Ari Katz Wins Inaugural RGPS Baltimore $1,100 Main Event ($47,724)
The inaugural Baltimore RunGood Poker Series $1,100 Main Event here at Horseshoe Baltimore saw a total of 195 entrants create a prize pool of $200,000, guaranteeing 23 spots to be paid out.
After taking down a tough final table, it was Baltimore local Ari Katz who ended up winning the tournament for a career-best score of $47,724 as well as his first RGPS Main Event title. Katz had been a center point of attention throughout the tournament as he applied continuous pressure and secured his Day 2 spot as the first flight’s chip leader. He then kept up the same energy throughout Day 2 and took an early lead by knocking out Day 1 overall chip leader Greg Raymer in a huge pot.
The champ then used this momentum to knock out several opponents and he entered the final table still with the chip lead. Katz then bested James St. Hilaire heads-up after only around 10 hands to claim the title and the prize money.
“I don’t think it’s really even hit me yet,” the newly crowned champion remarked. “But I mean I’ve really been grinding, working a lot with close friends on my strat and stuff, and I just recently became pro so I knew this was going to happen eventually I just didn't know when” The fledgling pro was still in shock, but at the same time, he was actively soaking in the moment.
He bested a modest yet aggressive field including former WSOP Main Event Champion Raymer, poker regs Christian Harder and Timothy Little, and all of the RunGood ambassadors including Chris Conrad, Anna Antimony, Dan Lowery, and Ben Ludlow who he knocked out personally. Katz now becomes the second RGPS Main Event champion on The Road Trip leg of the tour.
“Yeah, coming into Day 2, I was kind of happy to see Greg (Raymer) with all of the chips sitting at my table, and when he punted those off to me in that hand it just felt like this is my moment.”
Final Table Results
|1||Ari Katz||United States||$47,724|
|2||James St. Hilaire||United States||$31,816|
|3||Timothy Little||United States||$23,283|
|4||Aaron Pinson||United States||$17,269|
|5||Thomas Barry||United States||$12,984|
|6||James Sloat||United States||$9,898|
|7||Ryan Brown||United States||$7,652|
|8||Jay Jin||United States||$6,000|
The day started with only 23 players returning in the money and action started off relatively slow until first blood was spilled when Tim Faro was eliminated and then players quickly fell to the wayside, many of them victims to Katz. Another player who took control was Aaron Pinson, who ran up a big stack and knocked out several players himself, and when it got down to the final two tables, it was he and Katz who were the table captains.
The action sped up a lot once the blinds hit 10,000/20,000/20,000 and several players were lost in that level, including Alvin Anton in tenth on the final table bubble by Thomas Barry who turned a flush against Anton’s flopped two pair. But before the tables could be combined, Z Stein was eliminated in ninth by Katz when he got it in preflop with ace-nine against Katz’s pocket kings. A king appeared on the flop to spell the end for Stein and he was sent to the rail as the surviving players took their seats at the final table.
Final Table Action
Katz and Pinson entered the final table first and second in chips, but it was St. Hilaire who got the first kill as he knocked out Jay Jin when his pocket fives held against Jin’s king-queen to eliminate him in eighth place.
St. Hilaire then followed it up by sending Ryan Brown home in seventh place when he called his all-in with king-four against pocket eights. A king appeared in the window for him to take the lead and with no help from the board, Brown made his way to the exit.
Katz then took back the reins as he proceeded to knock out short stacks James Sloat in sixth place and Thomas Barry in fifth, the former won with pocket sevens against ace-jack and the latter with king-jack against jack-five.
Then it was St. Hilaire’s turn again as he scored a huge double-up through Pinson when he got it all in preflop with pocket aces against Pinson’s king-ten and held. After that loss, Pinson was left with only a few big blinds and got them all in a few hands later against St. Hilaire once again, who finished the job when his jack-ten bested Pinson’s jack-four to send him out in fourth.
Simultaneously, Timothy Little had gone on a good run, amassing a good collection of chips by shoving several hands in a row to scoop the blinds, which were not-so-insignificant. He was eventually called by St. Hilaire to put him at risk, but this time Little was ready as he held ace-king against St. Hilaire’s inferior ace-ten (which he claimed to be his favorite hand).. Unfortunately for Little, a ten appeared on the flop, and unable to improve, he was sent to the rail in third place.
After it was decided that no chop deal would be made, the heads-up battle began between Katz and St. Hilaire, who were close to even in chips. After a little bit of back-and-forth, they got involved in a massive pot when St. Hilaire three-bet preflop with pocket aces but Katz flopped the dream with seven-eight of clubs on a six-nine-ten flop with two clubs. He bet huge on the turn when he made the flush which St. Hilaire called and shoved the river which sent him into the tank. After some inner debate, St. Hilaire eventually tossed in the call with his overpair but was shown the bad news by Katz to send him to the payout desk as the tournament’s runner-up.
Katz was then declared the Main Event Champion and awarded the grand prize of $47,724 along with the RGPS ring for his efforts. He was also awarded a buy-in to the DreamSeat Invitational later this year in Thunder Valley, a tournament in which all ring winners from the season will compete for a chance to win a seat to a $1,000,000 freeroll at the PokerGO Studio in December.
Two Double-Ring Winners
Elsewhere in the series, two players picked up multiple wins in the side events. David To took down the $300 One-Day NLH event and the $500 Pot-Limit Omaha event, while Joshua Mischel picked up rings in the $400 DeepStack and the $250 Double Green Chip Bounty. Check out the table below for the rest of the side event winners.
|$250 Seniors NLH||86||$17,200||Daniel Barry||$4,227|
|$250 Ambassador Bounty||124||$19,840||Rostislav Parizh||$5,164|
|$400 DeepStack||151||$50,000||Joshua Mischel||$12,566|
|$300 One Day NLH||81||$19,440||David To||$5,299|
|$250 Double Green Chip Bounty||41||$6,150||Joshua Mischel||$2,186|
|$500 PLO||66||$28,380||David To||$8,972|
Be sure to keep following the RunGood Series on PokerNews as they make their way across the country on their Road Trip Tour, with the next stop in St. Louis from Sept 26-Oct 1 at Hollywood Casino!