$

Awarded to date

Golden Gates Casino

March 30 - April 2, 2017

 
  • Level: 32
  • Blinds: 80000 / 160000
  • Ante: 20000
61-Year-Old Retiree Fred Garcia Wins MSPT Golden Gates Main Event for $109,881
Created (4/3/2017 2:58:00 AM by Admin System)

The latest MSPT Golden Gates $1,100 Main Event in Black Hawk, Colorado drew 472 entries, and after three starting flights and a long Day 2, it was 61-year-old Fred Garcia of Durango, Colorado who emerged victorious to capture a $109,881 first-place prize.

“I’ve been wanting to make a final table, that was my goal, and things just worked out,” Garcia said after the win. He then showed off his card protector, which was a picture of him and his fiancé. “My girl passed away in July, so she’s been with me all tournament.”

Garcia, who fired just one bullet into the tournament, has been playing poker recreationally for 30 years. He spent 25 of them working for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), but retired on November 1, 2009. Now, he manages properties in Durango and plays poker on the side. He’s also an accomplished pool player, motorcycle enthusiast, and a dancer – he can swing, two step, and waltz for those wondering.

As for the money, Garcia has two plans. The first is to head to Vegas this summer to try his luck in the World Series of Poker Seniors Event, and the other is to buy more property.

“I’ve been telling my boys that, if I made enough, I was going to buy a piece of land in California, just pay cash,” he said. “So, there’s some plans there.”

Prior to the win, Garcia’s best cash was $11,667 for finishing 13th in a 2013 Heartland Poker Tour Golden Gates Main Event, and back in February he finished 27th in the same tournament for $7,288.

Day 2 saw 88 players return to action, but with only 45 slated to get paid, nearly half the field left empty handed. Among those to fall before the money were Corey Zedo, who had won the MSPT $360 Regional Event the weekend before for more than $47K; start-of-the-day chip leader Jim Morrison, who lasted all of two levels; and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Ben Keeline.

Among those to cash but fall short of the final table were Nader Wahdan (39th - $2,289), Samuel Spiwak (28th - $2,747), MSPT Season 6 Regional champ Bobby Sanoubane (19th - $3,434), and the last woman standing Ruth Graham (13th - $5,952).

Sammy Aweida, who was one week removed from final tabling the MSPT $360 Regional Event, began the final table as the chip leader, but a lot changed over the course of six hours. It took just nine hands for Michael Campbell to fall after running Big Slick into Griff Malatino’s pocket kings, and that set up a lengthy nine-handed battle.

It wasn’t until Hand #49 that Erasmus Morfe, who finished 19th in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event for $262,574, saw his pocket nines collapse against Baskaiyel Baker’s ace-king. Three hands later, the short-stacked Larry Davidson bowed out in eighth after running ace-three into Keith Block’s ace-eight.

After Day 1B chip leader Fernando “Certified Gangster” Galvan took his leave in seventh place – his king-nine failed to overcome Joey Michael’s ace-queen – Malatino followed him out the door on Hand #68 of the final table.

It happened with the blinds at 30,000/60,000/10,000 when Garcia raised to 120,000 under the gun with the  kd qd. Aweida called from the button, Malatino shoved for 65,000 from the small blind with the  9s 9c, and Garcia opted to call. Aweida got out of the way and Garcia ended up the winner after the board ran out  6c qh 6h ac 7c.

On Hand #81 in the 40,000/80,000/10,000 level, Block dispatched Baker in fifth place after the latter called off 1.6 million with king-ten and failed to get there against the former’s ace-seven. Ten hands later, Aweida took his leave after getting it in with ace-ten only to run smack dab into Michael’s kings.

Three-handed play turned out to be a back-and-forth affair as the trio took turns holding the chip lead. Eventually, on Hand #118 of the final table in the 60,000/120,000/20,000 level, Garcia looked down at the  as ah on the button and raised to 240,000. Block called form the small blind, Michael three-bet all in for 2 million with the  2h 2d, and Garcia moved all in over the top. Block folded and Michael hit the rail after the board ran out an unhelpful 3 3s 8c 3h kc jh.

Garcia began heads-up play with a slight chip lead, but Block, an experienced poker pro from New York who once finished third in the WSOP’s $10,000 Heads-Up World Championship, wouldn’t go down easy. In fact, the two battled for well over an hour, each holding the chip lead on more than one occasion.

In what would be the final hand of the tournament, the blinds were 80,000/160,000/20,000 when Garcia limped the button with the  qh 7s and Block checked his option holding the  3d 2h. The  4c 5h 6c flop was interesting in that Block flopped a straight, but Garcia held an open-ender.

