HPT Legend Casino Puts Together Banner Day 1a at Ameristar East Chicago

HPT Legend Casino Puts Together Banner Day 1a at Ameristar East Chicago

Craig Casino

Stop if you’ve heard this one before: Craig Casino is performing well in a Heartland Poker Tour event.

Arguably the top player in the relatively short history of the tour, Casino leads the all-time money rankings with over $800,000 in cashes, making up nearly all of his lifetime tournament winnings.

While he hasn’t quite guaranteed himself more yet, he’s put himself in great position after bagging 464,000 to lead the 16 players who made it through Day 1a of HPT Ameristar East Chicago $1,650 Main Event.

Casino got lucky in the early stages when he binked a two-outer set on the river and grabbed a double after shoving on the end and getting paid by top pair. Later on, he’d rocket up the counts with a heater to end the night, picking up aces and kings in the final couple of levels to win sizable pots.

Barry Schmiess was the only other player bagging north of 300,000 as he finished with 386,000. Others finding bags included Daniel Sepiol (246,000), Kevin Andriamahefa (237,000) and recent WPT champion "Chicken Wing" Frank Stepuchin (201,000).

A total of 116 entries turned up for the first of four starting flights in the unlimited reentry tournament, so the prize pool is off to a strong start.

Some of the players who contributed to that number but failed to make it through included Nick Pupillo, Aaron Massey, Alex Ziskin, Jean Gaspard, Matt Shepsky and Kou Vang. Gaspard had a particularly painful Day 1a as he pumped his 30,000 up just shy of 200,000 to surge into the chip lead before fizzling out in a hurry.

The tournament moves on to Day 1b, again scheduled for 2 p.m. local time. Come back to PokerNews for more coverage of HPT Ameristar East Chicago.

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