Derrick Yamada Defends RGPS San Diego Title for $41,550

Derrick Yamada Defends RGPS San Diego Title for $41,550

Article written by Kirk Brown via PokerNews

San Diego's Derrick Yamada has done it! After playing for two days and navigating through a field of 415 entries, Yamada has successfully defended his RGPS San Diego Main Event title here at Jamul Casino!

After returning at noon today for Day 2, he made short work of his opponents and ended the day by defeating Michael Holmes heads-up to claim his prize of $41,550, while Holmes took runner-up for $31,200. This title also included the RGPS ring as well as a seat and travel package to the Dream Seat Invitational in Thunder Valley later this year.

Derrick Yamada Wins the Ring After Deal Ends Wild Heads-Up Duel at RGPS Jamul ($31,565*)

No Asterisk This Time!

“Man, I’m not really one to make a scene or celebrate extravagantly, but I am very happy right now,” the now two-time Jamul champ said. “And I honestly owe it to you (PokerNews) when you came up to me on day one and joked that my last win had an asterisk next to it (because of a chop deal) and that really lit a fire under me…I only play about one tournament a month, and it feels really good to take one down again. Between the gym and little league practice, I just haven't had that much time to play.” Yamada explained that there is little time for poker between managing the new gym that he and his wife opened, Earned It, and his eight-year-old son’s little league practice.

The Main Event, which offered three starting flights, attracted 415 entrants to generate a prize pool of $215,800. Only 53 of those players made it to Day 2, all of whom were guaranteed a min-cash of $977.

Final Table Payouts

Place Player Payout
1 Derrick Yamada $41,550
2 Michael Holmes $31,200
3 Kenneth Douglas $20,056
4 Edward Liu $13,304
5 Andrew Whitmer $10,240
6 Lirio Fontamillas $8,481
7 Luis Pedro $7,111
8 Seth Harmes $5,781
9 Tavish Margers $4,454

The action throughout the day started off fast and only picked up speed until it got down to the final four, when it finally slowed down. The initial 53 players that returned were cut to 40 within the first hour, and they reached the three-table redraw (half the field) in just under three hours. Some players that fell to the wayside early included the last standing RunGood ambassador, Corey Paggeot, RGPS PoY frontrunner Brian Winter, and Kyna England.

Kyna England
Kyna England

This was due largely in part to Yamada, Holmes, and Kenneth Douglas, who came into Day 2 as the overall chip leader, knocking out players left and right to quickly diminish the field. Before long, the three tables dwindled to two, and within two hours, the final table was reached, with Holmes and Douglas dead-even with a little over 2,800,000 and Yamada in third with 2,100,000.

Final Table Action

RunGood Jamul FT
RunGood Jamul Final Table

In one of the first hands at the final table, Tavish Margers, who had also been very active throughout the day, moved all in with king-queen but ran right into the ace-queen of Lirio Fontamillas and was sent out in ninth place as the first blood was drawn.

As soon as the players came back from their break, it was Seth Harmes who was felted in eighth when his pocket sixes lost to Yamada’s king-queen when a queen appeared on the river.

It was then Holmes’ turn to take a life whenLuis Pedro moved in with ace-ten, and Holmes woke up with pocket aces to show him the door in seventh. Yamada then took back the reins and went on a tear as he knocked out Fontamillas in sixth with a flopped two-pair, followed by Andrew Whitmer in fifth by making Broadway, and then Edward Liu in fourth when he flopped a set of sixes against Liu’s top two-pair.

Yamada then lost a huge chunk of his stack when he doubled up Holmes with a two-pair over two-pair scenario but managed to grind back and eventually retook the lead when he doubled through Douglas when his pocket sevens held against ace-jack. A few hands later, Yamada eliminated Douglas in third when he flopped a set of sixes, and Douglas shoved into him with pocket queens.

Michael Holmes
Michael Holmes

After Douglas exited in third, heads-up play between Yamada and Holmes began, with Yamada holding over a 3:1 chip lead. The action lasted for a total of five hands before they got it in, with Yamda holding ace-deuce and Holmes with king-five. A deuce appeared on the turn, and the river bricked to name Holmes the tournament’s runner-up while Yamada was declared the champion for the second time in a row.

That concludes the coverage of the 2024 Destination: RunGood Jamul Main Event, but be sure to be on the lookout for future stops as Tunica and Jacksonville are just around the corner! Also, don't forget to use the code RUNGOOD for money off on a PokerGO subscription!

From all of us here at PokerNews, I’m Kirk Brown; you stay classy, San Diego.