Jonathan Wang Takes Home First Win For $85,780 in The RunGood Poker Series Main Event

Jonathan Wang Takes Home First Win For $85,780 in The RunGood Poker Series Main Event

Article written by Liam Gannon via PokerNews / Photos taken by Rachel Winter via 8131 Media

The RunGood Poker Series $800 Main Event at Graton Casino and Resort in Rohnert Park, California has come to its end. 773 entrants, made sure that prizepool guarantee was passed as a total of $541,100 was collected to be awarded to the final 97 players.

As the dust settled, it was California player Jonathan Wang who took home the title after beating Victor Paredes heads up. Wang collects a career best score in the form of $85,780. “It feels good,” the newly crowned champion said when asked about his initial feelings. “It’s been a long grind, I had a pretty terrible year last year. It feels nice to bag my first live win.”

Coming into the day with ten big blinds, Wang managed to fly under the radar for most of the tournament. Coming into the final table, he held only 31 big blinds when the final table started, good for the middle of the pack. Through patience and good timing, he spun what was the shortest stack at the beginning of five-handed play to the absolute victory.

“After going on a big downswing last year, the way I describe it is I’m a little dead inside,” Wang said of his mental game. “It helped my mental game, to just go with the flow and only making what you think is the best decision.”

“WSOP is coming up,” he said when talking about what he would do with the money “It will go into the bankroll and then straight to Vegas. Cash is where the profit is at, tournaments are where the glory is at,” continued Wang. “I don’t play poker full time, it isn’t my primary source of income so I am happy to play it out for the glory.”

Wang also wins his seat to the Thunder Valley Dream Seat Invitational in November, an event he is happy to take part of and will be traveling to.

Final Table Results

Place Name Hometown Prize
1 Jonathan Wang San Francisco, CA $85,780
2 Victor Paredes Modesto, CA $58,000
3 Angel Castro Rohnert Park, CA $43,500
4 Matthew Betti Cupertino, CA $32,500
5 Michael Bell Austin, TX $24,500
6 Jesse Kandola San Jose, CA $18,700
7 Anne Thompson Rohnert Park, CA $14,400
8 Michael Lin San Ramon, CA $11,200
9 Brandon Vitale Eureka, CA $8,800

Final Day Action

The final table was reached in a quick fashion, as the blind levels being 5,000/10,000 left many players scrambling to try to ladder up with their short stacks. The early goings of the day saw many legends fall, like Forrest Kollar (96th-$1,400), Tyler Patterson (94th-$1,400), Lexy Gavin-Mather (81st-$1,400), Julie Cornelius (75th-$1,620), WSOP bracelet winner Henrieto Acain (56th-$1,900), Josh Prager (55th-$2,240), Joe Nguyen (40th-$2,660), and Mario Lopez (16th-$5,400).

The final casualty before the final table began at the start of day was RGPS first timer Levi Wagner. He got in his final chips in with ace-jack against Michael Bell’s ace-two and looked set to double on a jack-high board. However, the turn and the river brought a running flush to set himself up to be a final table chip leader, while Wagner ended his run in 10th place for $8,800.

Final Table Main Event Graton
The RGPS Graton Final Table

 Final Table Action

 The first confrontation of the final table saw a clash between Michael Bell and Matthew Betti as Betti raked in a pot to put themselves at nearly even chips. Shortly after it would be Angel Castro who would take the clear chip lead as he raised with pocket queens from the hijack, while Brandon Vitale moved all in with two tens and was quickly called. The board ran out as no favor to Vitale and Castro raked in the pot to be the first to crack five million, while Vitale ended his run in ninth place, collecting a career best cash of $8,800.

A few other stacks at the final table began to drift towards the shorter end of the chip counts, and two of them ended up clashing. Jonathan Wang saw himself raising and then calling off the majority of his stack with ace-queen up against Michael Lin, who was at risk with the shorter stack and two nines. An ace on the flop had Lin drawing slim and, with no improvement on the turn and river, he ended his run in eighth place for $11,200.

Last woman standing Anne Thompson came into the final table with the shortest stack, but managed to ladder her way into seventh place. She also found herself at the mercy of Wang when her sevens ran into pocket queens. A couple of backdoors on the flop never quite materialized on the turn and river, leaving her to collect $14,400 for her efforts.

Some early clashes saw Bell take an overwhelming lead and the start of final table chip leader Victor Paredes quite short. He ended up getting his last chips in with king-ten suited against Jesse Kondola’s ace-eight and ended up rivering a flush to double up and leave Kondola short. Kondola ended up getting it in way ahead with his pocket kings against Angel Castro’s ten-nine offsuit, but the river brought a straight to give Castro the pot while Kondala ended his run in sixth place for $24,500.

Bell held a massive lead at the beginning of five-handed play, but the winds shifted to Wang’s favor as he went from shortest stack to chip lead after two massive confrontations with Bell, the second of which saw him pick off one of Bell’s bluffs to overtake him in the counts. Wang would end up doubling Matthew Betti after running into his aces, then Bell followed suit by having Victor Paredes doubling up through him multiple times, each time hitting his ace on the river.

Castro doubled through Bell shortly after when his ace-king held against Bell’s ace-jack, and then Paredes doubled again through Bell. They both got all of their chips into a massive pot where Bell’s ace-four suited had paired the four and held a flush draw. Paredes held pocket threes for an open ended straight draw and the river six gave Paredes the straight while leaving Bell with fumes. He got in his final two big blinds the following hand against Wang holding four-two offsuit and was unable to improve against Wang’s ace-king, leaving him to take $24,500 for his fifth place finish.

Betti was next to go. He was down to just five big blinds and he jammed his pocket sevens over Paredes’ open, and Paredes looked him up with ace-ten. The two tens on the flop left Betti drawing slim and the board ran out as no help to him, leaving the California regular to exit in fourth place for $32,500. This is the second top 30 finish that Betti has made in the past two weeks.

Paredes held the big lead at the beginning of three handed, with Castro in second and Wang in third. The pecking order quickly changed as Wang doubled through Paredes when his ace-nine won against Paredes’ pocket sevens, which left Castro at the bottom. Castro would get involved in a flip of his own against Wang when his ace-queen could not improve against his nines and Castro finished the tournament in third place for $43,500.

Victor Parades
Victor Paredes began the day with one of the small stacks and ended in second place

Heads up began with Paredes holding a slight lead over Wang. Wang was looking for his first RGPS ring, while Paredes was looking to grab his second. Paredes extended his lead to a 3:1 lead over Wang, which changed once Wang found a double with his ace-king versus Paredes king-jack. This was followed by Wang pulling ahead even more in a couple of other pots, building a 3:1 lead over Paredes. The final hand saw Wang move all in with king-seven and Paredes called with ace-jack for his last 12 big blinds. The flop came out low, with the turn jack killing Wang’s sevens as an out, leaving just the king to fade for Paredes to even out the match. The river king of diamonds gave Wang top pair and the championship, while Paredes ended his deep run in second place for $58,000.

Thank you for reading along here at PokerNews. Be sure to check back in next week when the season finishing RunGood Poker Series Kansas City Main Event will be taking place.