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Dan O'Brien Wins Run It Up Reno VIII Main Event

Two-Time Prior Champion Loren Klein Falls Just Short Of Third Title, Finishing Second


The $250,000 guaranteed $600 Run It Up Reno VIII no-limit hold’em main event attracted a total of 629 entries to the Peppermill Casino, creating a final prize pool of $329,471. Two-time prior champion of this event Loren Klein navigated his way down to heads-up play, and almost won himself a third RIU main event title. In the end, it was Dan O’Brien who emerged victorious with the trophy and the top prize of $46,681. The win brought O’Brien’s career live tournament earnings to $3,346,588.

In addition to the title and the money, O’Brien was also awarded 420 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his first POY-qualified score since finishing second in a Heartland Poker Tour main event in back in February of 2017.

The final table kicked off with Vito Distefano in the lead amongst nine remaining players. O’Brien sat in fourth chip position, with Klein right behind him in the standings. O’Brien was able to climb to the top of the counts early by flopping a set of nines and getting multiple streets of value from Distefano.

Loren Klein had previously won the Run It Up Reno III main event in 2016 and the Run It Up Reno V main event in 2017. The three-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner got off to a strong start at this year’s final table by eliminating Chris Gallagher in eighth place ($8,245). He then won a race with pocket fours against the KClub Suit6Club Suit of Kevin Gerhart to send him to the rail in seventh place ($9,825). With that Klein climbed into second place on the leaderboard.

O’Brien picked up pocket aces and called the all-in of Julio Uribe, who had shoved with AClub Suit2Club Suit. O’Brien’s hand held up and Uribe was eliminated in sixth place ($11,640).

Klein called Vito Distefano’s all-in with ADiamond Suit8Club Suit. His ace high proved good against Distefano’s QDiamond SuitJClub Suit when neither player improved by the river. Distefano earned $13,920 as the fifth-place finisher.

Klein kept up his spree of eliminations by knocking Tim Tucker out in fourth place. Tucker raised to 410,000 from the small blind with pocket jacks and Klein moved all-in from the big blind with QClub SuitJSpade Suit. Tucker made the call and was in great shape, until the board ran out QDiamond Suit10Spade Suit10Heart Suit3Diamond Suit6Heart Suit to give Klein the superior two pair. Tucker earned $17,120 for his stong showing in this event.

O’Brien won the next major confrontation. Austin Roberts got all-in preflop with QHeart Suit10Heart Suit and was called by O’Brien’s dominating AHeart SuitQDiamond Suit. Roberts took the lead by flopping a ten, but O’Brien hit an ace on the river to lock up the pot and send Roberts packing in third place ($22,180).

O’Brien took just shy of a 3-to-2 chip lead into heads-up play with Klein. The two-time former champ was able to fight his way into the lead before the key hand of the heads-up battle took place. With blinds of 150,000-300,000 and a big-blind ante of 150,000, O’Brien raised to 650,000 on the button holding KHeart Suit10Club Suit. Klein called from the big blind with KDiamond Suit5Club Suit and hit two pair on a KSpade Suit5Diamond Suit3Diamond Suit flop.
Klein check-called a bet of 1 million.

The 10Diamond Suit on the turn gave O’Brien a higher two pair. Klein check-called again, this time for 2.1 million. The 8Heart Suit on the river drew a third check from Klein. O’Brien moved all in for 3.6 million and Klein quickly called. O’Brien’s superior two pair earned him the massive pot to give him more than a 14-to-1 lead. SHortly afterwards O’Brien’s 10Spade Suit5Spade Suit suited was able to outrun Klein’s AClub Suit6Club Suit for a few big blinds to seal the deal. Klein earned $30,950 as the runner-up finisher.

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

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Dan O’Brien $46,681 420
2 Loren Klein $30,950 350
3 Austin Roberts $22,180 280
4 Timothy Tucker $17,120 210
5 Vito Distefano $13,920 175
6 Julio Uribe $11,640 140
7 Kevin Gerhart $9,825 105
8 Chris Gallagher $8,245 70
9 Robert Valdez $6,750 35

Photo credit: Run It Up Blog.