Arkansas high school teacher wins $73,000 as RunGood Poker Series kicks off 2024 season

Todd Tucker

After three match days it is RunGood Poker Series $800 Main Event here, at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, came to an end on the final day after almost 11 hours of play. The total number of players from all three flights was 558 registrations, which is one $390,600 Prize pool that almost quadrupled the $100,000 guarantee.

After a tough last day, the time had come Todd Tucker who emerged victorious from defeat David McFeely Heads up to claim the title, championship ring and that $73,242 in first place prize money. A big addition to the champion’s wallet is the addition of the Dream Seat Packagewhich offers a complete travel package and a seat for the Dream Seat Invitational, the winner of which will be included in the televised event PokerGO Tour Championship $1,000,000 Freeroll. The field is limited to 64 players, meaning Tucker could turn this win into real money.

This is the second-highest score for Tucker, as the high school math teacher finished fourth in a WSOP Circuit main event last July for $97,797. When asked if he had any plans for his win, he replied:

“Oh no, not really, I’m just a family man from Arkansas… I grew up in Boonesville, Arkansas, I live in Van Buren, Arkansas, and I teach in Alma, Arkansas. And I have two girls who are involved in all sorts of things, so most of the money is spent on them.”

The proud Arkansas native is certainly a family man, as he wore a bracelet made by his two daughters and the coin he used as a card protector was another gift from a Catholic teachers organization.

RGPS Tulsa Final Table Results

Location player Hometown Price
1 Todd Tucker Van Buren, AR $73,242
2 David McFeely Bolivar, MO $49,098
3 Joshua Brower Tulsa, okay $36,170
4 Duster Ellis Papillion, NE $26,912
5 Chris Baumhörer Bentonville, AR $20,272
6 James Trotter Edmond, okay $15,468
7 Zachary Smith Mena, AR $11,952
8th Todd Nichols Edmond, okay $9,335
9 William McCracken Bolivar, MO $7,382
Todd Tucker
Todd Tucker

action on this day

As the 69 players who returned to play on Day 2 took their places, the action started right from the start and showed no signs of slowing down as a flurry of eliminations saw the field go from 69 to 69 in a matter of hours 27 shrank. Ashley Frank And Jared Ward That’s when they reached the limit, exiting in 39th and 38th place for $2,031. From then on the stacks were a little higher and the game started to slow down a little. In the next level Daniel Lowery ($26 – $2,344) and Dad Karn (19th – $3,281) was reported to the rail. The PoY points leader went next Brian Winters When he bolstered his stats with another deep run, he was eliminated in 15th place for $3,906.

Brian Winters
Brian Winters

Final Table Action

The nine-man final table was reached relatively early in the night, but would take most of the day as everyone was hoping for the title and no one was willing to simply drop out of the tournament. The final table got off to a quick start, with the first two eliminations taking place in a short space of time, the first of which was William McCrackenwho was eliminated when McFeely called his massive river bluff shove with just a pair of sixes.

Shortly afterwards, the chip leader from day 1 was eliminated Todd Nichols, who ran his ace-ten into Duster Ellis’ pocket aces and secured the $9,335 payout for eighth place. The action then slowed down considerably until Zachary Smith pushed in 43 big blinds with ace-ten James Trabers Pocket tens and couldn’t improve. He was left with less than a big blind and was eliminated in seventh place when he was forced into play by the small blind on the very next hand.

It was almost an hour before another player dropped out, and it was Traber who ended up in sixth place at the rail. He became the third player in a row to leave the game with ace-ten when Tucker flopped a set of nines. Then Tucker got going and struck out Chris Baumhörer in the fifth and Duster Ellis came fourth shortly afterwards. A few hands later he struck out Joshua Brower in third place when his king-queen trumped Brower’s ace-nine when he hit trip queens.

Heads-up combat

When heads-up play began, Tucker had a 3-1 chip lead over McFeely, but after a few key hands, McFeely closed the gap and even took the chip lead. This didn’t last long, however, as he misjudged his hand and went up against Tucker with a pair of kings and five kickers. Tucker made the call and turned over a pair of kings, but with a superior queen kicker, and he received a complete double-up while McFeely was devastated. It only took a few more hands for Tucker to seal the deal. He made a full house and McFeely jammed again and was dead. McFeely was eliminated in second place while Tucker was crowned champion.

The next RunGood Poker Series kicks off on February 20th at Jamul Casino in San Diego, California, so mark your calendars!


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