The Heartland Poker Tour uses some questionable tactics to meet their guarantee. PokerGo and PokerCentral announce a state-of-the-art studio to house all of their upcoming programing. And Erik Seidel and Rainer Kempe keep crushing. That and more in the weekend edition of the Hit and Run.

Heartland Poker Tour Flubs Their Guarantee

Over the last decade, the Heartland Poker Tour has established itself as one of the premier mid-stakes tours in the U.S alongside the WSOP-Circuit and the MSPT. However, a recent decision at their latest stop at the Westgate Las Vegas has several players scratching their heads and others screaming boycott. Apparently, on the final flight as the tournament appeared that it would be short of its 500k guarantee, the organizers began offering certain players the ability to buy-in for $850 (half the actual buy-in).

Bracelet winner and poker pro Ben Yu was one of the first players to break the news on Twitter:


This led to a ripple effect with several notable poker pros and industry insiders weighing. Joe Ingram, DJ MacKinnon, Allen Kessler, and Matt Berkey all chimed in. Tournament director Matt Savage said that in his opinion the blame will fall more on the Westgate than the actual HPT staff, but others have disagreed. There seemed to be some creative wording in the contract that allowed HPT to manipulate both the nature of the guarantee and how it is met. One thing is for sure, this episode has given the HPT nothing but bad press.

Neither the Westgate nor the HPT has made a public comment on the situation yet.

PokerGo Finishing Brand New Studio

PokerGo and PokerCentral have been some of the biggest movers and shakers in the poker world these last few years. And that doesn’t look to change any time soon as the company announced this week that they are midway through building a state-of-the-art soundstage to showcase all of their upcoming original programming.

As you can see from the video above, the new studio will have a soundstage for events, a break desk for news, and even an area for streaming and interviews. The 10,000 square-foot studio was built from the ground up and will have space for up to nine poker tables. In addition the studio can support over 300 people and even allow up to 100 fans and spectators. The studio will also showcase several events from the E-sports worlds. All of this definitely seems “good for poker.”

Big Paydays for Seidel and Kempe

Generally, a bigger news story would be if Erik Seidel and a German superstar didn’t make a high roller final table. But this weekend, it was the same ol’ story as Erik Seidel and Rainer Kemp headlined the PartyPoker Millions 25k Barcelona High Roller final table. Both however came up just short as German player Andreas Eiler ended up taking home the trophy and the €700,000 first place prize. Eiler is best known from finishing runner-up in the WSOP-Europe One Drop for over $2.5 million (that event was won by Dominik Nitsche).

Seidel and Kempe would finish 3rd and 2nd, respectively. Seidel took home €300,000 for his efforts while Kempe walked away with €450,000. Hopefully those amounts will help each of them cope with the loss.

The next PartyPokerLive event will be the Sochi Poker Festival in two weeks, April 19 – 29.

Quick Hitters

-Lex Veldhuis has had a good time lately poking fun at himself. The PokerStars pro has been looking back and analyzing some hands he played on the site when he first started out playing poker in 2004. The results and the video itself are hilarious.

-Everyone is still talking about the weight-loss bet between the Staples brothers and Bill Perkins. Even Men’s Health has gotten into the conversation.

-And since that bet with Bill Perkins gained some solid national media exposure, our friends at BonusCodePoker decided to have some fun with it and announced a bet that Perky was sure to win. He seemed to like the joke as well.


Keith Woernle is a writer, comedian, and semi-pro poker player based out of New Jersey. He was a producer for season 10 of the World Poker Tour. Keith won a WSOP circuit ring in 2011. He likes poker a lot. Follow or contact him on twitter @WoernlePoker.