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HPT Final Table Pits Mother Against Son

All across the U.S. tomorrow, poker players will make the trek home to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families, reuniting with Mom, Dad and other loved ones to share turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Some of those reunited families have not been seated at the same table together for quite some time. But that’s not the case for Vincent Fiorenza and his mother, Antoinette.

The mother-son duo shared a table together recently, but it wasn’t the dinner table. It was the final table of the Heartland Poker Tour Championship Open at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

That poker oddity saw mother and son take home over $54,000 combined for finishing seventh and fifth, respectively. One wonders whether Vincent is as aggressive against Mom while aiming to take down pots as he is versus other players. For that matter, perhaps Antoinette shows little mercy for her son when a first place prize of $156,649 is up for grabs.

David Gutfreund wins title

That championship prize money went to Chicagoan David Gutfreund, who had been knocking on the door of an HPT title two times previously. Those attempts fell a little short, but his latest did not.

I thought if I got here enough times, I’d run good at a final table,” Gutfreund said. “It makes up for a lot of times when things didn’t go my way…It’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to get paid.”

The new champion of HPT’s top event had more than a mother and son to contend with before taking the crown. There was HPT 2014 Player of the Year Aaron Massey, and 2009 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada.

Massey had an outstanding year, grabbing two HPT titles for over $256,000. A Chicagoan like Gutfreund, Massey is fresh from another 1st place finish earlier this month at the Bestbet Jacksonville Fall Series 2014 & WPT Bounty Scramble for $27,470.

Cada made the final table at Soaring Eagle, finishing eighth for $17,998. He was done in by Vincent Fiorenza, who caught an ace on the river to beat the pocket kings of the former WSOP champ.

Fiorenza success

Vincent Fiorenza (seated second from left) won an HPT championship last month in his home state of Florida. That victory was good for $122,353, and his fifth place finish in Michigan added $32,663 to his career earnings.

His Mom, Antoinette Fiorenza (standing behind her son), is no stranger to the cashier cage with a dozen cashes to her name, according to the Hendon Mob DB. Her $21,931 prize at Soaring Eagle was her largest cash to date among live earnings totaling $53,567.

Incidentally, this was not the first time that the Fiorenzas both cashed in the same tournament. Vincent landed in fourth at the $550 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Summer Poker Open in June for $56,501, while Mom Antoinette finished 58th for $1,341.

HPT Season 10 Concludes

Gutfreund took the title after a drawn-out heads-up against Missourian Reginald “Shawn” Roberts. The runner-up was in fine shape with pocket jacks until an ace on the river paired Gutfreund. That sent Roberts back to Missouri with $96,657.

The Heartland Poker Tour completed its tenth season, doling out more than $11 million in prize money in its most active year in terms of tour stops. Season 11 kicks off this weekend near Des Moines, Iowa at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.