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Greg Raymer Wins Record Fifth Heartland Poker Tour Title

The 2004 WSOP Main Event Champ Topped A Field of 520 To Extend His Lead As The HPT's All-Time Title Holder

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Greg Raymer defeated a field of 520 entrants to emerge victorious in the 2020 Heartland Poker Tour Ameristar East Chicago $1,650 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 55-year-old poker pro earned $171,411 for the win. This was his fifth win on the HPT, furthering his advantage as the tour’s all-time title leader. The 2004 World Series of Poker main event champion and Card Player colmunist now has career live tournament earnings of $7,954,093, with 16 titles won along the way.

“It feels great,” Raymer told HPT Tournament Director Jeremy Smith after securing his latest trophy. “Each one is more special than the last.”

The final day began with Evan Bethyo in the lead, with Raymer sitting on the second-largest stack when play resumed. Bethyo extended his lead even further by scoring the first knockout of the day. He picked up QHeart SuitQDiamond Suit and got all of the chips in against Benjamin Craig, who had been dealt AClub SuitKHeart Suit. While it was a coinflip preflop, Craig was drawing dead by the turn. Bethyo flopped top set and held from there to eliminate Craig in ninth place ($14,906).

Dale Hackney was the second to go, when his ASpade SuitKClub Suit couldn’t overcome the pocket eights of Dave Gutfreund. Hackney flopped top two pair, but Gutfreund hit a set on the turn to regain the lead. A blank on the river sent Hackney home with $18,633.

Bethyo scored his second elimination of the day, picking up ADiamond SuitJClub Suit in the big blind and calling the early-position shove of Matt Schurter, who held AHeart Suit5Diamond Suit. Bethyo made the nut flush by the river to send Schurter packing with $22,732. Bohdan Slyvinskyi followed Schurter out the door when his A-6 failed to beat out the A-J of Marc Yofon. Slyvinskyi cashed for $27,949 as the sixth-place finisher.

Tim Barany’s run in this event came to an end when he ran KClub SuitJDiamond Suit into the ASpade SuitAClub Suit of Bethyo. The aces held and Barany was knocked out in fifth place ($36,147). With that Bethyo increased his stack to 9.2 million, or just shy of 60 percent of the chips in play, heading into four-handed action.

Bethyo was able to extend his lead even further by winning a key all-in as a big underdog preflop. He three-bet shoved from the big blind over the button raise of Yofon holding 4Diamond Suit4Club Suit. Yofon had been dealt ASpade SuitAClub Suit and quickly called. Bethyo was in rough shapr, but quickly turned the tables by hitting a set on the flop. Yofon failed to spike an ace or make a straight and was set to the rail in fourth place ($48,295).

Raymer finally secured his first knockout of the final table by picking up ADiamond SuitKClub Suit up against the AClub Suit2Club Suit of David Gutfreund, who had three-bet shoved over his raise from the small blind. Gutfreund found no help from the board and was eliminated in third place, earning $69,462 for his deep run.

With that Bethyo took just over a 2.5:1 chip lead into heads-up play against Raymer. The two battled it out for around an hour and half, with Raymer gaining ground early and then taking the lead, only to have Bethyo hit a set in a big pot that leveled the playing field. Raymer was able to re-establish a lead, and then stretched it until he held roughly a 4:1 advantage of his own.

In the final hand n Bethyo limped in from the button with QHeart Suit2Diamond Suit and Raymer checked holding 8Spade Suit3Club Suit. The flop came down ASpade SuitQDiamond Suit3Spade Suit and Raymer check-called a bet of 300,000. The 8Diamond Suit gave Raymer two pair for the lead. He checked and Bethyo fired 400,000. Raymer check-raised all-in and Bethyo called for around 2.1 million. Bethyo had outs, but he was unable to improve. Raymer’s two pair was enough to secure the pot and the title, while Bethyo earned $104,789 for his strong showing in this event.

In addition to the hardware and the money, Raymer also earned 840 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. He currently sits in a three-way tie for 15th place as a result of the win.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Greg Raymer $171,411 840
2 Evan Bethyo $104,789 700
3 David Gutfreund $69,462 560
4 Marcus Yofon $48,295 420
5 Tim Barany $36,147 350
6 Bohdan Slyvinskyi $27,949 280
7 Matthew Schurter $22,732 210
9 Dale Hackney $18,633 140
9 Benjamin Craig $14,906 70

Winner photo via HPT’s Twitter account: @HPTPoker.