Colorado - Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour Recap

Montes Wins $240k on HPT in Black Hawk
Eighth consecutive million dollar prize pool at Golden Gates

Black Hawk, Co. (February 23, 2015) – Jose Montes topped one of the largest fields in Heartland Poker Tour history on Monday to take home $240,523 and the coveted HPT Title. The poker pro from The Bronx outlasted 761 entrants at Golden Gates Casino & Poker Parlour on his way to victory. The stop marked the eighth consecutive million dollar prize pool for HPT in Black Hawk.

“It’s overwhelming. I’m blessed,” said the new champ. “This means so much for my family. I’m close to tears.”

HPT fans are in for a treat when the episodes from Golden Gates air on national television. The stacked Final Table featured several recognizable faces, including that of runner-up Joe Serock. The Albuquerque, New Mexico man battled Montes in an epic back-and-forth heads up match for hours before being sent to the rail in second place for $148,895.

James Bryan of Colorado Springs may not have as much experience as some of the competitors he faced this weekend, but he still made the most of the opportunity. The retired army veteran won his seat into the tournament on a $380 investment and managed to parlay that all the way to third place for a score of $97,548.

“It’s really a cool place,” Bryan said of his first trip to Golden Gates. “I’m going to be coming back a lot more.”

The chip leader at the start of the day was Indianapolis native Alex Yen. The poker player fared well early on, but in the end he found his tournament life at risk with a straight draw against Serock’s set of twos. The straight never came and Yen was eliminated in fourth place. He walked away with $67,456 for his efforts.

Cincinnati’s Jacob Bazeley is no stranger to playing in front of the cameras. This was his third appearance at an HPT Final Table. The title still eludes him, however. Bazeley was knocked out in fifth place for $49,221. He plans to apply the winnings toward the purchase of a new condo.

Kane Lai from nearby Highlands Ranch enjoyed his first deep run in a tournament. The physician lost the majority of his stack in a virtual coin flip when his pocket jacks were outdrawn by the ace-queen of Bazeley. He lost the rest of his chips on the next hand. Lai collected $37,811 for the sixth-place finish.

The last time Danny Gonzales found himself playing under the lights at an HPT event was just four months ago when he finished runner-up to current Player of the Year Aaron Massey. Gonzales, of Denver, failed to improve on that result this time around as he was eliminated in seventh place. He earned $31,211.

One of the most well-known players on HPT is Craig Casino. “The Legend”, as he’s known, sits at the top of the all-time money leader list with the tour. Another deep run at Golden Gates put him in a tie with tour veteran Stan Jablonski for most all-time cashes. Unfortunately for Casino, the day was cut short when he ran into Yen’s Broadway straight. The certified arborist from Winfield, Illinois can add $26,065 to his career total for the eighth-place finish.

The first player to be eliminated on Monday was Broomfield, Colorado’s Travis Northrope. The painter and poker player will use a portion of his $20,919 in winnings to go on a much needed vacation.

Next up for HPT is a series in Oklahoma, followed by a trip to Kansas City. Visit HPTpoker.com for a look at the full schedule of upcoming events.

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