Newcomer Stacey Berger Wins RunGood Poker Series Reno Main Event ($39,655)

Stacey Berger

The $600 RunGood Series Checkpoint Main Event has concluded after ten hours of play saw the 44 players that started the day, out of a field of 359, play all the way down to a winner.

Coming out on top with the $39,655 grand prize and getting the lion's share of the $186,680 prize pool along with the RunGood Poker Series ring was Stacey Berger who captured the title in what became quite the story.

Berger is a Reno local realtor by trade, and she made no secret of the fact that she was not used to playing main events as this was only the second one she had ever played.

“I love the game; I love to play. But it’s just hard to find time to do so. I usually play about once or twice a month,” she said afterward. “I expected to come in today to win $900 dollars (the min-cash), and here I am with the ring!”

She said the moment where she thought that winning may be possible was when she clawed her way back from just two big blinds to survive and keep going in the middle part of the day. As she kept the momentum rolling, her supporting rail grew as her local friends rooted her on, which was a new phenomenon to Berger.

“I didn’t know what a rail was before today,” she was heard saying to her tablemates at the final table when her support was mentioned.

Final Table Results

1Stacey BergerSparks, NV$39,655
2[Removed:420]San Matteo,CA$27,610
3Darrel DierMexico City, Mexico$17,860
4Dwight EnglekirkZephyr Cove, NV$11,575
5Tony BarreraSan Ramon, CA$8,915
6Harley BrooksSparks, NV$7,375
7Charles HimesCA$6,190
8Pat LyonsSan Mateo, CA$5,070
9Paul SampsonReno, NV$3,965

Berger’s inexperience and freshness on the scene were a factor in the heads-up battle that eventually led to her win. She entered heads-up play with only 25% of the chips against [Removed:420], and she was nearly eliminated as runner-up just a couple of hands in as she blinked a river straight to stay alive and denied Vinluan the victory.

From there, it was mostly one-way traffic for her as she was using large preflop opens, as much as 7x in some cases, and making large 30-40 big blind jams on flops and turns, which kept Vinluan off balance. She compiled pot after pot this way and eventually whittled down her opponent to conquer the field and win the ring.

Action of the Day

The day began with 44 players and was trimmed exactly in half down to 22 before the first break of the day. That brisk pace of eliminations would continue as it was one after another all the way down until the final table, where things started to get interesting.

Paul Sampson was the first victim of the final table in ninth place to kick it off.

Pat Lyons entered the final table with a big chip lead as things were looking to be going his way. But his luck would change quickly as his aces were cracked by ace-jack to lose a significant portion of his stack. He would never quite recover from that as he lost some flips to complete his fall from chip leader to an eighth-place finish.

After the initial quickness of the day, play slowed down seven-handed as it took some time before Charles Himes was eliminated in seventh place. Harley Brooks followed him out the door in sixth and Tony Barrera went out in fifth, after he had been the one to deal the decisive early blow to Lyons and change the dynamic of the final table.

Dwight Englekirk went under the radar for most of the night and slid into fourth place.

Darrel Dier was eliminated next in third place as he has quite a story of his own, which he noted he would like to share at some point with the poker world.

That would set up the aforementioned heads-up match between Vinluan and Berger.

Stacey Berger
Stacey Berger and Friends

2023 RGPS Reno Ring Event Winners

1$200 Seniors NLH109$17,440Lee Borrall$5,233
2$300 Omaha 8122$5,550Jesse Ross$2,300
3$200 Ambassador Bounty98$15,680Ivan Zarate$4,782
4$250 DeepStack NLH202$40,400Joseph Mussat$10,213
5$200 One-Day NLH99$15,840Lian Lu$4,410
6$250 Double Green Chip Bounty66$9,990Harley Brooks$2,945

That wraps up the PokerNews coverage of the RunGood Poker Series Reno Main Event. Be sure to join RGPS at their next stop in Kansas City from May 16-21.

  • Stacey Berger defeated [Removed:420] in heads-up play to win the RGPS Reno Main Event for $39,655.

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