Golden Gates Casino: April 12 - 15, 2018


Golden Gates Casino - Black Hawk, CO

April 12-15, 2018

Main Event: 469 Entrants

Oregon poker pro Max Young Wins MSPT Golden Gates, $97,810

The latest MSPT Golden Gates Main Event attracted 468 entries (113 on Day 1A, 152 1B, and 203 1C) to Black Hawk, Colorado, marking the ninth MSPT Main Event ever held at the property. In the end, 33-year-old poker pro Max Young emerged victorious to capture a $97,810 first-place prize.

“I feel pretty good, not gonna lie,” said Young, “It’s been awhile, I’ve been on a little dry spell the past few months. The year started off great and then I just couldn’t put anything together, so it feels pretty good to have a big result that turns my year around.

Young, who fired one bullet in the tournament and bagged the Day 1A chip lead, is a well-known pro throughout the country. Prior to the win, he had $648,217 in live tournament earnings. That includes three World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring wins (he’s already got a seat locked up in August’s Global Casino Championship) and a Parx Casino Big Stax XXII victory for $120,930. Now he’s got an MSPT title on his résumé.

“The structure is good, you get a 20K starting stack, and it’s well run,” Young said of the MSPT. “All the people I’ve met are great. I only have good things to say. I’m traveling the circuit a lot, just trying to find events within my buy-in range that I think I’ll do well in. The MSPTs are right there, I like them a lot.”

Day 2 saw 61 players (14 from 1A, 19 from 1B, and 28 from 1C) return to action, but with 54 getting paid, seven players needed to leave empty handed before the money was made. Among those to fall short of a payday were Paul Holder, Jesse Worrell, and bubble boy David Johnston.

Among those to leave with a cash were Aaron Thomas (54th - $2,047), Phil Mader (49th - $2,047), Keith Block (36th - $2,457), Day 2 chip leader Nader Wahdan (25th - $3,048), last woman standing Svetlana Martie (21st - $4,140), former MSPT Golden Gates Regional Event winner “Money” Mike Maruna (19th - $4,140), Dash Dudley (17th - $4,549), and Danny Gonzalez (13th - $5,459).

The final table began with Bryan Robinson holding the chip lead with 1.805 million, though four others players had over seven figures. Aaron Frei was the first to go after he open-shoved a flop holding the A♣J♣ only to get called by the A♥Q♦ of Wyoming’s Jeff Heiberg. Neither the 8♦ turn nor K♠ river helped Frei and he was sent to the rail in tenth place.

A double elimination saw both Daniel Sochacki and Adam Friedman, who both fell to Young. It happened when Friedman raised holding the A♣10♣ and Young just flatted. The short-stacked Sochaki then three-bet all in for 315,000 with the 3♠3♥ and Friedman four-bet jammed. Young snap-called with his A♥A♦ and held after the board ran out 6♠5♦7♥K♠Q♥.

Ironically, Friedman had nearly eliminated Young when they were down to the final two tables. Friedman got it in with nines against Young’s jacks and flopped a nine. Young was extremely short after that.

“I kept getting hands against Friedman,” Young explained. “I was on his left so it looked like I was targeting him, but I usually had it. Losing that hand was crushing because I thought that was my chance. I was left with less than 10 big blinds. I managed to come back and things started to go my way, especially at the final table. Monster hands came to me and I smashed everything.”

WSOP Colossus II champ Ben Keeline, who came straight to Golden Gates after a one-week vacation on Tokyo, Japan (he literally flew back and came straight to the venue to late register Day 1C) was next to go after first losing king-jack to queens, and then the rest with tens to ace-jack. Keeline earned $14,558 for finishing in seventh place.

Young then eliminated Ian Sylvester after turning two pair against the latter’s pocket kings, and Robinson followed him out the door in fifth when he jammed his short stack holding the Q♣4♠ on the button and getting called by Sammy Aweida and his K♣8♦. Robinson took the lead on the A♦7♦Q♠ flop but the running J♣ turn and 10♠ river gave Aweida a winning straight.

