Golden Gates Casino-Black Hawk, CO Recap
MN Man Wins $182K on
Hawk, CO – An entrepreneur from Minnesota is the latest champion of Heartland
Poker Tour’s Mile High Poker Open, taking $182,100 back to the Land
of 10,000 Lakes. Mark Dunbar upstaged 401 players in the Rockies for the
coveted championship on the nationally-syndicated poker show.
uphill battle marked the first time an out-of-state resident won the HPT at
Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour. At seven previous stops in Black
Hawk, 44 of 48 players to make the televised final table were Colorado
residents. Although records indicate players travel from over twenty
states to play the HPT at Golden Gates, all seven previous champions call
Colorado home. With ace-nine against king-nine, Dunbar broke into the
locals-only winners’ club.
proud of our area players,” says Gates General Manager Shannon Keel,
“but we’re always happy to welcome players to the state of
day two of the tourney, Dunbar’s chip stack ranked near the bottom of the
pack of 61 remaining players and continued to melt away. Climbing back
and eventually going heads up against Denver pro John Beauprez, the St. Paul
native proved to be as enduring as a Minnesota winter.
success is especially timely for producers of Heartland Poker Tour.
Founders Todd Anderson and Greg Lang launched the nationally-syndicated poker
show in Minnesota, where the company is still headquartered. Next month,
Anderson and Lang will celebrate HPT’s milestone of five years on TV with
players, fans, and poker celebrities at Shooting Star Casino, Hotel, &
Event Center in Mahnomen, Minnesota.
every corner of the US, we’ve awarded over 24 million dollars so
far,” says Lang, “It’s rewarding to see a piece of that go
back to where it all began for the HPT.”
The latest event in
Colorado’s popular gaming town will be produced into two one-hour
episodes and broadcast nationwide in May. Heartland Poker Tour is
available on TV in over 100 million US households, in addition to widespread distribution
throughout Europe and the Caribbean. In the Denver area, HPT airs as
often as twenty times per week on Altitude Sports, MAVTV, and other networks.
“I hope my family
isn’t embarrassed to see Grandma playing poker on TV,” said
69-year-old Mary Huffman, “but I’m on top of the world right
now. I’m having so much fun.” Huffman, who nearly
chickened out of entering her first HPT event, was coerced by a poker buddy to
make the trip from Nebraska. Getting into the tourney for just $180,
Huffman’s first try paid $42,420 in fourth-place. “This is
way cool,” said the upbeat retiree.
Public defender Matt Connell also
found himself at the final table on his first HPT attempt. The Boulder
trial attorney hoped his experience cross-examining witnesses on the stand
would translate into a good read on players at the felt. All in with
ten-four against ace-jack, court was adjourned for Connell. He was
awarded $54,540 in third place.
Another attorney at the table,
Louie Cohen, was hoping to outlast Connell. “I don’t
generally like attorneys,” said the Denver lawyer, “so I hope he
gets knocked out early.” It was Cohen who was sentenced to fifth
place when a pair of queens overruled his king-ten. He settled for
$36,360, his first cash after several HPT attempts.
first-timer, Dan Sullivan won his main event seat in a home game. Making
his poker buddies proud, the mortgage broker finished sixth for $30,300.
Having been within reach of $182,100, Sullivan is likely to take another shot
when the Mile High Poker Open returns to Golden Gates in 2011.
is life-changing money,” Sullivan said, “Anyone who says otherwise