Joseph Hebert Wins Poker Gras Main Event; 2nd Annual Gulf Coast Poker Award Winners


Earlier this month, the Gulf Coast Poker Tour not only wrapped up their Poker Gras Festival at Harrah’s New Orleans, they revealed the recipients of the 2nd Annual Gulf Coast Poker Awards, which seek to recognize and honor poker players and individuals with ties to the southern region of the United States.

A full list of both award and tournament winners appears below, but the big winner during the series was 2020 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Domestic Main Event champion Joseph Hebert, who was not only named “Player of the Year” but also won the $600 Main Event.

A Hebert Heater

Joseph Hebert
Joseph Hebert is honored at Harrah’s New Orleans.

The 2021 Poker Gras $600 Main Event easily surpassed its $100,000 guarantee as 495 entrants competed over four starting flights. On Day 2, the $257,400 prize pool was paid out to the top 51 finishers including Preston Croft (10th – $3,809), Preston McEwen (14th – $3,115), Ruth Hall (21st – $2,166), Hamid Izadi (25th – $1,586), Chris Read (36th – $1,210), Terry Moore (41st – $1,090), and Justin Hammer (46th – $990).

The biggest name at the final table was Hebert, who last December topped a 705-player field to win the 2020 WSOP Domestic Main Event for $1,553,256 and a shot at a bracelet against International winner Damian Salas. Unfortunately for Hebert, he lost the back-and-forth heads-up match to the Argentinean.

Hebert, who endeared himself to fans by playing for his late mother #ForLinda, not only closed out the year strong, he began 2020 on a heater as well. Prior to the pandemic shutting down live poker in the U.S., he won the 2020 Million Dollar Heater $2,000 High Roller in Biloxi for $74,000.

The 2021 Poker Gras Main Event came to an end when the final four players struck a deal that ultimately saw Hebert claim the title and $39,716 in prize money.

2021 Poker Gras $600 Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Joe Hebert Metairie, LA $39,716*
2 John Jenkins N/A $32,479*
3 Roger Javier N/A $25,586*
4 Taylor Aguillard N/A $25,514*
5 Sidney Farber WV $12,715
6 Chase Turner Alabama $9,676
7 David Chocheles New Orleans, LA $7,465
8 Nekoda Foster Philadelphia, MS $5,935
9 Michael Monaghan Jackson, MS $4,720

*Denotes four-way deal.

Hebert matched 2019 POY Joe Saleh‘s feat in confirming his POY status by winning the stop’s Main Event. In fact, he even did one better by also chopping a final turbo event the following day.

Additionally, Hebert and the late Ron Held were recognized by Harrah’s New Orleans Jo Ella McIntosh, who hung both their pictures in the poker room to acknowledge their respective awards.

Gulf Coast Poker Tour Poker Gras Winners

Chuck Brady won back-to-back trophies.
Chuck Brady won back-to-back trophies.

One of the biggest stories from the side events was Charles Brady winning two events and final tabling another. His first win came in Event #2: $250 NLH Bounty Turbo for $4,647 and the following day he went back-to-back by taking down Event #3: $250 Over 40 NLH for an additional $5,821.


Date Tournament Entries Prize Pool Winner Prize
July 29, 2021 Event #1: $300 Monster Stack 660 $164,682 Kris Kent $26,902
July 30, 2021 $150 Rookies Event 150 $15,000 Michael Colbert $2,050
August 1, 2021 Event #2: $250 NLH Bounty Turbo N/A $14,520 Charles Brady $4,647
August 2, 2021 Event #3: $250 Over 40 NLH N/A $23,005 Charles Brady $5,821
August 3, 2021 Event #5: $250 NLH Bounty N/A $18,920 Glenn Nunez $3,177
August 5, 2021 Event #7: $1,100 Old School Freezeout 59 $59,000 Peng Zheng $22,125
August 5, 2021 Event #8: $600 Main Event $100K GTD 495 $257,400 Joseph Hebert $39,716
August 6, 2021 $200 One-Day NLH N/A $14,080 Joseph Hebert $3,080
August 8, 2021 $300 NLH Deep Stack N/A $32,500 John Marcello $9,170

2nd Annual Gulf Coast Poker Award Winners

Justin Hammer won
Justin Hammer won “Industry Professional of the Year”

In the “Content Provider of the Year” category, PokerNews nabbed an award thanks to the PokerNews Podcast team.

