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A Brief History of the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS)

GeoffFisk • Level 3: 100-200, 200 ante
RGPS All-Star Rings

The RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) was born out of RunGoodGear, a premier poker clothing company founded in 2012. From its humble beginnings, which included president Tana Karnchanakphan (AKA Tana Karn), distributing RunGood shirts out of a backpack at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the RGPS tour launched in 2014 and had established itself as a major force in the mid-major market. In fact, it won “Mid-Major Tour/Circuit” in back-to-back years at the Global Poker Awards (2018 & 2019).

What is the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS)?

The RGPS is a two-time Global Poker Award-winning tour for “Mid-Major Tour/Circuit”. The tour usually hosts weeklong festivals comprised of affordable side events culminating in traditionally $575-$675 Main Events, which run Friday-Sunday.

Each season of the RGPS, which currently awards championship rings but has previously awarded medallions, championship belts, and even cowboy boots, comes with a fun theme. Some of the themes from past seasons include “Showbound”, “Game Seven”, “RunGood Cup”, “Old West”, a charity-themed season with Operation Gratitude, and their post-pandemic “Comeback Tour”.

They have also formed a partnership with PokerGO to send players to an end-of-year, 64-player tournament to be filmed at PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas.

When is the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS)?

The RGPS holds stops throughout the year across the country. In the past, they’ve hosted two themed seasons each year – the first taking place in the first half of the year before the WSOP, and the other in the second half of the year after the WSOP.

PokerNews and the RGPS

Over the years, PokerNews has offered live updates from many RGPS tournaments and continues to do so.

History of the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS)?

A shot from the first-ever RGPS stop.
A shot from the first-ever RGPS stop.

The RGPS tour launched in 2014 with three stops starting with its inaugural stop at Downstream Casino & Resort in Quapaw, Oklahoma. Bernard Lee topped a 344-entry field, including Ross Bybee in heads-up play, to win the $675 Main Event for $47,555.

Bybee redeemed himself at the next stop at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa when he bested a 317-entry field to win the $675 Main Event for $26,440 after a four-way deal. A month later, the RGPS returned to Downstream and hosted another $675 Main Event, which attracted 262 runners and saw Mark Martin come out on top to claim a $36,218 first-place prize.

In 2015, the tour expanded to seven stops after adding Horseshoe Council Bluffs and an RGPS Cup Championship in New Orleans. The following year, six stops were held including a pair in North Kansas City, while a total of seven stops took place in 2017.

In 2018, Horseshoe Bossier City joined the tour, as did the first-ever RGPS Global Championship Cruise, which was won by Shawn Sparks for $21,417. That year saw 13 stops, but in 2019 that jumped to 17 thanks to Horseshoe Tunica joining the fray.

In 2020, a new stop Jamul Casino in San Diego was held before the global pandemic put the tour on hiatus. It took a year, but the RGPS stormed back in 2021 with a “Comeback Tour” and resumed making its mark in the mid-major market, including at new stops at Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Coconut Creek and California’s Thunder Valley.

Top RGPS Players

Daniel Lowery
RGPS superstar Daniel Lowery

As of August 2021, Daniel Lowery sits atop both the RGPS all-time money list ($188,794) and most titles (7). Lowery also tops the list for most RGPS cashes with 40, as well as most top 10 finishers with 22.

Justin Gardenhire sits behind him with $186,669 in earnings, 5 titles, 20 top 10 finishes, and 33 cashes. Meanwhile, Blair Hinkle has established himself as a force on the tour with $141,296 in earnings from three titles.

Other players with three titles to their credit are Preston McEwen, James Devaney, Derrick Contreras, Eric Bunch, Julie Anna Cornelius, Rodney Spriggs, Michael Albert, John Heckenkamp, and Ross Bybee.

See more RGPS stats and results on The Hendon Mob. In addition to following live updates on PokerNews, you can follow @RGPokerSeries on Twitter or visit rungoodgear.com.

Tags: RunGood Poker Series