Altoona, IA (September 13, 2012) – Heartland Poker Tour (HPT), a major nationally-syndicated television show available on in over 100 million homes, will film two episodes of season eight at Prairie Meadows. The tournament will take place from October 12 through October 21, and will attract poker players from across the region and beyond.
The tournament has drawn 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Greg Raymer (“Fossilman”), and Lon McEachern, the renowned play-by-play official commentator for ESPN’s World Series of Poker.
The upcoming event is open to the public with players taking their shot at the championship for as little as $65 in qualifying rounds beginning October 12th. The Main Event begins with Day One flights on October 19th and 20th. Day Two concludes on October 21st when the field is reduced to six. The remaining six players will return for television production on October 22nd, while thirteen high-definition cameras capture all of the action until a champion is named. The tournament schedule is available at HPTpoker.com.
“We are happy to have Prairie Meadows as our partner in Iowa,” said HPT Executive Producer Fred Bevill, “The property is in line with all of the top casinos on our tour.”
Located outside Des Moines along Interstate 80 in Altoona, Prairie Meadows is a full-service casino with a wide selection of restaurants and bars, nearly 2,000 slot machines, poker games, blackjack, craps, progressive pai gow, and roulette. AJ’s Steakhouse features renowned Iowa steaks, chops, and a wide assortment of popular American cuisine, while the Triple Crown Eatery, Café at The Meadows, and Champions Restaurant all offer expansive menus. HPT players will receive a discounted rate at Prairie Meadows’ new hotel, which offers an indoor salt water pool, business center, fitness center and wireless high-speed internet.
“We are continually working on new promotions to excite our guests,” said Gary Palmer, Prairie Meadows’ President/CEO. The Heartland Poker Tour is a great example of the excitement we are looking for. We are honored to host this great event.”
Said Hector Morales, Prairie Meadows’ Director of Table Games, “Prairie Meadows is delighted to host the biggest name in Poker in the Midwest. Since the Heartland Poker Tour was announced to the employees of Prairie Meadows, they have become our ambassadors in promoting the event. Our players are excited and are looking forward to participate and play against Greg Raymer (Fossilman), one of poker’s biggest stars. In addition, we hope the local media in central Iowa will enjoy the opportunity to play in our media invitational tournament, with $1,000 going to United Way of Central Iowa on behalf of the invitational’s top media winner.”
In addition, the Invitational’s top winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to AJ’s Steakhouse at Prairie Meadows.
Although Prairie Meadows will host the event for the first time, HPT has a strong track record in Iowa. Ten previous visits to the state were hugely popular. In total, HPT has awarded $2.75 million to poker enthusiasts in Iowa.
Before expanding nationally, HPT was founded in the Midwest to serve regional poker players by inviting local residents to compete for a chance to play poker on TV and win “life-changing money.” Since humble beginnings in 2005, the grassroots tour has emerged as a leading brand in poker. The crew, still based in Fargo, North Dakota, crisscrosses the country producing up to twenty events each year from coast to coast.
“Although our tour schedule is busier than ever, it’s important to us to get back to our region and spend time with the loyal players who helped build our brand,” said HPT’s Director of Operations Jen Mastrud. The October event marks HPT’s only stop in Iowa this year.
HPT has awarded more than $36 million dollars and produced 200 episodes of the nationally-syndicated Heartland Poker Tour, which is now available on TV to some 100 million households. The event at Prairie Meadows will be produced in two one-hour episodes to air nationwide in December.
To make the event accessible to recreational players, buy-ins are reasonable and qualifying events occur on weekends. At a recent stop in Colorado, four of the six players advancing to the televised Final Table had each invested just $360 in the Tournament, including runner-up Michael McCloud of Telluride, Colorado, who finished with $151,721.
“This is certainly a lot better than my home game,” said sixth-place finisher Frank Pfeifer, a North Dakota native. The retiree turned $360 into $49,260.