Sameer Al-Dbhani defeated a field of 383 entrants at Belterra Casino Resort this weekend to win his first Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Title and $83,732. The lab technician from Frankfort, Kentucky was overcome with emotion during his on-camera interview after the victory. His wife was quick to lighten the mood when asked how she felt about her husband’s accomplishment.
“I’m happy,” she said. “I’m ready to shop!”
Al-Dbhani came into the Final Table Monday holding nearly twice as many chips as his closest competitor and never looked back. The last player standing in his way was Robert Geith from Indianapolis. Geith, a business owner, went all-in with a bluff on the last hand of the tournament. Unfortunately for him, Al-Dbhani had top pair and quickly called. Geith took home $51,699 for second place.
Loss Prevention Manager Frank Covich became the third-place finisher when his king-seven fell to Geith’s ace-king. The Murfreesboro, Tennessee native earned $34,406 for his weekend’s worth of work.
Jacob Moore was able to satellite into the HPT Main Event at Belterra for just $260. Though he’s a poker dealer by trade, Moore’s career earnings at the start of the day were $0. He added $23,847 to that total by finishing in fourth place. “It’s a life-changing amount of money for me,” said the Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky man.
One player familiar with playing under the bright lights of an HPT televised event was Mike Comisso. Comisso finished eighth at an HPT event last month in Colorado. The poker player from Dublin, Ohio was able to improve on that finish this time around, making it to fifth place before he was sent to the rail. That was good for a score of $18,022.
Carmel, Indiana’s Gary Breslauer had one of the smaller stacks at the table when play began. The retired dentist was able to stave off elimination long enough to climb the pay ladder a few spots. In the end, Covich knocked him out of the tournament in sixth place. Breslauer collected $14,017.
Mike “K-9” Sites was active early and often at the televised Final Table. Eventually, the wholesaler from Broadway, Virginia was forced to make a move on a dry flop with ace-queen. His all-in was quickly called by Al-Dbhani’s pocket jacks. Neither an ace nor a queen came on the turn or river and Sites was sent home in seventh place with $11,651.
The first two players knocked out Monday were Robert Kuhn and Keven Stammen. Stammen, a pro poker player from Ohio, earned $9,648 when he exited in eighth place. Kuhn was the first to be knocked out when his king-ten failed to beat Geith’s pocket jacks. He finished in ninth place for $8,155.
Next up for HPT is a return trip to Ameristar Kansas City. The series is scheduled for April 8-18. Full details for all upcoming HPT tour stops are available at HPTpoker.com.