Sasha Sabbaghian of Granite Bay, California has won the inaugural RGPS Thunder Valley Golden Ticket $575 Main Event $200K GTD for $40,485, plus a RGPS ring and ticket to the All Star Pro-Am event that is set to take place in December at PokerGo Studio. Sabbaghian eventually agreed to a three-way deal with Zihan Men (runner-up for $37,891) and Jerez Mercado (3rd for $36,619).
Hosted at The Poker Room at Thunder Valley Casino Resort as part of the All-Stars Comeback Tour presented by the RunGood Poker Series, the tournament attracted 565 runners across three starting flights, crushing the guarantee with a prize pool of $282,500 that was shared by top 72 players.
Sabbaghian is primarily a cash player who occasionally tries his hand at the tournaments. His turning point in the tourney was a massive hand where he busted Shahin Shojaeyan in 4th place. Sabbaghian’s pocket nines made a straight against the set of tens of Shojaeyan.”Honestly, that was like the only big one. I didn’t really have any huge hands,” Sabbaghian said reacting to the hand.
Keith Hudson (10th for $5,385) bubbled the final table with his pocket nines losing to pocket kings of Sabbaghian, who had entered the final table with the third largest stack behind the start of the FT chip leader Jerez Mercado (1,300,000) and Kevin Nguyen who held the second largest stack.
The FT began in a thundering fashion with two big stacks clashing with each other. Nguyen holding Ad Kd went all-in pre-flop and Mercado called with pocket tens which held up to bust Nguyen in 9th place. Following him were David Ong (8th for $7,180) and Kevin Weinmann (7th for $9,000). Ong’s Q-9 failed to beat pocket threes of Shasha Sabbaghian. Weinmann got it in with 10s 7s against pocket aces of Shahin Shojaeyan on a board of 10c 2h Jh Kc 8s and was eliminated in 7th place.
The next to fall was Randy Gil whose pocket sevens did not hold up against pocket kings of Victor Villaneuva. Despite scoring a knockout, Day 1c chip leader Villaneuva was the next player to be busted from the final table. He was in a hand with Zihan Men and they both made flushes but Villaneuva had the inferior flush. Exiting in 4th place was Shahin Shojaeyan after whose elimination, the remaining three struck a deal that saw Sabbaghian win the title and $40,485 in the top prize.
Final Table Payouts (USD)
- Sasha Sabbaghian – $40,485*
- Zihan Men – $37,891*
- Jerez Mercado – $36,619*
- Shahin Shojaeyan – $17,240
- Victor Villaneuva – $13,235
- Randy Gil – $10,890
- Kevin Weinmann – $9,000
- David Ong – $7,180
- Kevin Nguyen – $5,385