Golden Gates Casino: April 8 - 17, 2016


Golden Gates Casino - Black Hawk, CO

April 14-17, 2016

Main Event: 439 Entrants

Josh Crain Wins MSPT Golden Gates Casino, $102,199!

Watch the full final table video (large file, may take a few minutes to load)

In early April, 439 entrants (119 Day 1a; 180 Day 1b; and 140 Day 1c) visited Black Hawk, Colorado to take part in the Mid-States Poker Tour Golden Gates Main Event, a tournament that created a $439,000 total prize pool – more than double the advertised $200,000 guarantee despite blizzard conditions.

In the end, 38-year-old poker player Josh Crain of Lakewood, Colorado emerged as the last man standing to walk away with the coveted MSPT trophy and a $102,199 first-place prize. Prior to the win, Crain had just one documented cash of $2,885 for a 228th-place finish in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event at the 2009 World Series of Poker.

"Right when I bought into the tournament, I sat down and the first hand I had aces but a guy flopped a straight," Crain said of his journey. "I was down to 4,000, and now here we go off one bullet."

As for what he'll do with the money, Crain didn't hesitate.

"It feels like the biggest cash I've ever had," he said. "I take care of my family, that's all I do. My parents, my sister, my family, my girlfriend Katelyn, they're all stoked."

Of course he also plans to use a little to travel out to Las Vegas for this summer's WSOP.

Day 2 saw 82 players return to action, each looking to make the money at the top 45. That meant 37 needed to leave empty handed, and among them to do so were MSPT Pro Matt Alexander, former champ Kane Lai, defending champ Phanora Prom, and bubble boy Joseph Pergola.

Among those to earn a cash but fall short of making the final table were Ben Keeline (45th - $2,129), MSPT Golden Gates Regional champ Stephen Zipprich (41st - $2,129), PokerNews reporter Mo Nuwwarah (37th - $2,129), Nebraska farmer Phil Mader (28th - $2,555), and WSOP Millionaire Maker champ Adrian Buckley (11th - $7,239), fell after shoving with ace-ten and running smack dab into the pocket rockets of Mike Ross.

The final table proved to be an extended affair as more often than not the short stacks double. As the hours ticked by the eliminations began to mount starting with Tyler Corbett, who ran pocket sevens into queens. Khao Nguyen and TJ Thondup followed him out the door in ninth and eighth place respectively, and a short time later Griffin Malatino joined them on the rail, the result of running ace-king smack into Jackson White's aces.

After the elimination of William "Mexican" Prieto in sixth and White in fifth, Ross met his maker after his queen-ten failed to overcome the queen-jack of Nathan Hoh in an all-in preflop situation.

Hoh and Crain then got involved in the biggest pot of the tournament. It happened when Crain raised to 600,000 and then called Hoh's all-in three-bet of 3.095 million. Hoh held ace-king and was flipping against Crain's pocket sevens.

The walking sticks held, and that set up a heads-up match between Crain, who held a massive chip lead, and poker pro Jason Vanstom, who ultimately had to settle for runner-up and a $61,745 consolation prize.

Congratulations to Josh Crain on becoming the latest MSPT Golden Gates champ and joining the ranks of Prom (Nov. 2015; 510 entries; $123,180 prize), Lai (March 2015; 409 entries; $101,365 prize), Reza Yazdi (Nov. 2014; 500 entries; $120,765 prize), and Dan Colpoys (March 2014; 453 entries; $114,156 prize).


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Josh Crain Denver CO $102,1991,500
2 Jason Vanstrom Colorado Springs CO $61,7451,300
3 Nathan Hoh Boulder CO $40,2411,200
4 Michael Ross Chicago IL $27,8921,100
5 Jackson White Houston TX $21,2921,000
6 William Prieto Arvada CO $16,394900
7 Griffin Malatino Fort Lauderdale FL $13,627800
8 Thupten Thondup Sante Fe NM $11,284700
9 Khoa Nguyen Littleton CO $9,539600
10 Tyler Corbett Denver CO $7,239500
11 Adrian Buckley Westminster CO $7,239500
12 Corey Zedo Denver CO $7,239500
13 Rich Dixon Cheyenne WY $5,536400
14 Jake Nguyen Denver CO $5,536400
15 Ramiro Perez Denver CO $5,536400
16 Ian Schwartz Boulder CO $4,130300
17 Jonathan McCray Colorado Springs CO $4,130300
18 Patrick Roy Littleton CO $4,130300
19 Travis Maly Denver CO $3,194200
20 Dan Howell Denver CO $3,194200
21 Eric Maier Littleton CO $3,194200
22 Michael Laferrara Aurora CO $3,194200
23 Shane Faulk Parker CO $3,194200
24 Jeffrey Beachy Greenfield Center NY $3,194200
25 Tony Piazza Lakewood CO $3,194200
26 Anthony Martinez Fort Lupton CO $3,194200
27 Josh Pedersen Aurora CO $3,194200
28 Phil Mader Grand Island NE $2,555100
29 Danny Gonzales Westminster CO $2,555100
30 David Stratton Divide CO $2,555100
31 Jamal Sawaqdeh Aurora CO $2,555100
32 Paul Schiff Denver CO $2,555100
33 James Morse Denver CO $2,555100
34 Matthew Bingel Westminster CO $2,555100
35 Tim Campbell Payton CO $2,555100
36 Rory Lucero Boulder CO $2,555100
37 Mo Nuwwarah Omaha NE $2,12950
38 John Vitt Boulder CO $2,12950
39 Andrew Dea Parker CO $2,12950
40 Brian Leitch Evergreen CO $2,12950
41 Stephen Zipprich Lakewood CO $2,12950
42 Joseph Giampietro Castle Pines CO $2,12950
43 Michael Garner Covina CA $2,12950
44 Shawn Collett Mesa AZ $2,12950
45 Ben Keeline Longmont CO $2,12950

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