Three stops on the fifth season of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) are in the books. This past weekend, Ken Baime topped a field of 301 players to win $77,681 at the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, Indiana, and this weekend the MSPT travels to Golden Gates Casino in Blackhawk, Colorado for the very first time.
The three-day $1,100 Main Event, which features a $200,000 guarantee, will kick off on Thursday, March 15 with Day 1a at 5 p.m. Day 1b and 1c will be held at the same time on Friday and Saturday respectively. On Sunday, the surviving players will return for Day 2 and then the final table will play out on Monday.
Golden Gates, which has played host to the Heartland Poker Tour in the past, is a new stop on the MSPT schedule.
“We’re very excited for the MSPT to visit Colorado for the very first time,” said MSPT owner and operator Bryan Mileski. “The venue is among the most scenic we’ve ever visited, and the excitement for a brand new stop seems to be at an all-time high. The MSPT is definitely going to make its mark on Blackhawk.”
That sentiment is also shared by Tony Niehaus, poker room manager at Golden Gates Casino. Niehaus recently spoke with PokerNews about the MSPT coming to town.
PokerNews: The MSPT is visiting the Golden Gates for the first time. What inspired you to bring the MSPT to town?
Niehaus: I have been following the MSPT for a while now and seen all the success and growth they have had and wanted to be a part of their future. We have hosted some of the biggest tournaments in the country even though we only have 17 tables in the poker room. It should be a great fit for both sides.
Are Golden Gates players excited for the MSPT? Has there been a general excitement in the room?
We have been hearing a lot of buzz about the MSPT and we feel that the players are very excited to see what this tournament is all about. We have numerous customers asking us for information about it during the tournament daily. We believe the MSPT will be very successful and popular going forward and definitely form into one of their top stops across the country.
What sort of things has the Golden Gates been doing to prepare for the MSPT?
We have a long track record of running big tournaments that are similar to the MSPT and very successful, so our staff should be more than prepared for yet another one coming into town. We have been making it a point to strongly promote the MSPT coming to the Golden Gates through social media, paperwork in the poker room, schedules and structures throughout the casino, and dealer buttons on the tables for a few months now. We believe good news travels fast and it shouldn’t take long for this thing to catch on big time around here.
The MSPT stop there is three days, while most other MSPTs are two-day events. How come Golden Gates has added an extra day?
Our poker room only has 17 tables and we usually draw huge fields for events like this, so it is physically impossible to finish in two days unless you play for a lot of extra time each given day, which is not something we would like to do. We anticipate the three days of play will let the players play without worrying about extra levels and hours and how the whole weekend plays out.
Can you tell us a little about your property and the surrounding area?
Our property sits in the center of Blackhawk’s casino district and is surrounded by the magnificent rocky mountains. We also have a beautiful creek running alongside the property. The scenic views of Blackhawk are amazing and just a short drive on any road will lead to spectacular views and even natural wildlife sightings. Just up the street is old town Central City that brings an old western feel to gambling. The ski resorts are just a one-hour drive from the casinos and offer unmatched skiing and entertainment.
Our property was newly renovated last year and has been on the rise ever since. We opened a new buffet, expanded our casino floor for even more of the newest slots around, and renovated our poker room with brand new chairs, tables, carpet, flat screen televisions and high-speed wireless internet.
Can you describe the poker room at the Golden Gates?
Our poker room offers 17 tables, four daily tournaments, one of the biggest bad beat jackpots in the country, and a weekly “Pay-to-Play” promotion, in which if you play 30 hours of live action in a week (Monday through Sunday) then you receive $150 in cash the following week.
The most popular game in our poker room and Blackhawk for that matter is a spread limit game with limits of $1-$2-$100. We also offer “Deep Stack” tournaments every weekend day at 12 p.m. for $160 or $210 with 30-minute levels and great prize pools.
Are there any other events going on players should check out when in town for the MSPT?
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a huge event in downtown Denver. The Parade takes place on Saturday the 15th and is only a 40-minute drive to downtown Denver. Also, if the Nuggets or Avalanche are in town during the stay, it’s always fun to check out a game at the Pepsi Center.
If you had to recommend three things for players to do other than poker while at the Golden Gates, what would they be?
First, the table games in the “G-Pit” are always a great time with all the wonderful G-Girls. Second, play at some of the nicest, loosest and newest slots in the country to pick up some extra money for the trip. Finally, definitely stop in to the new buffet at the Mardi Gras with tons of great food options during the stay.
Where’s the best place to eat at the Golden Gates, or what’s the best kept secret at the property?
Once again I would go with the Bourbon Street Buffet as it is easily one of the best places to eat on the mountain. Everyone should enjoy at least a few meals at this very nice place.
For more information on the Mid-States Poker Tour and their entire 2014 schedule, visit msptpoker.com.
*Photos courtesy of thegoldengatescasino.com.