Ashley Sleeth's second bullet in the $1,100 Thursday Thrilla turned out to be a sound investment, as she navigated a field of 224 entrants to earn one of the biggest victories of her career. Sleeth took home $27,000 plus "around six" bounties with her victory, along with her first Run It Up Reno trophy at the Peppermill Reno.
"You run really hot," Sleeth said about her road to success from a short stack on the money bubble. "I got a couple of jams through to get me through the bubble. As soon as we made the money, the next hand, I got aces and doubled up, and it just kept happening. It was a crazy run."
The crazy run included the final table; "I got kings three times, people had hands that they needed to get in with. That really helped."
"It feels awesome, it feels so awesome," a jubilant Sleeth told PokerNews after her victory. "Any time you can even final table a tournament, it's amazing. This final table was really fun, and Run It Up is really fun." Sleeth's rail during the final day of play included her fiance, former WSOP Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia. When asked when she was going to fire in the ongoing $600 Main Event, Sleeth said, "Tomorrow. I'm going to celebrate right now. It's not every day you win a tournament!"
Final Table Results
|1||Ashley Sleeth||United States||$27,000|
|2||Jeremy Pekarek||United States||$15,410|
|3||Ryan Meyer||United States||$10,690|
|4||Lucas Hill||United States||$8,020|
|5||Phil Beesley||United States||$6,400|
|6||Valerie Hanley||United States||$5,270|
|7||Maxwell Young||United States||$4,410|
|8||Adam Johnson||United States||$3,680|
|9||Patrick Preston||United States||$3,000|
Final Table Action
The start of the day saw Patrick Preston get his kings cracked by Lucas Hill and his aces to exit the final table around a half-hour into play. Ninety minutes ticked by before an absolute flurry of eliminations took place, bringing the field from eight to two in a flash.
Adam Johnson fell in eighth, the victim of a queens-versus-kings cooler against Sleeth. After Max Young's elimination in seventh a few hands later, one of the most pivotal hands in the tournament took place. Jeremy Pekarek raised preflop with ace-nine, and start-of-the-day chip leader Valerie Hanley accidentally clicked it back with a min-raise. Pekarek four-bet, and Hanley called. Hanley jammed her last 34 big blinds on the six-five-eight flop with ace-three, and Pekarek somehow found the call with his ace-nine, possibly influenced by a Day 1 hand where Hanley forced Pekarek to fold the best hand in a big spot. Pekarek's ace-nine high ended up being the winner, and Hanley left the table in sixth place.
The elimination train wasn't quite done yet, as Phil Beesley, Hill, and Ryan Meyer all fell within minutes of each other just after Hanley's bust out, leaving Pekarek and Sleeth heads up with a whopping 224 big blinds still in play. Pekarek started with a 3:2 chip lead over Sleeth, but the stacks were almost dead even when the final hand of the tournament took place.
Sleeth and Pekarek clashed on a eight-eight-four flop with two spades, and Pekarek got his last 1.9 million chips in with the ace-six of spades. Sleeth called with ace-four offsuit, and Pekarek was unable to improve, leaving the 2019 WSOP Bracelet winner with $15,410 and bounties as a consolation prize.
PokerNews coverage of the $1,100 Thursday Thrill is over but we're still offering live updates from the Run It Up Reno IX $600 Main Event, which you can follow here.