The Legacy Lives On: Jack Keller III Claims RGPS Tunica Title for $62,826
The latest RunGood Poker Series Main Event here at the Horseshoe in Tunica, Mississippi, saw a total of 661 entrants make a massive prize pool of $396,300, guaranteeing a total of 82 spots to be paid out.
After the dust settled, it was Tunica local Jack Keller, son of poker Hall of Famer with the same name, who ended up taking down the tournament for a career-best score of $55,394 as well as his first RGPS Main Event title.
“Oh, it's amazing,” the newly crowned champion remarked. “This is definitely my biggest score.”
The business owner and recreational PLO player bested a star-studded Day 2 field including defending champion Loi Hoang, former champs Cody Stanford and Kevin Broadway, as well as WSOPC ring winners Shannon Hamblen, and Preston McEwen. To top it off, he then defeated Brian Winter (the current RGPS PoY frontrunner with five rings this season) heads-up to claim the title, which is no easy task. This win also scored him the RGPS Dream Seat later this month in Thunder Valley, where he will get a free entry into an essential RunGood Champions tournament with a chance to win a seat in a $1,000,000 freeroll at the PokerGo Studio in Vegas.
Coming into the day with 88 players, the pace in the beginning was quick as McEwen (77th-$969) was eliminated immediately, followed by Stanford and Hamblen (61 & 60- $1,162). Day 1a chip leader Truman Weatherly found his end in 56th place for $1,298 while former champion Broadway (48th-$1,470), Jon Swift (25-$1,960), Bart Bogard (22-$2,308), Day 1 chip leader Devin Wells (18th-$2,701), and Walker Miskelly (13th-$4,058) all made their exit.
Bubbling the final table was Orion Allen after he got in his king-seven against Lawson’s ace-king and failed to improve. That boosted Higgins to the second-biggest stack in the tournament, while Allen exited in tenth place for $6,284.
Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Jack Keller||United States||$62,826|
|2||Brian Winter||United States||$41,894|
|3||Chance Lawson||United States||$30,885|
|4||Marcus Webb||United States||$23,023|
|5||Carl Masters||United States||$17,355|
|6||Sanh Vuong||United States||$13,232|
|7||Michael Zuro||United States||$10,204|
|8||Chris Dandrea||United States||$7,961|
|9||Loi Hoang||United States||$6,284|
Final Table Action
Coming into the final table, it was newcomer Marcus Webb who held all of the chips as he had been on a massive heater throughout the day, busting players left in right, sometimes in brutal fashion. He then had to slow his play down a bit due to the much different nature of a final table.
“Man, this final table is different. I really have to be on my A-game, or they’re going to pick me apart,” Webb admitted after losing a couple of the opening pots.
However, first to exit the final table was defending champion Loi Hoang, who fell to Michael Zuro when he got it all in on a six-high board with pocket sevens but Zuro’s pocket fours made a nasty runner-runner straight to knock him out in ninth for $6,284.
Next to go was Chris Dandrea, who had become relatively short and decided to get it all in preflop with king-ten but ran straight into Lawson’s dominating ace-ten and failed to improve, landing him the 8-spot for $7,961.
Webb, who had decided not to get involved for a while, then became very much involved when he and Zuro got it all in preflop in a monster pot. “Well, you’re gonna have to suck out on me,” were Zuro’s famous last words as his pocket aces were cracked by Webb’s ace-king suited when he a gutshot straight to send Zuro to the payout desk in 7th for $10,204.
After surviving a miracle hand where he chopped a pot with Day 1b chip leader Carl Masters (who held top set versus his two pair) due to the board running out a flush, Sanh Vuong shoved all-in after an open from Lawson. Lawson went into the tank for a good while before making the call with ace-five suited, and much to his surprise, found he was up against ten-six of clubs. The runout proved his ace-high to be the winner, and therefore Vuong was eliminated from in sixth for $13,232, despite the shouts from Hoang on the rail.
Next to go was Masters, who had been in a position of dominance throughout the day until a few unfortunate run-ins at the final table, ultimately got it all in with king-jack clubs against Keller’s superior king-queen hearts. After failing to improve on the runout, Masters was sent to the rail in 5th while Keller was awarded the big double-up.
Keller then used this momentum to knock out loose cannon Webb when he jammed into a flop of jack-three-three with jack-ten, and Keller snap-called with nine-three of diamonds. Webb immediately regretted this decision as it cost him his tournament life, and he exited in fourth for $23,023.
Then Winter, who had his own share of good luck stories, made a big hand when he called off Lawson’s ace-nine-suited shove with pocket tens. He then flopped Lawson essentially dead as it came ten-three-three to give him the nut full house to send him to the rail in third for $30,885.
After agreeing to play it out without a chop, heads-up play between Winter and Keller began, with the latter holding around a 3:2 advantage. However, that quickly changed after Winter called off a bet on the river with a single pair, but Keller had deceptively rivered a set of kings, which was a huge blow. Then, on a board of 2♦8♦Q♣3♣7♣, Keller made a huge bet on the river, which Winter snapped off with queen-eight for two-pair but was then shown J♣8♣ for a rivered flush to leave him on life support.
Left with only 1,300,000, Winter moved all in the very next hand with eight-nine offsuit and Keller made the call with ten-six suited. The flop of ten-seven-eight gave both players a pair, but Keller had the upper hand with his ten, which ultimately held to bust Winter as the runner-up while he was crowned the RGPS Tunica Champion.