Stage one of the spring RunGood Poker Series is a wrap. The six-day festival wound down last Sunday at the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a $675 buy-in Main Event offering a guaranteed of $100,000.
As an added feature, the RunGood series features a partnership with Operation Gratitude, a charity that supports military troops overseas. By the end of the series, 100 care packages had been delivered to service members.
The Main Event attracted 345 entries, with the final 36 taking earning cash. The top three finalists decided to chop the pot, with each earning $32,099. Oklahoma firefighter Byron Abernathy, was officially crowned the winner after beating Seth Evans in the final heads-up action. The third finalist, Eric Bishop, was sent to the rails by Abernathy not long after they decided to chop.
Abernathy’s heads-up duel against Evans was tough, with the chip lead changing hands a few times. The firefighter was finally able to dismiss Evans when he flopped a 3 to pick up trips, too much for Evans’ suited A-Q that didn’t find a connector on the board.
There were several side events during the series, as well. A $135 buy-in Pro Bounty tournament was won by RunGood’s own Justin Gardenhire, who outlasted 189 players to put $5,000 in his wallet. The $180 buy-in DeepStack event attracted 391 players, and resulted in a chopped pot between Scott Harvarh, Dan Martin and Larry Harker. John Heckenkamp claimed the victory of the $230 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, beating out 51 players and raking in $12,705.
Operation Gratitude assembles and delivers care packages to U.S. service members. The package costs around $15 to ship, and includes anywhere from $50 to $100 worth of merchandise. Operation Gratitude has now shipped over 2 million packages since the charity was created in 2003.
The RunGood Series now makes its way to Horseshoe Council Bluffs casino in Iowa, with the second stage set to kick off on February 20, and will run until February 25. Another $100,000 will be up for grabs.
This is the eighth season that the RunGood series has been held. Six stops complete the circuit, which will run until May 6. After the stop in Iowa, the tournament will make its way to Louisiana, followed by a stop in Mississippi, and two stops in Montana.