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Bringing three top stories on the tables today, we bring you highlights from the recently concluded RunGood Old West Poker Series (RGPS) event at Downstream Casino where the Main Event set a new attendance record. Overshooting the 344-entry benchmark set in 2014, this year the field size reached 386. Simon Webster charted a trailblazing path of success and ran his short stack up in the heads-up play, where he trumped RG ambassador Daniel Lowery to claim the title along with $44,391 in prize money.
In other news, the Run It Once Poker site took a step forward towards an official launch by conducting it`s third invite-only beta testing last week. Wrapping up this feature is news from the Irish Poker Open that released an innovative new schedule for it`s next series. The tournament brand has enjoyed two successful runs over the past two years and is slated to kick off next at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel from April 15-22, 2019.
The 2018 RunGood Old West Poker Series stop at Downstream Casino Resort was hugely successful. The series played out from December 4-9 and headlining the show was the Main Event that saw 386 entries, crushing the previous attendance record of 344 entries that was set in March 2014.
For Simon Webster, who bagged the title after defeating RG ambassador Daniel Lowery in the heads-up play, the $44,391 cash prize was only added glitter to the fame he deservingly won after executing a surprising comeback heads-up. Webster was barely hanging on with a short stack and at one stage was on the edge of elimination in the heads-up play, but he went on a trailblazing run that carried him all the way to the podium.
Webster has had a busy year on the live felts and the hard work seems to have paid off with his annual scorecard reflecting 29 scores including ten final table finishes, adding up to a total $178,735 in prize money. With the tournament now in books, the 2018 RGPS Old West tour has wrapped up for the year. The RGPS spring season schedule will be announced soon.
The ten-handed final table saw its first casualty in David Queen who found his run cut short in tenth place. Janae Kuzawa was eliminated in ninth place followed by Cameron Douglas in eighth place.
Lance Hendricks crashed out in seventh place after his ace-king suited was overpowered by Gary Kuykendall’s pocket jacks.
John Moore then saw his king-three improve to a pair on the ace-seven-five-three-eight board, but Craig Welko`s pocket sevens hit a set and Moore was eliminated in sixth place.
The next player to leave the final table was Mark Barrientos who held and hit a pair of kings on the flop but Daniel Lowery’s completed a broadway straight on the turn making the on the river a formality. Barrientos collected the fifth place payout.
Craig Welko then ran his pocket deuces into Webster’s ace-ten. The flop ended it for Welko who lost the flip on the turn and the river and went home in fourth place.
Not long thereafter, Gary Kuykendall joined the rail in third place when his ran into Lowery’s and the board ran out dry for both players. Lowery’s queen-high kicker won him the pot, eliminating Kuykendall.
Webster entered the heads-up play against Daniel Lowery with a seven-to-one chip disadvantage but found a crucial double up to get back in the game. There on, Webster didn’t look back and soon the final hand played out, with Lowery calling on the button and Webster checking his option. The flop fell and Webster led out for 75,000 while Lowery quickly raised to 200,000. Webster called to see the on the turn wherein Webster checked and Lowery moved all in, prompting Webster to snap call. “I call, I have the nuts,” Webster declared, tabling for the nut straight with a straight-flush redraw. “Do you really?” Lowery asked, turning over for a pair and a gutshot straight draw. Lowery could have chopped the pot, but the on the river ended the game, with Webster winning the title.
1. Simon Webster – $44,391
2. Daniel Lowery – $27,406
3. Gary Kuykendall – $18,238
4. Craig Welko – $12,642
5. Mark Barrientos – $9,554
6. John Moore – $7,430
7. Lance Hendricks – $6,176
8. Cameron Douglas – $5,114
9. Janae Kuzawa – $4,323
10. David Queen – $3,300
Phil Galfond‘s Run It Once (RIO) Poker sit is nearly ready for its official launch with the third invite-only beta test reaching a successful conclusion last week.
The second stage of beta testing that was held in October did not go as planned as players faced several technical issues such as long pauses between hands, along with crash issues, payment issues, and several other bugs, all of which delayed the site`s launch, despite a successful first beta test that was held in September.
As of December 6, another beta test has been conducted wherein the games ran smoothly and hundreds of players tested out the new client. The majority of the previously reported issues including the long pause between hands have been rectified, plus several improvements have been incorporated on the site since. The bet slider now works to increment bet sizes, animations and visual avatars are much smoother, and the speed of gameplay has increased, according to the feedback received after the third beta test.
Additionally, the room’s controversial tilted board is not the only playing option available as players can play with flat board cards as well.
There are however still some issues that persist, but it is expected that these issues will be fixed ahead of the site`s official launch.
RIO took feedback through a private Discord channel, with representatives including Galfond himself quick to respond to player feedback and questions. A few players did report software issues and other technical issues, but for the vast majority of players, the test went smoothly. Many were impressed with the look of the software, its simplicity and its smoothness.
Following an overwhelming and positive response from the testers, the room announced yet another beta test on Twitter.
We’re thrilled to announce we will be having another beta session on Tuesday, Dec 11th starting at 18:00 CET. We will be sending out additional invites this afternoon, so make sure to check your inbox. We hope to see you at the tables!
— Run It Once Poker (@RunItOncePoker) December 7, 2018
It is possible that this latest test may well be the last test before the site`s official launch.
Organizers Paul O’Reilly and JP McCann confirmed on December 7 via a press release that the next Irish Poker Open will take place in from April 15 to 22 at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
The centrepiece of the series will be the €1 Million/$1.14 Million guaranteed Main Event. With a buy-in of €1,150/$1,140, the event is sure to attract some of the biggest names in Europe and North America.
Last year, the Main Event was taken down by Canadian Griffin Benger who outlasted the largest field in Irish Poker Open history consisting of 1,129 entries.
With interest in the historic tournament at an all-time high, the organizers have promised to host four starting flights in 2019. The first will get underway on April 17, with the final one taking place on April 19.
“We were blown away by the support this year in the poker community and we continue to listen to all the feedback to ensure Europe’s oldest poker tournament remains the people’s tournament, with a lot of craic on the side,” McCann and O’Reilly said in the official press release.
Alongside the Main Event, a number of smaller tournaments and cash games will be on tap at the series all catering to the vast majority of the players with buy-ins of $300 or less.