2023 RGPS Joplin

$600 Main Event
Days: 2

Dakotah O’Dell Climbs The Counts to Win His Second RGPS Main Event for $63,647

Level 31 : Blinds 200,000-400,000, 400,000 ante
Dakotah O'Dell
Dakotah O'Dell

The RunGood Poker Series Checkpoint has seen the completion of The $600 Main Event at Downstream Resort and Casino outside of Joplin, Missouri. After three days of starting flights, the final tally settled at 683 entrants, creating a prize pool of $348,330 which smashed the $100,000 guarantee initially set for the tournament.

The final table of the main event had the rare distinction of holding two players who have won RGPS Main Events before. Dakotah O’Dell and Blair Hinkle ended up becoming the final two to battle for another main event title to add to their illustrious resumes and after a hard fought battle, it was O’Dell who emerged as the victor, claiming his second RGPS Main Event title and $63,647.

“It feels great,” the newly crowned two-time champion said, exhausted from an hours-long battle at the final table. “This is my hometown casino here,” he said when asked about this win in comparison to the title he took down just months ago in Council Bluffs. “I travel to a lot of the circuit events but doing it here feels like a dream come true.” While playing cash games for many years, O’Dell only started playing tournaments in 2019, amassing over $300,000 in Hendon Mob earnings doing so. “I learn by talking to players better than me, taking in a lot of content, and grind. It’s not always easy, just staying focused and playing.”

O’Dell came into the final table with just five big blinds, but through a series of double ups he arose to an overwhelming chip leader, then dropped down to the middle of the pack in what he described as “a rollercoaster.” “When you come into the final table with five big blinds, you kinda write yourself off sometimes,” he said, describing his mental state at the beginning of the final table. “I had people in my corner and this time it worked out.” When asked about the three handed match that lasted for many hours, O’Dell remarked “I had perceived my opponents as better than me, so I had to adjust my playing style. They’re good players and were very hard to play against.”

On top of the ring, the title, and the money, O’Dell wins a seat into the Dream Seat giveaway tournament at Thunder Valley Casino later this year. “I believe you’ll see me there,” he said in response to whether or not he would go “that would be my first trip ever to Cali, but I believe you’ll see me there.”

Final Table Results

1Dakotah O'Dell$63,647
2Blair Hinkle$42,427
3Jason Darland$31,210
4Richard Hawkins$23,338
5Jared Ward$17,591
6Kevin Unkel$13,411
7Danny Barnes$10,345
8Jael Lewis$8,081
9John Reynolds$6,374

Day 2 Recap

Early play in the day saw many players eliminated from the competition early. Among the casualties were RunGood Poker Series Legends like RGPS Tulsa 2022 champion Shantanu Garg (75th-$940), two-time RGPS ring winner Joey Gargiulo (64th-$1,149), Youtuber and Poker Pro Ashley “PokerFaceAsh” Frank (54th-$1,289), RGPS Tulsa 2023 Champion Pete Petree (42nd-$1,463), and RGPS Joplin 2014 Champion Mark Martin (33rd-$1,707) all finished outside of the final table. The final player to fall prior to the tournament being brought to one table was Joe Ferguson who ended up getting in his king-jack on a king high board against Richard Hawkins who held a set of tens. Ferguson collected $6,374 for his deep run and the table was then brought to just one table.

Final Table Recap

The final table began with many short stacks jockeying for positions to ladder and the first one to go was John “Cracker” Reynolds. The RGPS ring winner moved in his final eight big blinds in over Jared Ward’s raise with ace-ten. Ward looked him up with king-ten offsuit and while the situation seemed initially favorable, Ward ran out a king-high flush, giving him the pot and leaving Reynolds to exit the tournament in ninth place for $6,374.

Danny Barnes had come into the final table with an overwhelming chip lead, sitting at over 100 big blinds from two tables left onwards to the final. He found his kryptonite in the form of O’Dell who doubled up through him four times consecutively. Once for 8 big blinds and O’Dell holding king-nine while Barnes held ace-ten, a second time for 20 big blinds where O’Dell held king-nine and Barnes held ace-queen, a third time for 35 big blinds where O’Dell held ace-king and Barnes held tens, and a final time for nearly 80 big blinds when Barnes got in his set on the turn against O’Dell’s top pair open ended straight draw which connected on the river. O’Dell ascended high, holding half of the chips in play with eight left while Barnes tumbled down the counts to the shortest stack.