“In this category, just about every year, it’s hard to argue there is anybody out there contributing as much poker content and has a connection to the Gulf Coast as Chad Holloway,” said tour co-founder Bill Phillips. “This year he and his co-hosts Sarah Herring and Jeff Platt] on PokerNews Podcast, as always, kept us entertained and informed.”

For “Industry Professional of the Year”, tournament director Justin Hammer took that trophy with Phillips announcing: “Our winner is part of growing and thriving Texas poker scene that has transformed the region. Gigantic tournaments and new poker clubs are now the norm in Texas. The tournament director of Prime Social Club is Justin Hammer and he’s been behind some eye-opening events like the Lone Star Poker Series. Congratulations on this award and thanks for your cutting edge contributions to the industry and growing the game.”

In the “Female Player of the Year” category, Phillips was proud to present the award to Chris Read.

“She has been crushing her local games, the regional games and is poised for a gigantic score. She quickly made big splash in poker after transitioning out of 9-to-5 career. She’s a vocal advocate for women in poker and deeply involved in growing the game in general. We are excited to present this award to Chris Read.”

Chris Read and her husband.
Chris Read and her husband.

Here’s a look at all the nominees with award winners bolded:

Player of the Year Senior of the Year Female POY Breakout Player of the Year Content Provider Industry Professional
Joseph Hebert Hamid Izadi Chris Read Logan Hewett bestbet Live Justin Hammer
Michael Lech Jerry Giroir Tara Snow David Hendrix Tyler Nals Don Dove
Matt Higgins Troy Clogston Susan Murphy Teddy Conner Jesse Fullen Neal Atkinson
Logan Hewett James Allen Ruth Hall Russell Boyette Chris Read Mike Neal
Daniel Lowery Hiep Doan Shawn Trahan Christopher Nunally PokerNews Podcast Dennis Jones
BJ McBRayer Stephen Greene Regina Koening Preston McEwen Jonathan Little Heather Ohlman
Cody Stanford Starr Valdez Viet Vo Clyde Duet Jordan Cutter
Trace Henderson Lisa Fleishman James Duke Dan Ross
Yousef “Joe” Saleh
Viet Vo

Additionally, there was a “Love of Poker” Award given on the day of the ceremony. The tour took the opportunity to remember many who had passed.

“Obviously, 2019 through 2021 will be remembered for the pandemic. We’ve lost friends and colleagues due to COVID and other illnesses. We’d like to remember some of them now including Jeremy Tinsley who played in around Lake Charles and East Texas, Tommy Hufnagle, a true legend of the game who lived in Biloxi, and Harrah’s regulars Stan Barre, Scott Adams, and Warren Jaubert.”

They continued: “We also lost one of the great local supporters of poker and we’d like to recognize him with our Love of Poker Award an honor in tribute of him … Ron Held was a regular in tournaments along the coast and was an avid fan of anybody he knew from the region making a run. His family talked about how he would sit in front of his computer refreshing updates if somebody was deep in an event and that was the only way he could follow.

“Many players have talked about an encouraging text out of nowhere from Ron on the day of a final table or deep in a tournament. Before he passed Ron won WSOP Circuit ring and everybody who got a supportive text or a congratulations was just as delighted for his success as he theirs. He loved poker, he loved this community and whether or not you knew it there was good chance he was rooting for you. We’d like to present the Love of Poker trophy to his family.”

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