Robb earns Colorado Poker Championships title in a chop at Golden Gates

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It’s not extraordinary to see chops in tournament poker; that often just makes the most practical sense for players involved. A chop ensures everyone walks away with a healthy cut of the action, a perfectly reasonable payout for the time and focus involved, especially in a multiday event.

But a six-way chop is somewhat less common, especially in a main event. Regardless, that’s how the top event ended at Golden Gates’ Colorado Poker Championship. The final six players in the recent $1,020 tourney decided to divvy up the remaining prize pool, each cashing a little less than $28,200.

Earning the main-event title was chipleader Jay Robb, who recently moved from Denver to nearby Lakewood. And by recently, we mean recently: Robb said he and his girlfriend were supposed to move during the CPC main event. Robb, 33, had decided to take his chances on a qualifier and happened to make the cut. Robb assured he would be using a bit of his winnings to show his appreciation for his girlfriend’s patience. “Poker doesn’t like you to be happy in your relationships,” Robb said with a laugh. “I’ll be paying back relationship capital.”

It’s by far the biggest cash for Robb, an amateur who more often plays cash games and provided a fresh face at the main event’s final table: “I don’t usually grind it out with these (local) mobs.” That’s part of the reason, Robb said, he let himself be persuaded to take a chop in the main event, which attracted 285 entrants for a $256K prize pool.

The chop was being pushed pretty strongly by the other players, Robb said, and after some contemplation, he agreed. There were several experienced players in the final six, including Aurora’s Teresa Hemingway, who cashed for more than $225K by winning the Heartland Poker Tour main event at Golden Gates in May. Hemingway, a strategic-but-aggressive final-table player, also happened to be sitting to Robb’s left.

“I was surprised that everyone else was willing to chop,” Robb said. “I don’t have the type of tournament credentials (they do.) It’s an HPT winner and CPC winner and guys with all these tournament credentials, and they’re sweating me for a chop. … I think I chopped for bankroll reasons and variance. The money for the chop was better than third-place money, so I was okay walking away as the declared champ. But I was getting needled by people on Twitter.”

Hemingway was second with the next-largest stack, followed by Mansour Alipourfard, Jerry Johnson, Ian Glycenfer and Gavin Writer. Robb, who said he’s pursuing a career in city management or municipal government, attributed his run to his competitive drive. A 4A state champion long-distance runner in high school, he said he “didn’t like running, but I hated losing.”

— Email Rick Gershman at rickgershman@gmail.com.