Eric Nelson Wins $235 NHL Kickoff for $9,680 and Two Main Event Bullets

Event #1 Champion Eric Nelson

Event #1 Champion Eric Nelson

Event #1 $235 NLH Kickoff 

The last time Eric Nelson played Run It Up Reno, things did not really go his way.

"I played like ten events," Nelson explained. "I didn't cash any of them. So I came back this time, figuring I was due."

Probably fair to say it was worth the wait, as Nelson topped a record-setting event to pick up the first trophy of this RIU series. He also pocketed $9,680 and not one, but two Main Event seats. He picked up one seat since the top four finishers in this event each earned a free seat. His second seat comes by virtue of being the winner of the Run It Up gear last longer.

In the end, action came down to Nelson and Ryan Leonis battling heads-up for the victory. On the final hand, Nelson limped in on the button and Leonis moved all in for about 1.1 million. Nelson thought for a few seconds and decided to call. The players turned their hands up:

Nelson: [khjs]
Leonis: [ad9c]

The flop came [acjs3d], giving both players a pair and keeping Leonis in the lead with a pair of aces. The turn was the insignificant [7d], but the river was the [jd] and Nelson scooped the pot with trip jacks, coming from behind to win on the river.

Ryan Leonis (left) and Eric Nelson (right) play for the trophy

Ryan Leonis (left) and Eric Nelson (right) play for the trophy

The road to the title involved its fair share of obstacles. First, there was the big field. With 184 entries in the Kickoff, this was both the largest field Kickoff event Run It Up Reno has ever hosted and the largest prizepool ever for a Run It Up prelim event at $36,800.

The field hit the $20,000 guarantee on the event before the first level was even over. By the time registration closed, the prizepool was nearly double that.

The top 32 finishers each cashed in this event. The final table included some notable Run It Up names, like Melly Wang, who was looking to improve upon her second-place showing in this same event back in October, and Andrew Cha, who had a chance to become the first-ever four-time Run It Up champion. Cha had to settle for ninth and Wang and her canine companion Chewy were not far behind him in eighth place.

Nelson, Leonis, Hyde Sjogren, and Ty Kohler all picked up Main Event seats for finishing in the top four. Should Nelson get through this series' Main event on one bullet, his next seat carries forward to the next Run It Up Reno series.

That is fine by Nelson, who is a recreational poker player living right here in Reno. In a tournament series with an interesting mix of locals and RIU Warriors, Nelson qualifies as both.

"I am a Run It Up fan, but I don't travel to play poker," Nelson explained. "But when they come to town I play." For Nelson, the best part of Run It Up Reno is the chance to play some of the non-hold'em games like PLO and Stud. So, while tonight he gets to celebrate what comes out to a nearly $11,000 victory when you factor in the two Main Event seats, tomorrow he is going to get right back it since we have a day catered to the Somerville Stud Club on the schedule.

Here is a look at the final results for Event 1:

1st place: Eric Nelson - $9,680 + Two $600 Main Event seats
2nd place: Ryan Leonis - $6,450 + $600 Main Event seat
3rd place: Hyde Sjogren - $4,410 + $600 Main Event seat
4th place: Ty Kohler - $2,800 + $600 Main Event Seat
5th place: Floyd Achtzehnter - $1,840
6th place: Gary 'The Captain' Tighe - $1,270
7th place: Kyle McCarthy - $960
8th place: Melly Wang - $680
9th place: Andrew Cha - $550
10th place: Dave Spurr - $520
11th place: Lula Taylor - $500
12th place: William Fayant - $480
13th place: Michael Clark - $405
14th place: Scott Hoffer - $405
15th place: Robert Luebkeman- $405
16th place: David Lander - $405
17th place: Adam Bishop - $330
18th place: Joshua Shafer - $330
19th place: Vincent Newland - $330
20th place: Rob Fitzgerald - $330
21st place: Brett Gordon - $330
22nd place: Jeremy Jusak- $330
23rd place: Stephen Roselius - $330
24th place: William Schrader - $330
25th place: Eli James - $300
26th place: William Watchman - $300
27th place: Michael Flores - $300
28th place: Derek Gomez - $300
29th place: George Geros - $300
30th place: Jimmy Cappucci - $300
31st place Joseph Rando - $300
32nd place: Kerry Chun - $300

Get excited, Eric Nelson!

Get excited, Eric Nelson!