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Canadian Wins Heartland Poker Tour

James Gibson Bests 148 Players and is First Canadian HPT Winner


The Heartland Poker Tour made its way to the Grand Casino-Mille Lacs in Minnesota and crowned the first-ever Canadian winner. Truck driver and avid poker player James Gibson stood atop a field of 148 entrants in the $2,000 buy-in main event to take home nearly $78,000.

"I had a dream about this last night. I couldn't sleep at all, but when I did, I dreamt of winning this tournament," Gibson said after he won.

Gibson faced a previous HPT winner heads up before he could win his first title. The runner-up, Soni Lo, won an event 16 months ago at the HPT Shooting Star tournament in Mahnomen, Minnesota. Coincidentally, Gibson also finished deep in that same event, finishing on the televised final table bubble in seventh place. This time, it was Gibson who outlasted Lo.

The following are the results of the final table:

  1. James Gibson $77,720 - Stonewall Manitoba Canada
  2. Soni Penh Lo $38,860 - Bloomington, MN
  3. John Mckusick $24,981 - Minneapolis, MN
  4. Jeremy Dresch $19,430 - Fridley, MN
  5. Keith Doering $16,654 - Brownton, MN
  6. Curt Hagen $13,879 - Ft Lauderdale, FL

The next HPT event is scheduled to take place in Walker, Minnesota, at the Northern Lights Casino and Hotel from Sept. 9-16.



over 13 years ago

Huh...I live in Minnesota. The last I checked we were still apart of the USA. Does this mean the gamling laws are better now and I'm not under the ULIGEA?


over 13 years ago

Grand Casino Mille Lacs is definitely in Minnesota, USA- just north of Onamia on US Highway 169. You can't even see Canada from there...


over 13 years ago

I realize we are a bit north to most people, but gee wiz, we've been a state a long time. You'd think someone on the editorial staff would have noticed this little screw up.