Despite this, it would be Jael Lewis who would be next to go when she lost most of her stack doubling up Barnes when she held ace-ten against his jack-eight. She was left with only a few chips after that confrontation and while she did find one double, her final five big blinds went in with king-ten offsuit and Kevin Unkel called her with pocket queens. Lewis found no help and the final woman standing departed the tournament in eighth place, collecting $8,081 for her efforts.

Barnes finished his run in seventh place just after her. He defended big blind against Jason Darland’s raise and then moved all-in on a four-high board with just a king-seven suited for king-high and a flush draw. Darland called with his ace-king for just ace high and doubled into the middle of the pack, leaving Barnes with just two blinds. The next hand he was eliminated when his queen-seven offsuit was unable to improve against O’Dell’s ace-ten and the start of table chip leader collected $10,345 for his efforts.

What followed was a series of three players doubling through O’Dell, giving the chip lead to Richard Hawkins, who held it until Darland took it in a confrontation between the two of them. The next to go would end up being Unkel who moved all in on a flop with nine-seven after flopping middle pair against Blair Hinkle, who flopped top pair holding ace-nine. Unkel could not find the two outer to survive and last year’s 12th place finisher improved his finish to sixth place this time around, earning $13,411 for his second impressive run on this property.

Ward found himself ending his run in fifth place shortly after that. After falling to the short stack of the table, he moved in his final chips with ace-nine from the small blind against O’Dell’s button open, only for Darland to wake up with pocket kings in the big blind and hold against his hand. No ace or miracle straight appeared and Ward collected $17,591 for his deep run and Darland took nearly half of the chips in play.

Despite an early lead, Hawkins wasn’t able to find much success beyond the beginning levels of the tournament and his run ended in fourth place. He moved in his final 8 big blinds with pocket fours against O’Dell who called him with ace-queen. An ace high flop spelled the end for Hawkins and he wished his tablemates luck as he collected $23,338 for his efforts.

What followed was a 90 minute three handed battle, where each player shared a decent amount of time as the big stack, the middle stack, and the short stack. Hinkle began three-handed play as the short stack, but a timely double through Darland saw him take the lead from him. Hinkle seemed to be the runaway leader with well over half of the chips in play, but after a timely double and some three bets, O’Dell took the lead back from his opponents and began applying pressure. At the end of it all, O’Dell raised with ace-seven offsuit and then called a 11 big blind all in from Darland who held q10. No improvement was had with the queen ten, and O’Dell went into heads up with a 2:1 lead, while Darland finished his impressive run in third place for $31,210.

Blair Hinkle
2-time RGPS Main Event Champion Blair Hinkle ended up in second place after starting the day with just 8 big blinds.

Despite the early lead heads up, Hinkle took it back when he flopped a straight against O’Dell’s top pair putting the two stacks as nearly even. A few hands later, O’Dell raised on the button with ace-five offsuit and Hinkle moved all in with pocket fours. O’Dell thought about his decision for a minute, but called in the tournament deciding hand. The flop came out ace-high and no set or straight followed it for Hinkle leaving O’Dell the winner and the two-time RGPS Main Event champion to exit the tournament with an impressive second place finish for $42,427. This comes after Hinkle only started the day with eight big blinds.

Congratulations to Dakotah O’Dell for winning his second RGPS title and a seat to the Dreamseat qualifier. Thank you to all who played and thank you for reading along on PokerNews. Be sure to come back and check out the next RunGood Poker Series Checkpoint stop at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs Iowa on Friday April 28th.

RGPS Joplin Series Winners

Event NumberEvent NameEntrantsPrizepoolWinnerPrize
1$225 Seniors NLH179$32,220Kathy Schimmel$8,472
2$200 Ambassador Bounty NLH223$33,450William Hill$8,315
3$250 Deepstack376$75,200Preston McEwen$15,629
4$225 Single Day NLH115$20,700Clayton Soliz$6,198
5$150 Flip And Go144$18,000Joey Gargiulo$5,013
6$600 Main Event683$348,330Dakotah O'Dell$63,647
7$300 Pot-Limit Omaha114$29,070Trent Wilson$7,044
8$225 Closer98$17,640Michael Phillips$4,999

Tags: Blair HinkleClayton SolizDakotah O'DellDakotah O’DellDanny BarnesJael LewisJared WardJason DarlandJoe FergusonJoey GargiuloJohn ReynoldsKathy SchimmelKevin UnkelMark MartinMichael PhillipsPete PetreePreston McEwenRichard HawkinsShantanu GargTrent WilsonWilliam Hill