The RunGood team kept the trophy in the family, and it was once again Ryan Tepen holding it down for the squad.
Five months after winning the RunGood Cup Championship in New Orleans for $54,683 to end the last RunGood season, Tepen opened the spring "Ignite the Night" series with a victory at RunGood Harrah's North Kansas City for $14,254 in the $340 Main Event.
Final Table Results
The first-ever one-day Main Event in series history drew 176 runners, creating a prize pool of $52,800. Eighteen places were paid, so plenty fell short of the money. Justin Gardenhire, Troy Repp, Tim Woodson, James Mackey, Blair Hinkle, Grant Hinkle, and Bryan Campanello were among those missing out on the payouts.
Tepen scored a huge double through fellow RunGood team pro Ross Bybee with 12 players left. It began with Tepen opening for a raise in Level 17 (6,000/12,000/2,000) and seeing Bybee call in the small blind. Both checked the flop and Bybee came out betting with 20,000 and the board reading . Tepen called, and Bybee fired 67,000 on the river. Tepen thought a couple of minutes and shipped it in for 159,000 more. Bybee tanked for about six minutes and then called, and Tepen showed the for a full house.
Then, Tepen got a dream flop when he opened with the and the flopped. Julian Black had flatted with , and they got it in after a brick on the turn. From there, Tepen held to head to the final table with the chip lead.
Bybee was among those falling early at the final table when he went out ninth, and with seven players left, Tepen jammed over a Greg Jennings bet on a completed board of . Jennings called with a set of fours, but Tepen had caught him on the river with for a straight.
After two more players fell by the wayside, Tepen made a straight with the to bust short stack Luke Prestholt after the latter flopped a jack with the all in preflop. Tepen then woke up with aces and snapped off the button shove of David Caron, who held the and could not pull off a miracle comeback.
Tepen took about a 2-1 lead into heads-up play with Ron Covert, and he dispatched his opponent in just 10 minutes, though he got quite lucky in the process.
Covert opened on the button at 10,000/20,000/3,000 and Tepen defended. Tepen check-called 75,000 on the flop, and Covert fired 150,000 out of turn on the . Tepen checked and shoved, and Covert quickly called with the for top pair and a heart draw. Tepen also had a pair and a flush but it was an inferior pair of fours and a club draw with the . However, Tepen managed to find the on the river to end the tournament, leaving Covert shell-shocked.
For Tepen, the win marked the eighth live poker tournament victory of his career.