Golden Gates Casino-Black Hawk, CO Recap
Poker Gets Colorado Man
to the Altar
Black Hawk, CO
– Wedding bells are finally ringing for Matt Mason and Jackie Wright of
Littleton, Colorado. The couple put
their plans to marry on hold last year, struggling to make ends meet after
Wright lost her job. For a $360
investment, Mason took a shot at a windfall playing the Heartland Poker Tour at Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour in
Black Hawk, Colorado over the weekend.
Mason knew it was time to book the caterer when a straight on the river
made him the latest champion on the nationally-televised poker show. With
first place paying $188,955, the honeymoon is already off to a good start.
appeal of the Heartland Poker Tour,”
says HPT Executive Producer Greg Lang.
“A shot at unreal money is attainable for minimum risk.” John “Bubba” Holdren may never see an ROI as
lucrative as he did Sunday. The
entrepreneur and father-of-two from Greeley, Colorado turned $180 into $94,478
in second place.
man from Colorado, Craig Dubberstein, battled his way through the field of 419
players to become one of the final six playing on the televised set. Holding a shiny toy coin from his
eight-year-old daughter for luck, he got tangled up with Mason and went all in
with bottom pair. The champ called with pocket
eights against fours, sending Dubberstein out in third place. The toy money will reemerge at another poker
table soon, while the very real $56,687 will be put away for his daughter and two-year-old
“The HPT is
the most economical tour out there, “said Ed Wilson of Aurora, Colorado. The tournament at Golden Gates was déjà vu
for Wilson. One year ago, the 39-year-old
production mechanic took fourth place at an HPT stop at Gates. Wilson’s starting chip count was nearly
identical the previous year, as was the prize money up for grabs. In April 2009, 426 players turned out,
contributing to a record-sized prize pool.
Making a move Sunday with queen-nine, Wilson ran into Holdren’s
ace-queen. An ace on the flop meant
fourth place again for Wilson, adding $44,090 to last year’s $44,646. “I won’t complain if I take fourth place
every time I play this tournament,” he said.
have another shot in September when the HPT returns to Golden Gates Casino
& Poker Parlour. “We are preparing
for a record-breaking field later this year,” says Gates General Manager Jef
Bauer. “Through our partnership with HPT,
we’ve awarded four million dollars in Colorado.” Five of the six players at the final table
Sunday are Colorado residents.
know they can expect a massive prize pool in Black Hawk,” says HPT President
Todd Anderson. “Golden Gates is now the
stop they don’t miss.”
Morrow of Grand Island, Nebraska took vacation time from his job to drive up to
Black Hawk for his shot at life-changing money.
“Even getting seventh-place would be great”, he said before getting to
the televised final table, finishing sixth for $31,493.
Hanley, a CEO in the health care industry, shares Morrow’s enthusiasm. “Playing for this kind of money on TV is one
of the most exciting things I’ve done in my life,” he said. The Lafayette, Colorado, grandfather flew a
jet in the Navy and excelled at college basketball, yet got the thrill of his
life picking up $37,791 in fifth place. “That’s
one exciting game,” Hanley said.