Over 125 members of the Run It Up Legion – along with their fearless leader Jason Somerville and a handful of other Team PokerStars pros – took over a ballroom at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday for the first live event held by PokerStars since the company launched their product in the Garden State a few months back.
The Run It Up: Resorts event wasn’t just a poker tournament though. The event was designed to give attendees, all of whom made a $10 donation to Autism Speaks as admission, face-to-face time with Somerville, Chris Moneymaker, Vanessa Selbst, Barry Greenstein, Liv Boeree and Jennifer Shahade. Players were treated to breakfast before the $30 buy-un Run It Up Resorts: Rumble kicked off.
Instead of having a room full of dealers, the event was played on PokerStarsNJ.com with only attendees being allowed to play. When play reached the final table, the tournament was paused to allow those players to sit at the same table in the ballroom and play down to a winner.
For Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig, the sixth-ranked player in New Jersey, the event ended about as perfectly as possible. He beat out the other 123 players to take the top prize of $778.67. Not bad considering he won his way into the event in a PokerStars freeroll.
“It was a 50 StarsCoin rebuy – so I got into this for a buck and half – 150 StarsCoins,” said Sewnig. “The package that I won, the way they did it, the top 15 got the $10 to come here whereas the top three got $200 cash, the ticket to come here and two nights stay here and I got the top three so I came in last night.”
Run It Up: Resorts Rumble Final Table Results
- monkeyman067 – $778.67
- Matt ‘mattybuns1’ Laverty – $541.53
- s.l. halper – $411.30
- casperskulls – $304.66
- DomBagz – $203.11
- Mr.Shipawitz – $169.26
- umasspoker11 – $135.40
- gruemoon – $101.55
- jpinyan – $84.63
Somerville, who also played the tournament and was in contention until busting on the bubble, streamed throughout the day on his Twitch channel. Just 24 hours earlier he had been in Canada, streaming his playing in the PokerStars.com Spring Championship of Online Poker. He made a final table Thursday before making his way to New Jersey where he got the chance to connect with a number of his fans.
“t’s just great to see people not only here in person, being energetic, enthusiastic and passionate but wearing Run It Up gear, telling me that they watch the stream every day, that they love the stream,” said Somerville, who headed back to Canada Sunday to resume SCOOP play. “It’s always great for me to leave the dirty basement every once in a while just to interact with the fans face-to-face and it it really reinvigorates my passion for both streaming and for poker really.”
Some of those in attendance had come from out of state, including surrounding states New York and Pennsylvania, but one player had driven in from Indiana – a 13-hour drive. The timing of the event also allowed players coming to New Jersey to play NJSCOOP, which kicked off Sunday, to come in a day early.
“Somerville has been streaming the first half of global SCOOP and I finally got my bankroll up in a cash game where I could set aside some funds to commit,” said Colin Byerly, who came from Harrisburg, PA to play. “So I can take a little bit of focus off of my main job and really commit to excelling my game and maybe getting a couple of good deep runs, building my stack a little more and maybe make a good go of it.
After the tournament was over fans were able to ask the Team Pros in attendance questions in an open Q&A session. Even with some of the brightest minds in poker up on stage, most of the questions focused on the future of online poker in the United States, and not strategy or game theory. Greenstein, who actually busted out of the Rumble on the very first hand, admitted to being excited about seeing where legislation was going in the near future.
“(New Jersey) is first domino for PokerStars. Where I live is the big domino, which is California,” said Greenstein. “Hopefully after that everybody will want to compact with California and, eventually the world.”