Gribben, Portal & Cappucci Among Early RIU Reno IX Side Event Winners
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The Run It Up Reno IX is entering its home stretch with the $1,100 Thursday Thrilla and $600 Main Event. For the better part of the past week, the Peppermill Resort has played host to a slew of side events including a Moneymaker Tour tournament that saw Drew Gonzalaz win a $30,000 Platinum Pass.
Here’s a look at some other big winners from the RIU Reno IX.
John Gribben Wins the $440 Mini Main Event for $30,000
“Eighty-five into thirty-thousand!” That was the exclamation of John Gribben as he hoisted the $440 Mini Main Event trophy at Run It Up Reno IX.
Gribben won his way into the 409-entry tournament by way of an $85 satellite Friday, bagging Saturday’s Day 1 flight and grinding his way to the tournament victory on Day 2 Sunday. Gribben took home $30,000 for the first-place finish, the biggest score of his career.
“How can I put it into words? It’s f***ing incredible,” said an elated Gribben. “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been trying to get to this spot for a while.”
Gribben, who’s currently living in his van and traveling to play poker, scored his second five-figure cash of the past month with the win. He outlasted runner-up Chris Lindner in heads-up play, with Lindner taking home $18,600 for the second-place finish.
“I live in my van now, and I travel around. My goal was to play poker for a living and live in my van. And reduce my life overhead to so little that I could play poker. And not be great at it, but be good at it. This helps a lot.”
Opening Event Final Table Results
|1||John Gribben||United States||$30,000|
|2||Chris Lindner||United States||$18,600|
|3||Alex Conatser||United States||$12,440|
|4||Albert Ng||United States||$9,070|
|5||Lucas Hill||United States||$7,020|
|6||Ricky Guan||United States||$5,700|
|7||Bill Richter||United States||$4,720|
|8||Michael Hanelin||United States||$3,907|
John-Paul Portal Wins the $235 Progressive Knockout
John-Paul Portal scored the biggest tournament win of his career Monday night, taking down the $235 Progressive Knockout event (273 entries) at RIU Reno IX. Portal outlasted a final table that included Timothy Guilford, last year’s defending champion, and took the championship after besting second-place finisher Chris Choy in the heads-up battle from the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada.
Portal takes home a total payday of $8,911, with $5,111 coming as the first-place prize, along with $3,800 in progressive bounties. The win was just the second career cash for Portal, who hails from south Florida and plays poker as a hobby.
“I saw this tournament and I wanted to come out and play it,” Portal said. “This progressive bounty is awesome.”
The final hand saw Choy go all in with ace-five offsuit, and Portal call with ten-eight of hearts. Portal got a nine on the flop and the pair held up, securing the championship. Choy takes home $5,111 for the runner-up finish.
Progressive Bounty Final Table Results
|1||John-Paul Portal||United States||$5,111|
|2||Chris Choy||United States||$5,111|
|3||Timothy Guilford||United States||$2,530|
|4||Rian Mullins||United States||$1,800|
|5||Adam Owen||United Kingdom||$1,380|
|6||Heather Hardie||United States||$1,100|
|7||Alex Brakebill||United States||$900|
|8||Michael Trivett||United States||$750|
*John-Paul Portal won $3,800 in bounties in addition to the first-place prize.
Jimmy Cappucci Wins the $235 Black Chip Bounty
The $235 Black Chip Bounty at Run It Up IX saw Jimmy Cappucci take down the one-day tournament (310 entries)t for $5,950.
The heads-up battle pitted Cappucci, the all-time wins leader in the Run It Up series with six victories coming into the tournament, against Chris Lindner, who was just two days removed from a runner-up finish in the $440 Mini Main Event. The final hand came down to Cappucci's king-ten offsuit getting the best of Lindner's king-nine suited.
“The real dream is just running really well, battling, hoping for the best, causing pain to others,” said Cappucci.
Cappucci said he won 12 or 13 $100 bounties in addition to the first-place prize money. The win is Cappucci’s seventh in Run It Up Reno events.
“The series is great. Everybody here is amazing," Cappucci said. "Even if I came here and lost every single dollar I had every time, I’d be back every single time to do it again. It’s such a great time. If you’ve never been here before, get down here. It’s just too much fun.”
Lindner scored $3,830 for his second runner-up finish of this series. Third-place finisher Deb Swift, another regular at Run It Up Reno events, took home $2,660.
Bounty Final Table Results
|1||Jimmy Cappucci||United States||$5,950|
|2||Chris Lindner||United States||$3,830|
|3||Deb Swift||United States||$2,660|
|4||Dan Kaplan||United States||$2,000|
|5||Rick Crandell||United States||$1,600|
|6||William Butcher||United States||$1,320|
|7||Joe Stapleton||United States||$1,100|
|8||Chad Garyet||United States||$920|