The $600 RunGood Series Checkpoint Main Event attracted 359 entrants who were reduced to 44 after 10 hours of play. Stacey Berger won the $39,655 first-place prize and the largest portion of the tournament's $186,680 prize pool.
Berger is a realtor who later revealed after the event that she doesn't regularly engage in competitive main events. This was her second time playing in such a competition. She stated that she loves poker but it is tricky for her to get time to play in many events.
The realtor occasionally competes in one or two events per month. She was optimistic to win the min-cash when she began her day's play and she beat the odds to win the ring.
Even so, Berger increased her hope of winning the tournament when she started growing her stack from two big blinds. Her supporters motivated her and she admitted to her opponents that she discovered the importance of having a vibrant rail on that day.
What Did the Top Nine Finalists Take Home?
- Stacey Berger from Sparks, Nevada-$39,655
- Christian Vinluan from San Matteo, California-$27,610
- Darrel Dier from Mexico City, Mexico-$17,860
- Dwight Englekirk from Zephyr Cove, Nevada-$11,575
- Tony Barrera from San Ramon, California-$8,915
- Harley Brooks from Sparks, Nevada-$7,375
- Charles Himes from California-$6,190
- Pat Lyons from San Mateo, California-$5,070
- Paul Sampson from Reno, Nevada-$3,965
How Things Unfolded on the Final Day
The day's action kicked off with 44 players who drastically reduced to 22 before its first break. More players got busted fast until the last nine participants set the final table.
Paul Sampson was the first finalist to leave the table. Pat Lyons reached the table with a huge stack and the odds appeared to favor him.
Unfortunately, things changed fast when his aces lost to an ace-jack thus making him lose most of his chips. He failed to recover and continued losing other flips before exiting the tournament in the eighth position.
The remaining seven players slowed down the play as each of them was cautious while making any move. But, Charles Himes' run ended in seventh place as Harley Brooks and Tony Barrera followed him in sixth and fifth place respectively.
Barrera changed the table's dynamics after his cards beat Lyons' cards. Dwight Englekirk struggled to survive for the better part of the night before bowing out in fourth place. Darrel Dier followed them in the third position and promised to narrate his story in the future.
His elimination set up heads-up action between Berger and Vinluan. Berger had 25 percent of the remaining chips against Vinluan.
Berger almost left the table several hands after her battle with Vinluan began. But she blinked a river straight that prolonged her run.
She decided to use huge preflop opens, make turns, and flops using up to 40 big blinds to deny Vinluan the title. Her efforts eventually bore fruits when she busted her rival in second place with $27,610.