Jason Dennis has won the Bally's Black Hawk Colorado Poker Championship (CPC) $1,450 Main Event, outlasting a field of 307 entries to earn the top prize of $89,534.
Dennis claimed victory just 15 minutes into Day 3, emerging victorious in a heads-up match against poker pro Justin Liberto that spanned two days and lasted over 90 minutes. The win more than doubles Dennis' previous lifetime earnings of $72,905 and tramples his previous career-best score of $26,640, which came when he took down the $2,000 CPC High Roller in March 2019.
After making a self-proclaimed punt on the final table bubble, Dennis almost fell short of reaching the final nine and entered with just five-and-a-half big blinds, less than half of anybody else still in contention. However, he found heat at the right time and was eventually able to ascend all the way to the top, continuing to ride the momentum he found earlier in the series when he took third place in last Sunday's 6-Max event.
Final Table Results
Day 2 Action
The 307 entries from three initial starting flights brought 47 players back Sunday for Day 2, 31 of which made the money. Dennis was one of just eight to enter the day with less than 100,000, but quickly ascended to an above-average stack, thanks in part to his pocket aces knocking out Ryan Dodson as play neared the money. By the time the bubble burst, he had dipped below the average, and once again found himself near the bottom of the counts when 27 remained for the three-table redraw.
Dennis' roller coaster ride continued from there, hitting a flush with jack-ten of clubs to crack Jorden Helstern's (14th - $5,567) pocket aces to find a double and gain some breathing room, only to once again enter the final table as the shortest stack in play.
Elsewhere around the room, Steve Wilkie and Dwane Collard experienced two of the quickest starts of the day, and the pair made the most of them to enter the final table with the top two stacks. Liberto had also begun to build his stack by that point in the tournament and came into the final table third in chips, while Day 1 chip leader Rocco Palumbo also maintained an above-average stack most of the way to the final table and found himself in the middle of the pack for the beginning of the final table.
Final Table Recap
Jay Teel was the first to fall at the final table, shoving ace-ten into ace-king against Collard, who built on his chip lead as a result. Palumbo then went out at Liberto's expense, with the tournament going on break and returning with a different trajectory as doubles became the theme: Dennis found multiple of his own, with Jason Remshardt and Wilkie also doubling their stack over the course of the next hour-and-a-half. It was then Josh Saltz's turn to race for his tournament life, shoving king-jack into Wilkie's pocket tens, where he wound up on the wrong end of the coin flip to finish in seventh.
Dennis was once again then on the short stack and open-jammed queen-ten in the cutoff, finding a call from Liberto's sevens in the small blind. He hit two pair on the flop to stay alive, and moments later Liberto was involved in another preflop all-in situation where he opened and saw Chris Quackenbush and Remshardt both re-jam. Liberto called with ace-queen and hit a queen on the river to make the best hand against Crackenbush's pocket jacks and Remshardt's ace-jack of hearts, sending both home in a single runout.
Nearly a full level of four-handed play then went by as Liberto chipped his way up to the top of the counts. Liberto and Collard played several pots throughout that time with Liberto collecting the majority of them, and he delivered the final blow after calling a re-shove with king-queen and holding against Collard's ace-jack. Then, Liberto knocked out Wilkie a couple of hands later when his ace-king held on an ace-high board against Wilkie's inferior pair and combo draw.
Liberto then entered heads-up play with the majority of the chips and all the momentum, but Dennis turned things around quickly, and over the course of the next 80 minutes the two wound up with nearly identical stacks to put into bags with the intent on settling the score Monday.
Dennis picked up where he left off Sunday evening, admitting to making two straights within the first 10 minutes of the day to take a commanding chip lead. He then opened with ace-jack on the button and called a re-jam for Liberto's remaining stack, hitting a jack on the flop to best Liberto's fives and claim the title.
Coverage has concluded for the CPC Main Event, but PokerNews will be back Wednesday to cover the $3,000 CPC High Roller, a single-day tourney that will begin at 11 a.m. local time. See you then.