History is being made at Harrah's New Orleans this week with the Road to the RunGood Cup Championship Event. This is RunGood's first visit to The Big Easy and it's the first RunGood Cup Championship. One lucky (and/or talented) poker player will be the first to take home the gigantic RunGood Cup, theirs to keep, show off, and remember the experience. 

The RunGood crew arrived a day early and were welcomed in splendid fashion by Poker Room Manager Dawn Terre as we set up the RunGood signs and displays. We didn't linger long at Harrah's, though, with everyone itching to take in the New Orleans cuisine and nightlife. Once the work was done, we were off to Mr. B's Bistro (201 Royal Street, at the corner of Royal and Iberville in downtown New Orleans). Our group of twelve quickly fired a variety of appetizers, including braised pork belly, garlic truffle french fries, panko crusted shrimp and tasso, and fried oysters.

The sole hiccup of the night came when, with each of our party holding a drink in one hand or a fork in the other, the fire alarms started going off. Our first instinct was to leave the premises, but our waiter, who was refilling our wine glasses at the time, just kept on pouring. The alarm soon shut off and we returned our attention to sampling more of the venue's fare. Among the entrees were truffle-butter filet mignon, bacon-wrapped shrimp, barbequed shrimp, bourbon pork chops, pan-seared grouper, and oven-roasted rabbit.

Dinner came to an end at 9 p.m., but, of course, that wasn't the end of the evening. A mandatory visit to Bourbon Street could not be put off and the group made its appearance at several local taverns, including Cat's Meow, Bourbon Cowboy, and Tropical Isle.


At the Cat's Meow, karaoke was in full swing, to varying degrees of success, with the crowd helping those less naturally gifted (or alcohol-impaired).



At the Bourbon Cowboy, RG Pro Gardyone went for a ride on the mechanical bull. Daring, to say the least, considering he has all the natural prowess of an epileptic ostrich, but with several local libations under his belt and no doubt a prop bet hanging in the balance, Gardy mounted the bull and pretended his pretend-cowboy heart out. We won't say whether he pulled off the performance of a lifetime or not--but if he's at your table, feel free to ask. (Just remember he may bluff with his answer--all he'd say at dinner Thursday was that his knees still hurt.)

After a night of sleep (some more restful than others), Flight A kicked off at noon today. 110 players had entered by the close of registration though that number included 20 players who were pre-registered and will be playing in later flights.  After 13 levels of play, 17 players bagged up chips to return for Day 2 on Sunday.  Leading the field was local grinder Chris Torres with 244,000 chips, with RunGood Pro Ray Henson in the second spot with 203,500. RG Medallion winners John Heckencamp (136,500), Rodney Spriggs (101,000), and RG Main Event winner Will Berry (71,000) also made it through to Day 2, and can now enjoy a couple of days off to explore the city.

Official chip counts at the conclusion of Flight A:

Chris Torres


Ray Henson


Nate Rohda


Gary Dunaway


Ed Muchmore


John Heckenkamp


Carter Hedgemann


Rodney Spriggs


Jeremy Gaubert


Joan Rhodes


Will Berry


Lucas Board


Kristopher Ferber


Did Not Report


Nick Graphia


Charles Byrn


Damon Landry



Flight B starts at noon Friday, with the final Day 1 flight scheduled for noon on Saturday. The RunGood Championship Event buy-in is $675 and re-entry is permitted until the start of level 9 (4:20 p.m.). PokerNews is providing live coverage of the RunGood Cup Championship; live reports and chip counts can be found here. Come join us and be a part of history!

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