Veteran player Karon settles for22nd place in national touring poker series.
Online PR News – 18-January-2010 – – At Heartland Poker Tour’s (HPT) humble beginnings five years ago, poker player Andy Karon found himself attracted to the company’s grassroots efforts in engaging “average Joe” players to tournaments which paid off generous purses.
Playing in the tour’s first ever held tournaments in the mid-west in 2005, the Duluth, Minnesota resident quickly found that the young company showed much promise as it steadfastly worked on smoothing out the operations in all aspects.
“The co-founders [of the HPT] are extremely down to earth. They were respectful and receptive to any suggestions that I had to improve the tournament,” said Karon. “Through our communications over the years about the tournament, I know both co-founders [Greg Lang and Todd Anderson] well. These two risked everything to create this tournament. They are very hard-working and honest and very determined.”
Tournaments like the ones put on by HPT are significant to two kinds of players. These events are important to players who don’t have regular access to live cash games, such as the case of Karon. These events are also important to HPT’s target market: “average Joes” who can afford the low tournament buy-ins yet still have the chance to win a six-figure payday. “What’s great about the HPT is that they always pay the top 30 spots no matter what,” says Karon whose 22nd place finish at the season opener Las Vegas tournament netted him $2,224. He qualified for the tournament through a $250 qualifier.
Other than Las Vegas’ tournament at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Karon picks his next favorite tour venue to be at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. “What makes this event so enjoyable is the venue itself. There are a lot of amenities, great hotel rooms and restaurants, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and efficient dealers. It’s like a Vegas-style property, but not in Las Vegas,” explains Karon.
As the HPT embarks on its sixth season, tighter relationships with establishments have enabled the relatively young company to continue its success for years to come. With an anticipated 17 event dates this year, the HPT appropriately named this event “Vegas Vacation” as a way to differentiate this season opener from the rest of the events. Marketing and public relations director Jen Mastrud explained, “Even though Las Vegas as a venue was a deviation from our core brand concept, it’s the gaming capital and if we were going to come here, we were going to go all out and really show our valued players a great time. To add to the Vegas style, we partnered with Express Jet and chartered in four, 50-seat, private jets and welcomed our players with a complete red carpet roll-out.”