Golden Gates Casino

Golden Gates Casino
Black Hawk, Colorado
October 1 - 14, 2007
Total Prize Pool $463,500
Congrats to Michael Haggard taking first place and $129,780

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Golden Gates Casino Quick Summary

“Wow, what can I say,” said Haggard. “It was pretty amazing. I guess you could say I got pretty lucky.”

Please check out the full event write up below.

Golden Gates Casino Top 6

First Place

Michael Haggard
Evergreen, CO

Second Place

Steve Klaus
Denver, CO

Third Place

Michael Banducci
Traverse City, MI

Fourth Place

Johnny Lima
Littleton, CO

Fifth Place

Oliver Schlemko
Broomfield, CO

Sixth Place

Cliff Waite
Grand Junction, CO


Golden Gates Casino Top 30 Finishers

PlacePlayerCashPoints Earned
1. Michael Haggard $129,780 1,000
2. Steve Klaus $64,890 750
3. Michael Banducci $41,715 600
4. Johnny Lima $32,445 450
5. Oliver Schlemko $27,810 400
6. Cliff Waite $23,175 350
7. George Karn $18,540 300
8. David Meyer $16,223 250
9. Jayson Smith $13,905 200
10. Stephen Tanner $11,588 150
11. Richard Dixon $9,270 100
12. Curtis Van Gilder $8,111 95
13. Robert Burcham IV $6,953 90
14. Steven Eck $5,794 85
15. Robert Brubaker $4,635 80
16. Dev Mahanti $3,708 75
17. Albert Quintana $3,708 70
18. Ryan Cosyns $3,708 65
19. Chuck Plante $3,708 60
20. Tony Saccomano $3,708 55
21. Terry Harper $3,245 50
22. Michael Bunch $3,245 45
23. Jarrett Peter $3,245 40
24. Scott Amodio $3,245 35
25. Christopher Adams $3,245 30
26. Sean Miller $2,781 25
27. Dan Lopez $2,781 20
28. Kevin Hudson $2,781 15
29. Brian Rohrbacher $2,781 10
30. Zhongmin Wu $2,781 5

Golden Gates Casino Recap

Not since the gold rush of 1859 has so many people flocked to the mountains of Black Hawk, Colorado in search of fortune. As in those days, some found luck and some didn’t. Tonight, the luck belonged to Michael Haggard, a 43 year old small business owner from Evergreen, Colorado, who took down the top prize in Colorado’s largest ever poker tournament. Haggard came to the TV final table as the shortest of stacks, climbing his way into contention early on, and then riding a series of incredible river cards to emerge on top and take down the $129,780 first prize.

“Wow, what can I say,” said Haggard. “It was pretty amazing. I guess you could say I got pretty lucky.”

Haggard may want to change his name to “Houdini” considering the incredible number of escapes he pulled off in his heads up finale with eventual second place finisher Steve Klaus. On seven occasions, Haggard found himself behind and all-in, only to see miraculous river cards to either save him with a win or a split pot. At one point, it was almost certain doom for Haggard who bluffed at the wrong time, only to see the board straighten out, creating an unbelievable split pot.

“That guy had more lives then a cat” said a disappointed Steve Klaus, a 37 year old chiropractor from Denver, Colorado.

For Klaus, it had to be a $65,000 kick in the stomach, having what seemed to be insurmountable leads on multiple occasions, both in chips as well as pre-flop hole cards. The marathon heads up match between Klaus and Haggard was 121 hands of roller coaster chip stacks and emotions. Twice, Haggard was looking at little more than felt in front of him. The final hand was symbolic of the entire heads up match as Klaus watched his pocket kings fall to Haggard’s pocket queens, ending an incredible final table.

For the Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, their first HPT event couldn’t have been much better as players flocked to the casino to play in the satellites and qualifiers. In the end, the main event was sold out with over 300 players and had to be held in two separate flights. Sunday morning arrived with snow on the ground and fifty players remaining. The final five tables got started about 11am and twelve hours later, a new HPT champion was crowned. In all, over 1,500 players participated in the HPT qualifiers and hundreds of more filled the room for satellites and cash games.

For the HPT, another event starts Monday at the Lucky Nugget casino in Deadwood, South Dakota. It will be a return engagement in Deadwood as the HPT had a hugely successful event there in March. Qualifiers will run all week with a two flight main event scheduled for Saturday October 21st. After Deadwood, the HPT will have events in Iowa, Arizona and the year will conclude with the HPT Championship Open event at Majestic Star Casinos in Gary, Indiana.