HPT crowns first female champion

Jenny Kriewald 2

The Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn., was bursting at the seams this past weekend as nearly 600 poker players showed up to play in four Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) qualifying events for Sunday's main event. Jenny Kriewald topped them all to take home the championship and $53,000.

Kriewald, from Valley City, N.D., became the first-ever female champion in HPT history. She won her way into the tournament through a free bar league in her home town.

After becoming the Dakota Poker League champ, she used her freeroll to enter a qualifying event and made her way into the main event, which reached 133 players.

Not only does she walk away with the top prize of $53,000, she also won a $3,000 package into the HPT Tournament of Champions at the end of the year in Las Vegas.

"This feels awesome," Kriewald said. "I'm going to Vegas!"

Along with the tournament of champions, Kriewald also plans to try her hand at the World Series of Poker this year in the Ladies Event.

The finalists from the HPT Shooting Star were:

1stJenny Kriewald$52,973
2nd Caleb Schumaker $26,485
3rd Richard Jurina $17,026
4th Thane Fliginger $13,242
5th Russel Spaid $11,351
6th Don Eagan $9,459

The next stop for the HPT will be the Leelanau Sands Casino near Traverse City Michigan. Qualifiers will begin May 16, and the main event will take place May 20.

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