Day 2 of the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) Horseshoe Council Bluffs $420 Golden Ticket Main Event saw 77 players from a 505-entry field return to the felt, with an entry into the RGPS All-Stars ProAm at stake, as well a RGPS All-Stars ring, and the grand prize of $39,085. After nearly thirteen hours, it was Nathan Steuer, a roofing industry project manager, who earned the trip to Vegas and the lion's share of the prize pool after a heads-up battle with Cody Bartlett.
"I'm a little bit overwhelmed," a smiling Steuer told PokerNews after his victory. "I've just been waiting a long time for something like this. It means a lot."
Steuer went into heads-up play with Bartlett as a 3:1 underdog, but wasn't intimidated by the monster stack that loomed in front of him. "I know what it's like to get heads-up; honestly, I kinda got hit with the deck. I doubled up, and it was fair game after that. Once you get somebody down, it's really just all about aggression. All the credit to him, I just got lucky in the right spots and ran hot."
Steuer was excited to have the ticket to the All-Stars ProAm as well as the cash, and the prospect of playing with poker professionals and celebrities brought back memories of his origins in poker. "I was part of the 2003 Moneymaker boom, watching the stuff on TV, playing tournaments with my friends. To come from that and get to go play with thirty-two legends, it's just gonna be a cool expierience. Hopefully I run as good there as I did here; it would be cool to take a few out or at last a few of them!"
RGPS Horseshoe Council Bluffs Final Table Results
Day 2 Action
Twenty-three players were unfortunate enough to leave the Day 2 tables with no payday, including Steve Fredlund, Patrick Watkins, and bubble boy Marvin Donaldson.
Once the bubble burst, payouts came swiftly, with notables such as Henry Gingerich (16th - $1,982), Alex Wheeler (24th - $1,414), Scott Buller (27th - $1,218), Cash Carpenter (32nd - $940), and June's RGPS Horseshoe Council Bluffs champ Freeman Kauffman (39th - $762) taking home a chunk of the $181,800 prize pool, which demolished the advertised $40,000 Guarantee. Day 1b chip leader Paul Matzinger was at or near the top of the counts for most of the day, but ended up busting to Bartlett in a monster pot just before the final table, ending Matzinger's run in eleventh-place for $2,925.
Final Table Action
Bartlett entered the final table with more than double the nearest stack, and he put those chips to work immediately, busting Zach Davidson just minutes into the final table. After Seth Gutz fell in ninth, Kerry Hildebrand, who had navigated her way to the final table with a short stack through the entire day, finally succumbed to Robbie Kent to bust next.
Nate Barksdale was next to go, with his queens going down in flames to the kings of Day 1b chip leader Shawn Stevenson. Kent Battles and Robbie Kent share a name together, and they also sit next to each other in the results, as they fell back-to-back in sixth and fifth. Nathan Steuer then hit a set on Stevenson to take most of Stevenson's stack. Stevenson managed to rally for a bit, but ended up in fourth when his ace-seven couldn't catch up to the Big Slick of Bartlett.
Bartlett took 70% of the chips into three-handed play, and wasted little time in vanquishing Jose Bermudes in third. Bartlett looked like he was poised to run the table and take down the title with a 3:1 chip lead at the start of heads-up play, but Steuer battled back, first by winning a big flip, then following that up immediately with another big pot with ace-king, betting 1.7 million with top pair, top kicker and getting paid off by Bartlett.
Bartlett was able to survive for another half-hour, until he finally committed his last fifteen big blinds with middle pair on a nine-high flop. Steuer held nine-three for top pair, however, and improved to two pair on the turn and held on the river to earn his second career RGPS title, the coveted RGPS All-Stars Ring, and a seat in the RGPS All-Stars ProAm in December.