The MSPT visited Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado for the first time in Season 9 in early April. Things kicked off with a $360 Regional Event – the seventh ever held at the venue – and saw 878 players take to the felt over four starting flights.

The tournament ended when the final six players agreed to an Independent Chip Model (ICM) deal. At the time, 71-year-old Barry Faecher of Lakewood, Colorado was the chip leader, so not only did he lock up $31,381 in prize money, but he earned the title of champion.

“I’m a bum. No children at this time, probably forever,” joked Faecher, who only fired one bullet. “I’ve been playing poker since I was eight years old, but I didn’t pick up Texas hold’em until 2003.”

Faecher’s road to victory was a rocky one. On Day 1, he played a big hand with pocket sevens. He flopped a set on an all-club flop and managed to turn quad sevens. He slow played it by checking behind and the river was a non-club nine. Long story short, his opponent held pocket nines and the two got it in.

“I didn’t want to scare him away so did a raise and he snap-moved all in,” Faecher said. “He bloated his nines to get felted. It worked out perfectly for me. Because I raised him on the flop, he clearly put me on a flush.”

Faecher bagged 103,500 and on Day 2 had an up-and-down ride. He won a big pot with kings against ace-queen, and in another late in the day he flopped a Broadway straight with a Royal Flush redraw and busted two players, who held top pair and flush draws respectively.

“I try to play every tournament as if it’s the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, so I play as if you can’t rebuy,” said Faecher. “I know people who fire multiple bullets, go after draws to try and double up. I don’t criticize it, but it’s not my mentality.”

Faecher, who has lived in Colorado since 1970, plays in Black Hawk several times a week and plans to try and parlay his win in this weekend’s MSPT Main Event. Prior to his win, his largest score was $8,375 for finishing 21st in a 2012 HPT Black Hawk event. He also earned $8,329 for finishing 61st in a 2010 WSOP $1,000 NLH tournament.

Final Table Results
1 Barry Faecher (Lakewood, CO) $31,381*
2 Chad Copsey (Aurora, CO) $29,150*
3 Kent Biel (Ft. Lupton, CO) $28,324*
4 Zach Gutierrez (Denver, CO) $26,285*
5 Steve Wilkie (Arvada, CO) $17,511*
6 Evan Shaughnessy (Denver, CO) $14,163*
7 Rob Hemschik (Denver, CO) $7,639
8 Dapo Ajayi (Littleton, CO) $6,058
9 James Shinaut (Parker, CO) $4,741
10 Stu Brown (Denver, CO) $3,688

*Denotes six-way ICM chop

The first flight attracted 146 runners, but only 23 of them bagged with Griffin Malatino of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and his stack of 254,500 leading the way. On Day 1B, 188 entrants took to the felt, and it was Corey Zedo, who had won the same event one year prior, who bagged the big stack among the surviving 29 players with 429,500.

On Day 1C, just 38 of 219 runners survived the flight with Golden, Colorado’s Anisa Moore and her stack of 299,000 out in front. On 1D, 325 entrants competed in the final flight, but only 45 made it through with Joseph Carrol and his monster stack of 708,000 leading the field.

Day 2 saw 135 players return to action but only 90 of them would get paid including Zedo (21st - $2,213), Carroll (24th - $1,870), Malatino (26th - $1,528), Greg Geller (32nd - $1,159), Gene Gioia (49th - $843), Moore (60th - $790), Svetlana Martie (72nd - $738), Jamal Sawaqdeh (76th - $711), Drew Schulz (84th - $685), and Benjamin Berman (90th - $685).

The MSPT Golden Gates will continue this weekend with a $1,100 buy-in, $300K GTD Main Even, which will feature three starting flights at Noon each day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The surviving players from each flight will then combine for Day 2 action and play down to a winner.