Block checked, Garcia bet 300,000, and Block check-raised to 775,000. Garcia made the call and then called a bet of 1.15 million when the  qd turn gave him top pair. Block had him right where he wanted him, at least until the  8h spiked on the river to give Garcia a bigger straight. Block moved all in for his last 1.4 million and Garcia snap-called to put an end to the tournament.

Congratulations to Fred Garcia, winner of the 2017 MSPT Golden Gates for $109,881!

The MSPT will now head to Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee Wisconsin for next weekend’s $1,100 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed Main Event. As always, we’ll be live reporting that tournament right here in the blog, so be sure to join us for our coverage beginning Friday evening.

  • Level: 24
  • Blinds: 12000 / 24000
  • Ante: 4000
Final Table Draw & Counts -- Tune Into Live Stream at 7:15 p.m. MDT (8:15 p.m. CDT)
Created (4/2/2017 6:51:26 PM by Admin System)

The final ten players of the MSPT Golden Gates are now combining down to the final table. They will then be sent on a dinner break. Cards will be back in the air at 7:00 p.m. local time with the live stream starting 15 minute after that. Who will walk away with the $109,881 prize? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

We won’t be reporting anymore of the action here in live blog (other than an end-of-day recap), so if you want more in-depth coverage we encourage you to tune into the live stream to watch the action with hole cards on a 15-minute delay.

MSPT Live Stream on msptpoker.com -> CLICK HERE

MSPT Live Stream on Twitch -> CLICK HERE


Final Table

1 - Erasmus Morfe (Highlands Ranch, CO) ... 741,000
2 - Griff Malatino (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) ... 1.146 million
3 - Joey Michael (Austin, TX) ... 824,000
4 - Fernando Galvan (Denver, CO) ... 1.036 million
5 - Fred Garcia (Durango, CO) ... 1.289 million
6 - Baskaiyel Baker (Lafayette, CO) ... 810,000
7 - Keith Block (Pomona, NY) ... 1.247 million
8 - Michael Campbell (Rapid City, SD) ... 295,000
9 - Osama “Sammy” Aweida (Broomfield, CO) ... 1.513 million
10 - Larry Davidon (Ridgfield, WA) ... 576,000

One of the biggest stories of the final table is the appearance of Osama “Sammy” Aweida, who back in 2015 finished runner-up to Phanora Prom in this very event for $69,258. It was a nice payday, but no doubt coming up one spot shy of the title is something that’s stuck with Aweida. He has a shot at redemption tonight.

Another former finalist is Griff Malatino, who this time last year finished in seventh place at Golden Gates for $13,627. He has his sights set on improving upon that in Season 8.

Michael Campbell, who hails from Rapid City, South Dakota, has made two deep runs in past MSPT Golden Gates Main Events – he finished 26th in Season 6 for $2,721 and 12th in Season 7 for $8,080. If he finishes third or better, Campbell will best his previous best poker cash of 34,374.

Meanwhile, Fred Garcia, Keith Block, Baskaiyel Baker, Fernando Galvan, Larry Davidson, Joseph Michael, and Erasmus Morfe are all seeking their first cashes. That said, a few of them have tasted poker success.

In 2008, Michael finished 14th in the WSOP $50,000 HORSE Championship for $142,080, while at the 2007 WSOP Block placed third in the $5,000 Heads-Up World Championship for $128,968. Finally, Morphe, a doctor from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, made poker headlines a couple years ago when he went deep in the 2015 WSOP Main Event. He ultimately finished 19th for $262,574, which was the last time he cashed a poker tournament. For more on Morfe, check out the feature PokerNews did on him during his run.

  • Level: 24
  • Blinds: 12000 / 24000
  • Ante: 4000
Zach Gutierrez Eliminated in 11th Place ($7,783)
Created (4/2/2017 6:49:29 PM by Admin System)

Zach Gutierrez

Joseph Michael raised the button to 60,000 and Zach Gutierrez three-bet all in for 252,000 more from the small blind. Michael thought for a bit and then made the call.

Michael:  da qc
Gutierrez:  jh jd

Gutierrez maintained the lead on the  6c2d 8d flop, but the dealer drove a dagger through his heart by putting out the  qs on the turn. The  3h river was no help to Gutierrez and he bubbled the final table in 11th place.

Zach Gutierrez – Eliminated in 11th place for $7,783

  • Level: 24
  • Blinds: 12000 / 24000
  • Ante: 4000
Ian Winters Eliminated in 12th Place ($7,783)
Created (4/2/2017 6:46:15 PM by Admin System)

Ian Winters

A big cooler just took place in one of the first hands after coming back from the break.

