It was a major weekend for Walt Lustgraaf, who turned his previous $20,000 in career cashes into about $130K at the Heartland Poker Tour Ameristar Kansas City. A true comeback kid, Lustgraaf was in a short stack at the start of the final table, but the Arizona native battled his way back for an impressive victory against notable players like Jason Brin and James Mackey.
Chris Scott dominated as the final table began, the pool of 341 entrants down to just nine. Lustgraaf was way at the bottom of the chip stacks with just 30 big blinds. He played it safe at the beginning, staying out of the big pots and biding his time. Andrew Ernstein, Ryan Gregor, and Garrett Riley took different approaches, and all busted early on.
Nicholas Summervill was the first to challenge Scott’s lead, eliminating Nam Phan in sixth and scoring a large pot. Lustgraaf got in on the action after that; when Scott opened against Jon Hanner, who jammed for 1.2 million, Lustgraaf called with a pair of kings. Hanner went home in fifth, while Lustgraaf’s stack reached just over 50 big blinds.
Scott then went all in pre-flop with pocket nines (♡,♤) and Kansas City’s own Keith Murrell called with A♤, Q♢. The board ran gave Scott some outs (4♡, 7♢, 10♡, J♡), but the river (Q♤) wasn’t enough to overcome the pair of nines, sending the start-of-table leader away in fourth place for just over $30K.
Murrell’s luck then turned and he was the next to go, leaving just the unassuming Lustgraaf and Summervill in heads-up play.
The players were even at the start. Summervill scored a quick double-up with queens against A, K, but Lustgraaf was still able to end things in just an hour. On the decisive hand, Summervill’s A, J couldn’t keep up with Lustgraaf’s queens. Summervill scored $70,502 for his second-place finish.
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: Heartland Poker Tour
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