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A Colossal Feat: Cord Garcia Wins HPT Golden Gates Again

Cord Garcia
  • Once wasn't enough. Cord Garcia won HPT Golden Gates for a second time.

Cord Garcia might be best known for winning the inaugural World Series of Poker Colossus, but his exploits at Heartland Poker Tour Golden Gates in Colorado are fast becoming notable as well.

Garcia beat a field of 787 players in the $1,650 Main Event for a $248,732 first-place prize. The win comes just five months after he topped a field of 488 in this very same event for 164,988. He had to get past one of the tougher final tables in recent memory, featuring Zo Karim, Dan O'Brien and fellow Colossus winner Ben Keeline.

Official Final Table Results

1Cord Garcia$248,732
2Dan O'Brien$153,982
3Andrew Dean$100,881
4Saad Vazquez$69,760
5Zo Karim$50,903
6Ben Keeline$39,103
7Ed Sebesta$32,277
8Justin Enger$26,956
9Torii Beeding$21,634

Matt Stout, Faraz Jaka, Allen Kessler, Kevin Eyster, Shawn Roberts, Tim West, Tyler Corbett and Ryan Van Sanford were some of the 81 players making the money but failing to reach the final table of the event.

Karim, Garcia and O'Brien distanced themselves from their opponents by the time the final table got underway, according to the live updates. Each of those three had built stacks of at least 4.2 million at 30,000/60,000/10,000. No one else had more than 2.2 million.

Garcia wasted no time moving from second to first. He held up with jacks against the ace-jack of Torii Beeding. Then, he was dealt another big pair, this time kings. He called the shove of Justin Enger, who had {a-Spades}{q-Diamonds}, and a king flopped to send the pot to Garcia.

O'Brien needed to keep pace, so he busted Ed Sebesta with ace-king against king-queen. Big Slick was good to O'Brien again when he put Keeline at risk and needed to improve against two nines. A king hit the board and Keeline hit the rail in sixth.

Former leader Karim couldn't gain any traction at the final table while Garcia and O'Brien swept up all the chips. Finally, he got it all in with {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts} only to see Garcia turn over {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}. The board ran out dead for both players to eliminate Karim.

It was O'Brien's turn again after that. After having been dealt aces a few times with two tables left, he picked up the rockets yet again and busted Saad Vazquez, who had sevens.

Andrew Dean made it to three-handed play with the two white-hot players, but his run ended there after seeing a {9-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} flop against Garcia. Garcia check-shoved with {k-Clubs}{q-Clubs} and Dean called with {k-Hearts}{7-Hearts} and saw the bad news as he had an inferior hand and draw. Two bricks later, a queen kicker was a winner.

Although Garcia had about a 3-2 lead over O'Brien, the two players were extremely deep going into heads-up play: O'Brien had 9.6 millon and Garcia 14 million at 60,000/120,000/20,000.

O'Brien pulled into the lead as the first few key pots went his way. First, Garcia check-raised him on an {a-Spades}{9-Spades}{2-Spades} flop and O'Brien called. He called another barrel on an {8-Clubs} turn, and a {7-Spades} river led to a check from Garcia. O'Brien fired in a bet and got paid off with {q-Spades}{q-Hearts} for a flush.

O'Brien still held a bit of a lead when the two got in what would prove to be the decisive pot. A raising war ended with O'Brien's {k-Spades}{k-Clubs} on their backs and leading Garcia's {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}. O'Brien was one card from claiming the tournament, but that river card proved to be the {a-Spades} and the match went on with O'Brien now nursing 10 big blinds. It was a deficit he was unable to erase and Garcia took down HPT Golden Gates for the second straight time.

Photo courtesy of HPT

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