Miracle river card spurs Haddad to HPT title

Tony Haddad

At one point, Antone "Tony" Haddad's tournament life was down to a single, solitary out on the river. But when that four of clubs hit, he had an inkling it would take him all the way to his first Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) title.

"I just had a feeling about this," said the newly crowned champ shortly after his win. "All weekend long I felt this was my time, and I was going to take this tournament down."

And with 162 poker players running in the main event at the Leelanau Sands Casino and a total prize pool of $229,244, it was no small feat either: Haddas, a pizza restaurant owner from Northville, Mich., took home a healthy $63,000 for his first title.

It definitely wasn't a shoo-in. Haddad found himself on the brink of elimination a few times throughout the tournament, including the sure-to-be-recounted-to-the-cronies moment when he was all-in and trapped by former HPT champion Scott Drill.

With Drill holding pocket aces against his pocket fours, Haddad was down to one out with the river to come. But when the shocking four of clubs showed up, it seemed destiny was on his side.

And, on cue a couple of hands later, Haddad indeed dusted Drill off with a running straight, sending him to the rail with two terrible beats.

By the time Haddad flopped a broadway straight to take out second-place finisher Mario Hudson, who had controlled the final table for much of the day, it seemed fitting: it was just Tony's time to win.

The Heartland Poker Tour moves to the Turning Stone Casino in upstate New York next month, with eight separate events planned including two TV final tables.

Action starts June 10 and continues through to June 18, and for all the details, visit Heartland Poker Tour.

The rest of the final table results:

1stAntone "Tony" HaddadNorthville, Mich.$63,348
2ndMario HudsonSt. Paul, Minn.$31,674
3rdSean RoySault Ste. Marie, Ont.$20,362
4thBrandon LamrockMillington, Mich.$15,837
5thCharles TobelNew Hudson, Mich.$13,575
6thScott DrillEdina, Minn.$11,312

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