The RunGood Poker Series had another stellar year. Of course, RGPS was on a roll long before 2022. It was voted best mid-major poker tournament series/circuit of the year in 2018 and 2019, and after the forced pandemic break, the tour came back better than ever. And its first full season back was 2022.
This year, RGPS offered 16 regular tour stops, not including the All-Stars ProAM this month. In all, the Main Events at those 16 stops delivered 10,119 entries, resulting in total payouts of $6,168,379 – again, in Main Event tournaments only. That dollar amount was a 102% increase from 2019.
It was a memorable year for the RunGood team, and it ended with the qualifiers from each stop winning seats into the RGPS All-Stars ProAM to compete for thousands of dollars. Invited players could also buy in for $550, only adding to the prize pool.
Boston Wins in Vegas
The RGPS All-Stars ProAM started with a solid field of mostly qualifying players from the tour. But a number of poker pros bought in to participate, including Eli Elezra, Josh Arieh, David Williams, Daniel Weinman, and vlogger Johnnie Vibes. PokerGO Ambassador Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano got into the action as well.
Mariano went in to the final table second in the chip count list, with qualifier Dakotah O’Dell at the top. The rest of the table consisted of qualifiers, and as the final table played out, many of those qualifiers busted. O’Dell eventually bowed out in third place, with Mariano taking a significant chip lead into heads-up play against qualifier Denise Pratt.
Almost immediately, Pratt doubled up and took the lead, but Mariano then put his nose to the grindstone and worked his stack back up. He finally did win the tournament with a full house as Pratt missed her flush draw. The final table payouts were:
- 1st place: Rob Mariano ($8,775)
- 2nd place: Denise Pratt ($6,500)
- 3rd place: Dakotah O’Dell ($4,225)
- 4th place: Kulwant Singh ($3,250)
- 5th place: Ashley Jenkins ($2,600)
- 6th place: Tim Callego ($1,950)
- 7th place: Forrest Kollar ($1,625)
- 8th place: Jean Ortega ($1,300)
- 9th place: Vladimir Grechnikov ($1,300)
Interestingly, Mariano represents many aspects of the RunGood brand. He was an amateur poker player for many years and remains most often a mid-stakes player. His past reality television stints also make him somewhat of a celebrity, a recognizable face that attracts other players to the tables at tour stops.
As he absorbed more poker knowledge through the years, he became a PokerGO ambassador, representing that brand and playing often at RGPS events. And for him to play and win the RGPS All-Stars ProAM is symbolic of the various levels of play represented in the RunGood family and ties the two brands in a unique way.
Great Weekend with Great Friends! Thanks @TysonApostol @TysonApostol @golferjosh @RunGoodGear Family @PokerGO @AriaLV @ChipLDR @ChancesCards Can’t wait to run it back! ❤️♠️♦️♣️ pic.twitter.com/cBhDPNHZzM
— Boston Rob (@BostonRob) December 19, 2022
In the above video from the ProAM, RunGood founder Tana Karn spoke about a decade of growing the brand. And he showed his enthusiasm for 2023.
“It’s actually really special. We’re going back to a very special campaign that we did back in 2018 when we won our first GPI Best Mid-Major award; it’s going to be called RunGood Poker Series Checkpoint. We are going to be raising funds for care kits for our soldiers overseas.
“At every Main Event, we’ll send out 10 care kits to soldiers. We’ll have everyone pack and write a little note to somebody over there who’s serving our country.”
With that, RGPS Checkpoint presented by PokerGO will begin in January. The first four stops of the 2023 season are listed as follows:
- January 24-29 at Hard Rock Tulsa (Oklahoma)
- February 21-26 at Jamul Casino San Diego (California)
- February 28-March 5 at Horseshoe Tunica (Mississippi)
- February 28-March 9 at Graton Casino near Santa Rosa (California)
— Hard Rock Tulsa (@TulsaHardRock) December 27, 2022
The above tweet provides information about all of the events scheduled for the first RGPS of the year. More details will emerge about each subsequent stop, including Main Event guarantees, and RunGood will announce more tour stops.