Colorado Poker Championship main event ends in a 3-way chop



Golden Gates continues to be the big name for tournament poker in Black Hawk, in daily play and in the quality of its premier events. May arrived with the sixth edition of the Colorado Poker Championship, with 28 events, plus a 20-person tournament of champions for a paid World Series of Poker seat, over 17 days.

The turnout was impressive, including a 183-player field for the $1,000 no-limit hold’em main event and a 212-player field for the final event, a $130 NLHE deepstack event.

In the main event, Zach Whitney and Donald Angstead chose to chop $76K, with Jonathan Haidsiak ($17,600), Phanora Prom ($13K) and Allan Hedin ($9,600) rounding out the top five.
Taking down the tournament of champions was a local veteran player Jamal Sawaqdeh of Aurora, coming out on top for the WSOP seat. Sawaqdeh qualified for the freeroll by finishing in the top 20 in points in all of the CPC events. Six days earlier, he earned $2,620 for a second-place finish in a $240 NLHE deepstack tournament, and he posted top-10 finishes in three other events.

Sawaqdeh has cashed in a WSOP main: In 2008, he finished 74th to take home $77,200. He also had a pair of big cashes in the 2009 Deep Stack Extravaganza in Las Vegas, picking up more than $32K for finishing second in one $500 NLHE and $22K for finishing fifth in another.

At another big-payout event at CPC, a three-day $500 NLHE escalator tournament, Alexander Greenblatt earned $16K for his win over a 142-player field. It was a good two weeks for Greenblatt, who kicked off CPC by winning the first event, a $240 deepstack tourney. He earned $4,750 for beating nearly 150 players.

ISLE BLACK HAWK: The Isle has been trying to draw more cash players in a variety of ways, the most recent initiative being a $1-$3 spread hold’em game. It reportedly has been getting some pretty aggressive action, especially compared to the room’s $1-$1 game. For an added incentive, the Isle is paying $5 per hour for anyone playing in the new $1-$3 game.

The Isle also continues to constantly promote what it calls the easiest bad-beat jackpot in the area. On May 20, the room reported it had paid out five bad beats within a 12-day span.

Of course, when you get paid for losing with a qualifying hand, it doesn’t really matter if you suffered an “actual” bad beat: One player was awarded $5,738 because his aces full of 10s lost to aces full of kings. The three aces were on the board and the players respectively were holding 10-10 and K-K, so the 10s trailed all the way, but no matter the circumstances, the cash spends all the same.

— Rick Gershman is Ante Up’s Colorado Ambassador. You can email him at

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine