Sasha Sabbaghian of Granite Bay, California is the winner of the inaugural RGPS Thunder Valley Golden Ticket $575 Main Event, $200K GTD after reaching a deal during three-handed play as the chip leader against Zihan Men and Jerez Mercado. Sabbaghian earned a cash of $40,485 as part of the deal, in addition to a RGPS ring and ticket to the All Star Pro-Am event in December at PokerGo Studio.
The tournament, held in The Poker Room at Thunder Valley Casino Resort as part of the All-Stars Comeback Tour presented by the RunGood Poker Series, had three starting flights and attracted a total of 565 runners, smashing the guarantee with a total prize pool of $282,500 and 72 places getting paid.
RGPS Thunder Valley Final Results
*Denotes three-way deal
Sabbaghian, who told PokerNews he is mainly a cash grinder but takes the occasional stab at tournaments, was propelled to the victory by a massive hand where he sent Shahin Shojaeyan out in fourth place when Sabbaghian's pocket nines made a straight against the set of tens of Shojaeyan.
"Honestly, that was like the only big one," Sabbaghian said when asked what hands helped him to his victory. "I didn't really have any huge hands."
Sabbaghian added that winning small pots and getting re-jams through helped him get through the final table. He laughed thinking about how he almost busted on his first orbit of the tournament when he ran pocket fours into pocket kings and got there.
"Everything worked out," he said.
Sabbaghian, who has been playing poker for around a decade, said the five-figure score isn't his biggest ever, but "it's close."
Day 2 action lasted around 12 hours and all three of the Day 1 chip leaders made deep runs, including Day 1a chip leader Randy Gil, who was eliminated in sixth place when he ran pocket sevens into the pocket kings of Day 1c leader Victor Villaneuva. Villaneuva was next out after getting his stack in the middle in a flush-versus-flush hand against Men.
That wraps up the PokerNews live reporting team's coverage of the RGPS Thunder Valley Golden Ticket $575 Main Event. Be sure to check out the live reporting portal for more tournament action.