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Heartland Poker Tour

The Heartland Poker Tour kicks off today at Ameristar.

Who said the Region wasn’t a hotbed of energized dedicated poker rooms and live tournament action?

No sooner did the Mid-States Poker Tour wrap up at Majestic Star Casinos in Gary last weekend, the Heartland Poker Tour kicks off a 12-day run today at Ameristar East Chicago.

Moving forward, the World Series of Poker Circuit makes its first of two stops on the 2019 – 2020 schedule at Horseshoe Hammond Oct. 10 – 21.

Meanwhile, the fast-paced card slinging under the Heartland Poker Tour brand begins at Ameristar, which has proved to be one of the most successful and fastest-growing stops on the nationwide tour.

“This Ameristar East Chicago tour stop is one that we always look forward to,” said Korey Stewart, marketing director for the HPT. “Chicagoland is full of great poker players, and it never fails that some of our biggest prize pools of the year come at this beautiful property.”

In keeping with tradition, the schedule opens up with a bang with the $350 “Monster Stack” no-limit hold’em tournament.

With a guaranteed prize pool of $200,000, it always attracts entries in excess of 1,000. Tournament officials are looking for similar response for this one with the first of three starting flights taking place today.

“Perhaps the most exciting addition this time around is the $200 ‘Short Deck’ event starting at 6 p.m. on Sunday (Aug. 25),” Stewart said. “This is a new poker variance that has become increasingly popular the last couple of years.

“Short Deck is more or less a stripped-down version of no-limit hold’em. All of the deuces, threes, fours, and fives are removed so there are only 36 cards in the deck. Because of the smaller deck there is one change in hand values; a flush beats a full house.

“We’re excited to be putting together the first Short Deck event in Chicagoland. The smaller deck creates more action and I think the players are going to love it.”

Events restricted to seniors ages 50 and older are becoming increasingly popular. HPT has responded to the demand by slating two such events during the upcoming tournament run. The first is on Sunday (Aug. 25) for a $300 buy-in and the second is on Wednesday, Aug. 28, for a $200 buy-in.

Coming back for a return appearance is the no limit hold’em “Tag Team Switch” on Tuesday, Aug. 27. The buy-in is $200 per player.

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“As always, the pinnacle of the series at Ameristar East Chicago will be the $1,650 Main Event on the second weekend,” Stewart said. “We regularly see pools of over three-quarters of a million dollars, with first place taking home a six-figure payday each time.

“In addition to the excitement of the life-changing money at stake, the final table will be live streamed (twitch.tv/hptpoker) and filmed to air on NBC Sports Chicago later this year.

“The final table starts at noon on Labor Day and is open to spectators. Anyone is welcome to come and watch the final nine players battle it out for poker glory.”

In addition to the final table of the Main Event, holiday festivities will include a no limit hold-em Labor Day Deepstack tournament with a $200 buy-in.

“There’s truly something on the schedule for every type of poker player,” Stewart added. “Buy-ins range from $90 to $1,650 with a large variety of games available.”

Poker players traveling in for the series can access special rates for rooms in Ameristar East Chicago’s award-winning hotel by calling 219-378-3000 and using the promotional code HPTAEC. The special rates are $79 per night Sunday through Thursday and $139 per night Friday and Saturday.

For a complete tournament schedule and all of the particulars please visit HPTpoker.com.

BONUS ROUND-UP

AMERISTAR: The “Mychoice Mysummer” giveaway continues on Fridays in August at the East Chicago casino. The grand prize is a Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster. You will also have the opportunity to win a share of $200,000 in free slot play which will be awarded throughout the promotion. Drawings are held hourly from 6 to 9 p.m. on promotion days. Earn entries based on tier level. Receive additional entries for every 50 tier points earned playing slots and table games. The grand finale and Mercedes-Benz car giveaway will take place on Aug. 30 at a special 10 p.m. drawing.

BLUE CHIP: The Michigan City property’s “Blazin’ Blackjack” tournaments continue this month on Wednesdays, Aug. 21 and 28. The buy-in is a modest $25. All of the buy-ins will be distributed as prize money. Throw in the fact that Blue Chip is kicking an extra $1,000 into the prize pool each week and you have the makings of a really good time. The tournament is limited to the first 84 players who register. The final table will consist of the top two players from each preliminary round and one wild card player randomly drawn from the pool of remaining players. The prize pool will be distributed with 50 percent to the winner, 30 percent to second place and 20 percent to third place. Players who are interested in competing are able to register starting at 3 p.m. (CDT) on each tournament day. The competition begins at 6 p.m.

MAJESTIC STAR: Get in on the BMW Giveaway every Friday during the month of August. On the days of the promotion, two winners will be selected every 30 minutes from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to be awarded $250 in Promo Cash. At a weekly 10 p.m. drawing one winner will receive $5,000 in Promo Cash. On Friday, Aug. 30, the 10 p.m. drawing winner will receive a 2019 BMW X1 sDrive 28i. Majestic Rewards player’s club members earn tier-based entries throughout the promotion. All player’s club members receive one bonus entry for every 25 points earned.

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Opinions are solely those of the writer. Reach him at jgbrokopp1@gmail.com.

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