$

Awarded to date

Golden Gates Casino

April 12 - 15, 2018
Main Event: 468 Entrants
Winner: Max Young
recap_icon

EVENT RECAP

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.

result

The RESULTS

Rank
Player Name
City
State
Amount
Points
1
OR 
$97,810
1,600
2
WY 
$60,097
1,400
3
CO 
$43,309
1,300
4
NY 
$32,755
1,200
5
GA 
$24,566
1,100
6
Hudson 
CO 
$18,652
1,000
7
CO 
$14,558
900
8
OH 
$11,373
800
9
Avon 
CO 
$8,644
700
10
CO 
$6,824
600
11
Parker 
CO 
$6,824
600
12
Denver 
CO 
$6,824
600
13
CO 
$5,459
500
14
Denver 
CO 
$5,459
500
15
CA 
$5,459
500
16
Denver 
CO 
$4,549
400
17
MI 
$4,549
400
18
Denver 
CO 
$4,549
400
19
CO 
$4,140
300
20
WY 
$4,140
300
21
CO 
$4,140
300
22
CO 
$3,503
200
23
CO 
$3,503
200
24
Denver 
CO 
$3,503
200
25
Aurora 
CO 
$3,048
150
26
Denver 
CO 
$3,048
150
27
Denver 
CO 
$3,048
150
28
Denver 
CO 
$2,457
100
29
CO 
$2,457
100
30
Denver 
CO 
$2,457
100
31
CO 
$2,457
100
32
Denver 
CO 
$2,457
100
33
Denver 
CO 
$2,457
100
34
CO 
$2,457
100
35
Dallas 
TX 
$2,457
100
36
Pomona 
NY 
$2,457
100
37
CO 
$2,229
75
38
CO 
$2,229
75
39
Frisco 
CO 
$2,229
75
40
CO 
$2,229
75
41
Erie 
CO 
$2,229
75
42
CO 
$2,229
75
43
CO 
$2,229
75
44
Denver 
CO 
$2,229
75
45
Dallas 
TX 
$2,229
75
46
WY 
$2,047
50
47
Denver 
CO 
$2,047
50
49
NE 
$2,047
50
50
CO 
$2,047
50
52
Aurora 
CO 
$2,047
50
53
CO 
$2,047
50
54
TX 
$2,047
50