HPT proves Indiana knows a little poker

When Jimmy Kroll won the Heartland Poker Tour's latest tournament in Gary, Ind., Saturday, he had the Disneyland of poker on his mind.

"I'm going to Vegas!" shouted an ecstatic Kroll to the crowd gathered at the Majestic Star Casino after winning $140,963.

Kroll had reason to be excited: The televised HPT event was the biggest in Chicagoland history with more than $500,000 in prize money and a record 841 entrants.

The New Lenox, Ill., native cleared the pack despite starting the weekend as one of the final table's short stacks. He chipped away at the competition for the duration of the concluding event and at long last made it to heads-up with Gio Magat.

Kroll's full house would be good for the win over the two pair held by Magat, the day's final railbird who finished with a $70,842 runner-up check.

"This was a fantastic tournament," HPT producer Todd Anderson said in a release. "We had a huge turn-out, the Majestic Star was a five-star host, and the action was incredible!"

The Gary event was the HPT's third of the 2007 season. Next up is a tournament at the Shooting Star Casino in Mehnomen, Minn., April 11-15.

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