'I Came Here for First' Dimas Martinez Jr. is a Man of His Word at RGPS Jacksonville ($104,524)

'I Came Here for First' Dimas Martinez Jr. is a Man of His Word at RGPS Jacksonville ($104,524)

Article written by Matt Hansen via PokerNews / Photos taken by Matthew Berglund via 8131 Media

The $1,200 Destination RunGood: Jacksonville Main Event ended in the late hours of Sunday evening and Dimas Martinez Jr. is the champion after he came from behind to defeat Ritesh Patel in heads-up play at bestbet Jacksonville.

Martinez overcame a 4-to-1 deficit for the win shortly after he folded pocket kings in a spot that would have eliminated him from the tournament in sixth place. He takes home $104,524 for the win — his biggest score and a stellar followup to his runner-up finish in the inaugural RGPS Jacksonville Main Event last April.

Martinez and Patel are followed by Nikhil Sunku in third place and Bradley Beetz in fourth place. Paul Chung rounded out the top five, while Jerry Wade, Thomas Burkett, Jared Reinstein, and Corey Major all made final table appearances.

The tournament drew 520 entries, from which 65 players were paid from a prize pool of $508,541 — shattering the $300,000 guarantee.

Destination RunGood: Jacksonville Main Event Final Table Results

Rank Player Hometown Prize
1 Dimas Martinez Jr. Abbeville, SC $104,524
2 Ritesh Patel St. Augustine, FL $69,681
3 Nikhil Sunku Neptune Beach, FL $51,429
4 Bradley Beetz Jacksonville, FL $38,365
5 Paul Chung Jacksonville, FL $28,932
6 Jerry Wade Augusta, GA $22,058
7 Thomas Burkett Ponte Vedra, FL $17,005
8 Jared Reinstein Tallahassee, FL $13,257
9 Corey Major Jacksonville, FL $10,452


Winner’s Reaction

“It’s amazing,” Martinez said in his post-win interview with PokerNews. "God is good. I have to give him the glory. He brought me here and I promise you it was all him.”

This is the first victory for Martinez after his close call at the inaugural RGPS Jacksonville Main Event last April.

“I’m just happy to finally get that first win. I’ve been longing for first place and I’ve made about 30 final tables and I missed it. But I’m finally here.”

Martinez is ready to play a lot more poker after he spent some time away from the game.

"I took some time off to give it to God a couple of years ago. I was all over the scene before I stepped back to get my life right with my family. This is just one, but I’m coming for more.”

He will be in Hollywood, Florida next month for the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and he plans to be in Las Vegas for the WSOP this summer to make a run at his first bracelet.

“I’m back. Let them know I’m coming.”

Day 2 Highlights

Day 2 kicked off with the final 74 players and the top 65 were slated to take home the min-cash of $1,863. The tournament reached the money threshold within a level, but several double-ups extended hand-for-hand play before Kelley Slay busted to send everyone into the money. Slay got it in comfortably with aces and Mark McGarity called with pocket sevens, but a seven dropped on the turn to send him home in 66th place with zero dollars.

The bubble burst and the big stacks emerged, including Thomas Burkett, Jerry Wade, and Ritesh Patel, and Jared Reinstein — all of whom made it to the final table.

Wade soared even further ahead a short time later when he called a big McGarity bluff with a pair of threes. That hand made Wade the first player to cross the one-million chip mark.

Martinez was relatively quiet throughout the early parts of the day, ceding no ground but unable to make major moves up the leaderboard. Thad McNulty, on the other hand, used a double knockout in Level 20 to propel himself to the top of the counts. Perry Johnston got it in with eights and Russell Brooks joined the fun with Big Slick, but McNulty held on with pocket queens to take one of the biggest pots of the night. McNulty would parlay his big stack into a 13th place finish for $6,725.

Kelly Salgado, the last woman standing, also had a standout performance as she dodged trouble all day to finish in 16th place.

McNulty was the chip leader at the three-table redraw and Patel wasn’t far behind, followed by Day 1c leader Tom Millward and Patel.

Martinez began to make his move in Level 22 with a jump over the two-million chip mark, but Patel did a lot of the hard work in the later stages of the night — he took a big chunk from John Connors, who bowed out in 10th place on the final table bubble.

Final Table Highlights

Wade entered the final table as the chip leader, followed by Sunku and Patel. Martinez lingered in the middle of the pack and Corey Major was the short stack.

Major was the first to go in ninth and Reinstein followed in eighth. Burkett, who spun it up from earlier trouble, finished in seventh place in a hand that would end up being the most important one of the night.

Burkett shoved 455,000 from the button and Wade went over the top his entire stack of 2,395,000. Martinez went deep into the tank with KK before he eventually made an agonizing fold. Burkett turned over QJ and Wade had AK. The flop ran out with an ace and Burkett was out, while Martinez would have joined him with a call.

“I came here for first,” Martinez said about the hand. “I didn’t want to put my tournament at risk with just one pocket pair of kings. Any ace beats me, and if he had pocket aces then kings are just kings. I’m not here to win $15,000 I came here to win $100K. And when you fold kings, this is what you get.”

Wade was soon left short in a hand against Chung and he was out in sixth place. It was a quick succession of bustouts that sent Chung out in fifth, Beetz in fourth, and Sunku in third. That set up a heads-up confrontation where Martinez faced a 4-to-1 deficit.

Martinez was undaunted and he doubled right away, before he doubled again, and again. He gained a small lead and the big moment came when he went for the win with pocket queens against Patel’s ace-nine. The board ran out with no help for Patel and Martinez was the champ.

That wraps up coverage of Destination RunGood: Jacksonville Main Event at bestbet. Be sure to keep it with the PokerNews team for live updates from your favorite tournaments around the world.