It happend when Osama Aweida raised to 70,000 and Ian Winters three-bet all in for around 600,000 from the big blind. Aweida snap-called and Winters discovered the bad news.

Aweida:  ac ah
Winters:  kc kd

There would be no miracle for Winters as the board ran out a dry  4s 2h 9s qd 3s.

Osama Aweida - 1.35 million
Ian Winters – Eliminated in 12th place for $7,783

  • Level: 24
  • Blinds: 12000 / 24000
  • Ante: 4000
MSPT Heads to Michigan’s FireKeepers Casino May 13-21 for $300K GTD Main Event
Created (4/2/2017 6:35:58 PM by Admin System)

Don’t look now, but Michigan is one of the country’s hottest spots for poker, a fact evidenced by massive tournament fields. Case in point, recent stops of the MSPT, which will visit FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek for the first time in Season 8 May 13-21.

A series of $65 and $250 qualifiers will take place in the weeks leading up to the $1,100 buy-in, $300,000 guarantee Main Event, which is once again expected to draw a massive field.

“FireKeepers recently expanded their poker room, which is great considering the fields keep getting bigger and bigger,” said MSPT President Bryan Mileski. “Not only that, they’re in the process of making changes around the casino to make it even more player friendly. If you haven’t visited FireKeepers Casino, you’re truly missing out on one of the Midwest’s premiere gaming destinations.”

The Main Event, which requires players be 21 years of age to participate, will feature three starting flights beginning with Day 1A at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. Days 1B and 1C will then be held at Noon local time on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 respectively. The remaining players from each flight will combine on Sunday, May 21 at 11:00 a.m. and play until a champion is crowned.

The Main Event final table will be broadcast LIVE (15-minute delay) worldwide on msptpoker.com using RFID technology allowing all viewers to see the hole cards. In addition, the entirety of the Main Event will be live reported in the MSPT's live blog.

Last May, the largest event in MSPT history outside Las Vegas took place back as 820 entrants packed the poker room. In the end, it was poker pro Aaron Massey who took home $174,658 for the win. That event was followed up by the MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship in October. That tournament became the largest poker tournament in state history with 884 entrants and saw Brett Blackwood walk away with an $188,314 first-place prize.

Some others who've notched wins at FireKeepers are Harry Tisdale (May 2015 for $142,637), Jason Zarlenga (May 2014 for $101,482), Jordan Townsend (August 2013 for $76,975), and Thomas Midena (March 2013 for $73,456).

FireKeepers Casino Hotel opened in August of 2009. The venue features an 111,700-square foot gaming floor with 2,900 slot machines, 70 table games, multiple restaurants and lounges, a live poker room and bingo room.

According to their website, FireKeepers Casino Hotel, located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104, has been named Best Casino by audiences in Western Michigan and Northern Indiana, plus earned nine first-place awards in the Casino Player Magazine Best of Gaming 2015 Native Midwest category, including Best Overall Gaming Resort.

FireKeepers was also selected one of the Best Casinos to Work for by Casino Player Magazine. Their signature restaurant, Nibi, is a multiple recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

FireKeepers offers a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort-style hotel with 243 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center, six distinctive dining destinations, and multiple lounges. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the FireKeepers Casino 400, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, and host of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship a Symetra Tour-Road to the LPGA golf event.

For more information, visit firekeeperscasino.com.

For a full look at the MSPT FireKeepers schedule, click here.

  • Level: 24
  • Blinds: 12000 / 24000
  • Ante: 4000
Updated Chip Counts at the Break
Created (4/2/2017 6:33:24 PM by Admin System)

Fred Garcia - 1.25 million
Keith Block - 1.2 million
Griffin Malatino - 1.1 million
Baskaiyel Baker - 1.05 million
Fernando Galvan - 925,000
Erasmus Morfe - 800,000
Osama Aweida - 750,000
Larry Davidson - 700,000
Ian Winters - 575,000
Joseph Michael - 460,000
Zach Gutierrez - 400,000
Michael Campbell - 310,000

  • Level: 23
  • Blinds: 10000 / 20000
  • Ante: 3000
Time for Another Break
Created (4/2/2017 6:27:54 PM by Admin System)

Players are now on a 10-minute break.

  • Level: 23
  • Blinds: 10000 / 20000
  • Ante: 3000
Ruth Graham Eliminated in 13th Place ($5,952)
Created (4/2/2017 6:27:34 PM by Admin System)

Ruth Graham

Action folded to Fred Garcia in the small blind and he put in a raise. Ruth Graham, the last woman remaining in the field, then moved all in for around 275,000 from the big and Garcia snap-called.

