It was a roller coaster day for Saied Moradi as he would move up and down the chip counts several times. The ride was worth it in the end though, as Moradi would emerge victorious in the 2015 RunGoodGear.com Poker Series Main Event at the Downstream Casino Resort located on the outskirts of Joplin, Missouri. Moradi took home the first-place prize, a custom-made RunGoodGear watch and medallion, and also won a seat into the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event.
"It feels great to win, but I'm too exhausted to even think about it," said a smiling Moradi after defeating Joel Nimmo heads up shortly before the clock struck midnight. Moradi, a structural engineer from Kansas City, stated that this wasn't his biggest tournament score, but that he thought the RunGood Poker Series here was an "awesome tournament." He also added, "It's a great structure that gives you a chance to play some hands."
Final Table Payouts
*Denotes a four-way deal.
When the day started there were 55 players of the original 328 entrants with their eyes on the first-place prize. RunGoodGear Pro Jamie Kerstetter would be among the first eliminated, and one of the chip leaders coming into the day, Duy Nguyen, would be eliminated shortly after when he got it all in with the against Jeremy Gilmore's on the turn with the board showing . Nguyen's trips would fall when the came on the river. Gilmore would ride that pot all the way to a sixth-place finish ($7,746).
There would be no money bubble, as two players would be eliminated in quick succession once there were 38 players remaining. Rodney Spriggs would be the person falling just one short of the money when his nut flush draw was unable to improve against Terry Presley's second pair.
As is often the case in a poker tournament, the eliminations came fast after the players were in the money. Among those that would make the money but come up short of making the final table were Katherine Bowen (32nd - $1,417), the defending champion of this event Mark Martin (31st - $1,417), Randy Fikki (29th - $1,417), Ross Bybee (27th - $1,700), Chris Drake (20th - $1,700), Matt Newcombe (19th - $1,700), Ryan Koontz (13th - $2,740), John Reynolds (12th - $3,590), and the Day 1 chip leader Chadd Johnson (10th - $3,590). Suzanne Cooley would be eliminated in cruel fashion in 26th place for $1,700 when her kings were outdrawn by Heather Alcorn's queens. Alcorn would have some misfortune of her own when she ran her set of sevens into Presley's set of nines. Alcorn would finish in 24th place for $1,700.
Mesgana Tesfalidet would make a deep run finishing in eighth place ($4,440). Her run was fueled by a "get lucky" type of hand when she moved all in with the on a flop only to see that she was in trouble against Jim Reynolds and his . The on the turn kept her alive though, and she would ride that momentum all the way to the final table where she lost all her chips on back-to-back hands. First she ran queens into kings and then lost the remainder of her stack with the to Presley's .
Eventual runner-up Nimmo would find good fortune as the tournament hit the final two tables when his outdrew Lou Barlow's . The final table, however, was the Moradi show. The dinner break hit with Moradi the shortest stack of the eight remaining players. He doubled through Gilmore with the against Gilmore's and doubled again when he picked up aces and got Dwight Farrell to commit his chips with the on a king-high flop.
RunGood Pro Ryan Tepen almost had a great story to tell. He entered play today with just 12,000 in chips and would move to the top of the chip counts at one point. He would pay off Moradi's quads at the final table, though, and could never regain traction after that and would be eliminated in fifth place ($9,635). The remaining four players would then make a deal that sped up the pace of play dramatically.
Heads-up play saw the chip lead exchange hands between Nimmo and Moradi several times before Moradi took command with top pair against Nimmo's middle pair. The final hand saw Moradi get a little lucky when his outdrew the of Nimmo when the board ran out .
That concludes PokerNews' coverage of the RunGood Poker Series Main Event at Downstream Casino Resort. Coming up next month is a stop at Horseshoe Council Bluffs, in Iowa. PokerNews will be there to provide you coverage of the Main Event, and we hope to see you there!