasn't able to win the tournament, making two final tables in a row is quite an accomplishment. The sales manager padded his bankroll with $8,502 for the ninth-place finish.

This was the seventh time HPT has visited Belterra. The tour has now awarded more than $3 million in prize pool money at this Southern Indiana property over the years. HPT will return to Belterra  March 9-19, 2018.

HPT has one event remaining on the 2017 schedule, its Championship Open just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. That series kicks off Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 12. The schedule features several prizes and unique tournaments, all of which are listed at HPTpoker.com.

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