Garcia:  9c 9h
Graham:  7h 7s

Unfortunately for Graham, there would be no saving grace as she was left drawing dead on the turn after the board ran out  jc ah jh 9s kc.

Fred Garcia - 1.2 million
Ruth Graham – Eliminated in 13th place for $5,952

  • Level: 23
  • Blinds: 10000 / 20000
  • Ante: 3000
Jamal Sawaqdeh Eliminated in 15th Place ($5,952)
Created (4/2/2017 6:16:35 PM by Admin System)

Jamal Sawaqdeh

Baskaiyel Baker raised to 40,000 from early position and Jamal Sawaqdeh, who didn’t have many chips to spare, called out of the big blind to see a  8d 9h 2s flop. Sawaqdeh shoved in his last 35,000 or so and Baker called.

Baker:  ac 8c
Sawaqdeh:  qd jh

Sawaqdeh needed to improve, but that didn’t happen as the  9c turn and  9d river gave Baker a boat.

Baskaiyel Baker - 1.2 million
Jamal Sawaqdeh – Eliminated in 15th place for $5,952

  • Level: 23
  • Blinds: 10000 / 20000
  • Ante: 3000
Fred Garcia and David Hass Play Million-Chip Pot
Created (4/2/2017 6:10:47 PM by Admin System)

With 120,000 already in the pot and a flop of  3h js 6h, Larry Davidson led out for 40,000 from the small blind and Fred Garcia responded by moving all in for 406,000 from middle position.

“I don’t know if I can fold this hand,” David Hass said from the cutoff. Eventually he made the call and Davidson got out of the way.

Garcia:  6d 6c
Hass:  kh jh

Hass had flopped top pair with a flush draw while Garcia flopped middle set. Any suspense there was quickly disappeared after the dealer burned and turned the  6s to give Garcia quads. The meaningless  10h was run out on the river and Garcia was pushed the seven-figure pot.

Fred Garcia - 1 million
David Hass - 95,000

 
 
Player Name
City
State
Country
Chips
Progress
CO 
9,440,000  
9,440,000 
 
Pomona 
NY 
0  
Busted 
 
Austin 
TX 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
WA 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
SD 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Aurora 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
NE 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Austin 
TX 
0  
Busted 
 
Aurora 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Aurora 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
 
 
 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Parker 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Arvada 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
SD 
0  
Busted 
  
Arvada 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Aurora 
IL 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Aurora 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Aurora 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
WY 
0  
Busted 
  
IA 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
WY 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
IL 
0  
Busted 
  
Avon 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
TX 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Parker 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Arvada 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
WY 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
Aurora 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
 
 
 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Denver 
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
CO 
0  
Busted 
  
Rank
Player Name
City
State
Country
Amount
Points
1
CO 
$109,881
1,500
2
Pomona 
NY 
$66,387
1,300
3
Austin 
TX 
$43,266
1,200
4
CO 
$29,989
1,100
5
CO 
$22,892
1,000
7
Denver 
CO 
$14,651
800
11
Denver 
CO 
$7,783
500
12
Denver 
CO 
$7,783
500
13
Denver 
CO 
$5,952
400
14
CO 
$5,952
400
15
Aurora 
CO 
$5,952
400
18
Austin 
TX 
$4,441
300
19
Aurora 
CO 
$3,434
200
21
 
 
 
$3,434
200
24
Denver 
CO 
$3,434
200
26
CO 
$3,434
200
28
Denver 
CO 
$2,747
100
29
Denver 
CO 
$2,747
100
30
Parker 
CO 
$2,747
100
32
CO 
$2,747
100
36
Denver 
CO 
$2,747
100
38
CO 
$2,289
50
39
Aurora 
CO 
$2,289
50
40
Denver 
CO 
$2,289
50
41
Denver 
CO 
$2,289
50
43
CO 
$2,289
50
45
WY 
$2,289
50
LEVEL INFO
Level
32
Blinds
80000 / 160000
Ante
20000
TOURNAMENT INFO
Entries
472
Players Remaining
1
Average Chip Stack
9,440,000
Total Chips
9,440,000
TOP 10 CHIP COUNT
RANK
PLAYER
CHIPS
9,440,000
0
SEASON TOP 10 POY POINTS
RANK
PLAYER
CHIPS
3,925
3,633
3,075
2,850
2,550
2,500
2,500
2,450
2,300
10 
2,200