Young extended his chip lead by eliminating seven-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Vincent Moscati in fourth place. It happened when Young raised and Moscati defended his big blind to see a Q♣5♣10♣ flop. Moscati check-shoved with the Q♦9♦ only to discover Young had flopped a flush with the 8♣6♣.

From there, Young applied pressure on the short stacks. Aweida made a stand with the K♥J♠ only to run smack dab into Young’s A♣K♣, which sent him packing in third place for $43,309.

The heads-up match between Young and Heiberg didn’t last long as the former held 95% of the chips in play. In the final hand of the tournament, Heiberg jammed the button with the A♦3♥ and Young called with the A♠Q♥. The board ran out J♣A♣K♦8♥5♥ and Heiberg finished as runner-up for $60,097.


Rank Player Name City State AmountPoints
1 Max Young Seaside OR $97,8101,600
2 Jeff Heiberg Buffalo WY $60,0971,400
3 Osama Aweida Broomfield CO $43,3091,300
4 Vincent Moscati Verplanck NY $32,7551,200
5 Bryan Robinson Savannah GA $24,5661,100
6 Ian Sylvester Hudson CO $18,6521,000
7 Ben Keeline Longmont CO $14,558900
8 Adam Friedman Gahanna OH $11,373800
9 Daniel Sochacki Avon CO $8,644700
10 Aaron Frei Longmont CO $6,824600
11 Adam Shenkin Parker CO $6,824600
12 Andreas Ramadanis Denver CO $6,824600
13 Danny Gonzales Westminster CO $5,459500
14 Ramiro Perez Denver CO $5,459500
15 Tim Acker San Diego CA $5,459500
16 Steve Klaus Denver CO $4,549400
17 Dash Dudley Lansing MI $4,549400
18 Brent Bellio Denver CO $4,549400
19 Mike Maruna Colorado Springs CO $4,140300
20 Ryan Remington Gillette WY $4,140300
21 Svetlana Martie Lakewood CO $4,140300
22 Wayne Lee Centennial CO $3,503200
23 Matt Livingston Windsor CO $3,503200
24 Yang Ruan Denver CO $3,503200
25 Nader Wahdan Aurora CO $3,048150
26 Chris Barrett Denver CO $3,048150
27 Michael McCloud Denver CO $3,048150
28 Andrew Hong Denver CO $2,457100
29 Greg Collins Boulder CO $2,457100
30 James Morse Denver CO $2,457100
31 Rich Bogen Westminster CO $2,457100
32 Nils Bardsley Denver CO $2,457100
33 Zach Gutierrez Denver CO $2,457100
34 Joshua Sullivan Wellington CO $2,457100
35 Raymond Danny (Dhanekula) Dallas TX $2,457100
36 Keith Block Pomona NY $2,457100
37 Jim Casement Fort Collins CO $2,22975
38 Terry Harper Evergreen CO $2,22975
39 Robert Gottfried Frisco CO $2,22975
40 Stephen Zipprich Lakewood CO $2,22975
41 Daniel Lim Erie CO $2,22975
42 Lawrence Blazer Henderson CO $2,22975
43 Tom Bouziden Colorado Springs CO $2,22975
44 David Levy (CO) Denver CO $2,22975
45 Thomas Neville Dallas TX $2,22975
46 Charles Aron Laramie WY $2,04750
47 Jason Beasley Denver CO $2,04750
48 Jason Vanstrom Colorado Springs CO $2,04750
49 Phil Mader Grand Island NE $2,04750
50 Will Mietz Black Hawk CO $2,04750
51 Griffin Malatino Fort Lauderdale FL $2,04750
52 Vincent Griboski Aurora CO $2,04750
53 Scott Horvath Windsor CO $2,04750
54 Aaron Thomas Beaumont TX $2,04750

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