This past weekend, 716 players visited the Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour in Black Hawk, Colorado for the latest stop on the Heartland Poker Tour. The massive turnout created a prize pool of $1,070,420, which marked the fifth consecutive million-dollar prize pool at the HPT Golden Gates. The final table was headlined by poker pros Kevin "-1SickDisease-" Eyster and Matthew Colvin, but when all was said and done it was 62-year-old local retiree Richard Monroe who came out on top to win the $235,494 first-place prize.
2013 HPT Golden Gates Final Table Results
|1st||Richard Monroe||Sedalia, CO||$235,494|
|2nd||Alex Greenblatt||Atherton, CA||$145,898|
|3rd||Keith Love||Denver, CO||$95,803|
|4th||Matthew Colvin||Dallas, TX||$66,901|
|5th||David Gutfreund||Chicago, IL||$48,918|
|6th||Ian Glycenfer||Ft. Collins, CO||$37,465|
|7th||Kevin Eyster||Denver, CO)||$31,363|
|8th||Ken Cordova||Thorton, CO)||$26,225|
|9th||Garth Thompson||Ft. Collins, CO||$21,408|
The nationally televised event attracted a slew of other well-known players including Kathy Liebert, Cyndy Violette, and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, though none of them managed to cash. One man who did was poker personality Bernard Lee, who finished in 16th place for $8,777 before providing live commentary at the final table.
Speaking of the final table, the action amongst the final nine lasted exactly 100 hands. According to the HPT blog, the first elimination came on the third hand of the day. It happened in Level 28 (30,000/60,000/10,000) when Alex Greenblatt opened for 120,000 from middle position and Garth Thompson, an airline captain from Fort Collins, three-bet to 350,000 from the small blind. Greenblatt made the call, the flop fell and Thompson shoved all in. Greenblatt called and the cards were tabled.
It was a terrible spot for Thompson as he needed to catch running kings to stay alive. The turn put an end to any hope of that happening, and the river send him out the door in ninth place for $21,408.
After Ken Cordova fell in eighth place on Hand #40 for $26,225, well-known poker pro Eyster followed him out the door five hands later. It happened in Level 30 (50,000/100,000/20,000) when Greenblatt opened for 200,000 and Eyster defended with a call from the big blind. The [108s4c] flop saw Eyster move all in and Greenblatt snap-call.
Eyster had flopped middle pair, but was well behind the big pocket pair of Greenblatt. Neither the turn nor river helped Eyster and he was sent to the rail in seventh place for $21,363.
Ian Glycenfer and David Gutfreund, who was fresh off a sixth-place finish at HPT’s last stop, were the next two to go in sixth and fifth place on Hands #62 and #73, respectively. “The new slogan should be, ‘if this shmuck can make a final table, why aren't you playing?’" Gutfreund joked after his departure.
On Hand #78 (Level 31: 60,000/120,000/15,000), action folded to Colvin in the small blind and he raised to 300,000. Greenblatt three-bet him to 745,000 from the big and then called when Colvin shoved.
It was a bad spot for Colvin, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, he had just a 23.82% of surviving the hand while Greenblatt would win 71.27% of the time. The flop was disastrous for Colvin, who watched his chances drop to 3.94% after Greenblatt’s two pair made him an overwhelming 95.56% favorite. The turn actually left Colvin drawing dead to a chop if only a seven fell, and after the was put out on the river for good measure, he was eliminated in fourth place for $66,901.
Keith Love, who started the day as the chip leader and was looking to improve on his second-place HPT finish two years ago, fell a short time later on Hand #91. It happened when Monroe opened for 325,000 and then called when Love shipped for 1.095 million. Love tabled the and was flipping against the of Monroe. The flop didn’t hit Love directly, but it did give him a flush draw to go along with his overs. Unfortunately for him, the turn and river both missed him. Love exited in third place and took home $95,803 for his efforts.
Heads-up play lasted just nine hands and came to an end in Level 32 (80,000/160,000/20,000). In the final hand of the tournament, Greenblatt raised to 320,000, Monroe called and the flop fell . Monroe bet 350,000, Greenblatt called and the dealer burned and turned the . Monroe kept the pressure on with a bet of 975,000 and then called when Greenblatt moved all in.
Monroe took the lead on the turn with two pair, and the river failed to help Greenblatt. With that, Greenblatt became the runner-up for $145,898 while Monroe captured the title and $235,494 first-place prize.
Monroe, a 62-year-old retiree from Sedalia, Colorado, plans on using his winnings to help with his retirement along with donating some to charity. This marked his second HPT cash after notching one back in 2010 in Las Vegas, while his previous largest cash was at the 2011 World Series of Poker where he finished in 10th in a $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo event for $15,484.
Greenblatt, who cleared the path for Monroe to claim the title by eliminating all but one opponent himself, said after the tournament: "I really like the HPT because they get big fields, a lot of fun people to play with, and have a good structure."
Over the next three weeks, the HPT will head to California for events at The Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Sacramento, and Club One Casino in Fresno.