Tyler Patterson Wins RunGood Poker Series Checkpoint Thunder Valley Million Dollar Main Event

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Tyler Patterson finished second in the RunGood Poker Series Season Finale main event in December of 2022 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento, California. Just 240 days removed from that runner-up finish, Patterson battled his way back to the final two in the same event. This time around, the World Series of Poker bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champion managed to come out on top, taking down the 2023 RGPS Checkpoint Thunder Valley $2,500 buy-in main event, which featured a $1,000,000 guarantee.

“It was so crazy being back in the same spot as I was back in December, heads-up for the ring, but then it was way more fun and we had made a deal so it wasn’t as stressful, but this was completely different,” Patterson told PokerNews live reporters after coming out on top.

Patterson was awarded $200,422 as the champion, the fourth-largest score on his tournament resume. This win also earned him the distinction of securing the largest payout in RGPS history. Patterson now has more than $3.3 million in career earnings after this big win.

In addition to the title and the money, Patterson also earned 1,080 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion. This was his third POY-qualified score of the year, with a pair of runner-up finishes in side events at the WPT Rolling Thunder stop back in March adding another 360 points to his annual total. As a result, Patterson now sits in 218th place in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker.

This event drew a field of 477 entries, surpassing the guarantee to create a final prize pool of $1,064,187. The top 72 finishers made the money, with $3,245 for a min-cash and five-figure paydays for the final 18.

Plenty of big names ran deep in this event, including bracelet winner and WPT Prime champion Stephen Song (39th), bracelet winner and WPT high roller winner Ethan ‘Rampage Poker’ Yau (31st), WSOP Circuit ring winner Jeff Platt (26th), and two-time WPT main tour champion and bracelet winner Jared Jaffee (19th).

By the time the final table was set, Patterson was firmly in the middle of the pack while Paul Sampson held the chip lead. Sampson scored a few knockout as the final table continued, including picking up pocket queens against the A-5 suited of Kevin O’Donnell (5th – $49,055).

Patterson knocked out short stack Shijia Liu (4th – $63,945) and then scored a huge double-up through Sampson with pocket tens besting pocket nines. With that, Patterson moved to the top of the chip counts.

Darren Rabinowitz’s run in this event concluded thanks to a preflop race, with his AHeart SuitKDiamond Suit flipping against the QHeart SuitQClub Suit of Sampson. The board came down ADiamond SuitQDiamond Suit2Club Suit2Heart Suit9Heart Suit and Sampson’s queens full earned him the knockout. Rabinowitz took home $90,315 for his third-place showing, growing his lifetime tournament earnings to more than $3.4 million in the process.

Heads-up play lasted roughly two hours, with plenty of swings along the way. In the final hand, Sampson shoved with JDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit and received a call from Patterson, who held ADiamond Suit8Diamond Suit. The ASpade Suit9Club Suit5Spade Suit9Heart Suit3Heart Suit runout secured the pot and the title for Patterson. Sampson cashed out for $141,585 as the runner-up finisher.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Tyler Patterson $200,422 1080
2 Paul Sampson $141,585 900
3 Darren Rabinowitz $90,315 720
4 Shijia Liu $63,945 540
5 Kevin O’Donnell $49,055 450
6 Adam Hannula $41,025 360
7 Phatseluck Yang $33,905 270
8 Michael Zimmer $27,040 180
9 Alexander Rodriguez $21,505 90

Photo credit: Rachel Kay Miller / RGPS.





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