The Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) recently completed its stop at Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour in Black Hawk, Colorado. The $1,650 Main Event attracted 761 entrants and created a prize pool of $1,118,670. After three days of play, it was Jose Montes of Bronx, New York, who captured the $240,523 first-place prize.
The win marked Montes' second major in a month's time. Back in January, the 29-year-old topped a field of 1,363 entrants to win the 2014/2015 World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Choctaw Durant, a win that scored him $352,669 and a seat into the season-ending National Championship.
"It's overwhelming," Montes said after his latest win. "I'm blessed. This means so much for my family. I'm close to tears."
Indeed, Montes' win over one of the largest fields in HPT history will go a long way in not only supporting his 11-month-old son, but also another on the way. Montes previously stated he hoped to use the money from his WSOP Circuit win to buy a home, and now he'll certainly have more than enough to fulfill that dream.
Final Table Results
|1||Jose Montes||Bronx, NY||$240,523|
|2||Joe Serock||Albuquerque, NM||$148,895|
|3||James Bryan||Colorado Springs, CO||$97,548|
|4||Alex Yen||Indianapolis, IN||$67,456|
|5||Jake Bazeley||Cincinnati, OH||$49,221|
|6||Kane Lai||Highlands Ranch, CO||$37,811|
|7||Danny Gonzales||Denver, CO||$31,211|
|8||Craig Casino||Winfield, IL||$26,065|
|9||Travis Northrope||Broomfield, CO||$20,919|
Montes' win came after defeating a stacked final table that included the HPT's all-time money leader Craig Casino; Jake Bazeley, who was at his third HPT final table; James Bryan, a retired army veteran from Colorado Springs; and well-known poker pro Joe Serock.
Casino ultimately finished in eighth place for $26,065, tying Stan Jablonski's record for most all-time cashes, while Bazeley exited in fifth place for $49,221, money he plans to use to toward the purchase of a new condo. As for Bryan, who won his way into the tournament via a $380 satellite, he made it all the way to third place to parlay his small investment into $97,548.
"It's really a cool place," Bryan said of Golden Gates, which will next play host to the Mid-States Poker Tour from March 5-15. "I'm going to be coming back a lot more."
After Bryan bowed out, the tournament came down to Montes and Serock. The duo engaged in a back-and-forth heads-up match that lasted for hours, but eventually it all came to a head in Level 33 (100,000/200,000/30,000).
According to updates from the event, in what would be the final hand of the tournament, Serock opened with a raise and then called off after Montes, who had pulled out to a more than 2-1 chip lead, three-bet all in.
Serock got it in good, but his lead was short lived as the flop delivered Montes a pair of sevens. Neither the turn nor river helped Serock, and he had to settle for runner-up and a $148,895 consolation prize.
"Second place. Got pillaged [heads-up]. Was sleep deprived/headache, played like poo. Really sucks only winning $145K for three days of work," Serock later joked on Twitter.
The HPT will next visit Indigo Sky Casino in Oklahoma from Feb. 26 through March 9.
For more on the Golden Gates stop, check out the following HPT Video:
Don’t forget, Golden Gates Casino will be playing host to the Mid-States Poker Tour from March 5-15. For more information, visit msptpoker.com.