Gribben, Portal & Cappucci Among Early RIU Reno IX Side Event Winners

Run It Up Reno IX

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

John Gribben
John Gribben

“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

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (USD)
1John GribbenUnited States$30,000
2Chris LindnerUnited States$18,600
3Alex ConatserUnited States$12,440
4Albert NgUnited States$9,070
5Lucas HillUnited States$7,020
6Ricky GuanUnited States$5,700
7Bill RichterUnited States$4,720
8Michael HanelinUnited States$3,907

John-Paul Portal Wins the $235 Progressive Knockout

John-Paul Portal
John-Paul Portal

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

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (USD)
1John-Paul PortalUnited States$5,111
2Chris ChoyUnited States$5,111
3Timothy GuilfordUnited States$2,530
4Rian MullinsUnited States$1,800
5Adam OwenUnited Kingdom$1,380
6Heather HardieUnited States$1,100
7Alex BrakebillUnited States$900
8Michael TrivettUnited 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

Jimmy Cappucci
Jimmy Cappucci

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

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (USD)
1Jimmy CappucciUnited States$5,950
2Chris LindnerUnited States$3,830
3Deb SwiftUnited States$2,660
4Dan KaplanUnited States$2,000
5Rick CrandellUnited States$1,600
6William ButcherUnited States$1,320
7Joe StapletonUnited States$1,100
8Chad GaryetUnited States$920
  • Side events winners from the @runitupreno IX include @untitled2jc, John-Paul Portal & John Gribben.

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