Zogman tops record-breaking HPT event

HPT Majestic Casino final table
Dan Zogman (bottom left), winner of the Heartland Poker Tour Majestic Star casino event, sits with the other finalists and hosts.

With a last name like Zogman, the latest Heartland Poker Tour winner sounds like he should have superhuman powers. He may not be able to fly or have super-strength, but Dan Zogman is invincible at the poker table.

The 47-year-old McHenry, Ill., resident took home first place in the Heartland Poker Tour Majestic Star Casino main event in Gary, Ind., last weekend.

His journey to get there included buying into a $100 satellite, which he won, propelling him into the $2,000 main event. There the Home Depot employee's invincibility continued as he took home the $227,811 top prize.

"This is incredible," Zogman said. "Winning a Heartland even has been my goal ever since I learned about the tournaments. We've already booked our trip to the next HPT event in Minnesota."

When Zogman made the final table, which played on Monday, his chip count was about mid-range compared to the rest of the table. As he fought his way to the top, his wife sat off to the side and relayed the action to family and friends back home.

The top six players were:

Prize Money
Dan Zogman
McHenry, Ill.
Jimmy Kasputis Jr.
Rockford, Ill.
Scott Bohlman
Horner Glen, Ill.
Kenny Nguyen
Lynwood, Ill. $54,919
Mark Owens
Greg Monaldi
Davie, Fla.

It was a big one to win as well considering this HPT event drew record-setting participants for the tour. In all, 1,481 players showed up to play in the qualifying rounds with 442 taking on the main event.

The HPT keeps the cost of entry within the reach of most people, which has resulted in so many participants that the prize money is reaching major tournament levels. The tour is also filmed for television, making it nearly like playing at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, but for the average person.

"Dan Zogman epitomizes what the Heartland Poker Tour is all about," said Todd Anderson, HPT producer. "The HPT was created for poker players in local casinos and neighborhood card rooms around the country. Like the Minor Leagues, it was designed and developed to give players everywhere a chance to make the big time."

Dom Niro, Majestic Star poker manager, said they were overwhelmed by the amount of players who showed up for the latest event.

"The turnout for this event was phenomenal," he said, indicating that the casino may have to find more room before the HPT returns there in December.

The next stop on the HPT is the Grand Casino Mille Lacs in Onamia, Minn., Aug. 20-27. The $2,000 main event will start Aug. 26.

For more information about future HPT events or past winners, visit HeartlandPokerTour.com.

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