You might say Greg Raymer had to win the Heartland Poker Tour Championship Open at Belterra Casino Resort. Who else could rightly take down the final event in…
Gene Bromberg, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

All he did was win.

You might say Greg Raymer had to win the Heartland Poker Tour Championship Open at Belterra Casino Resort. Who else could rightly take down the final event in what even the HPT itself labled “the Year of Fossilman”?

He had already won three HPT events this year, having played in 6, taking no less than first every time he cashed.

“Thank you all so much for the many kind tweets,” Raymer tweeted after collecting the $106,030 top prize in Florence, Indiana on Monday. “It has been an unbelievable run here the last 5 months on @HPTPoker. Winning 4/6 is too much.”

The 2004 WSOP Main Event champ won in New Mexico for $71,875, Missouri for $121,973, Iowa for $72,089 and then Indiana for the championship.

Having won a quarter of the 16 HPT events in 2012, Raymer collected a total of $371,967. His lifetime live tournament earnings are now reportedly more than $7.3 million.

Raymer also earned the tour’s Player of the Year honor, which he essentially locked up after winning his second HPT event in September.

No other player has ever won more than two HPT events in one year, according to Jennifer Mastrud, the tour’s director of operations. Jeremy Dresch, of Minnesota, won two HPT events in 2009 and another in 2010.

The tour also broke one of its own records this year, attracting 820 entrants for the main event at Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour in Black Hawk, Colorado and a prize pool of $1.2m.

The HPT site promises a “major announcement soon,” and Mastrud said that only some of next year’s events have been posted, but she would only hint at what would be new in 2013.

“Between now and the end of the year, we’ll be releasing big exciting plans for 2013,” she said.

Next year, the tour starts with HPT On The High Seas, launching the 2013 season on a cruise ship that leaves from Fort Lauderdal, Florida on January 19.

Raymer won’t be there for poker on the water. He tweeted: “Wife and I just not cruise aficionados. Best wishes to all who do, play smart, and have fun!”

But he’ll most likely be back for other events. The POY award also grants Raymer six HPT Main Event buy-ins of $1,650 or less and five nights at hotels for events in 2013.

In the championship that ended this week, Raymer actually entered the final table as the shortest stack, but quickly wrangled the chip lead.

Ultimately, Raymer’s AQ knocked out second place finisher Jacob Bazeley, of Cincinnati, who held A6.

After it was over, Raymer said simply, “I’m overwhelmed.”