Monday, September 16, 2019 8:35 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 10 hours ago)
Fourth’s Time’s a Charm: Paul Richardson Wins WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley Main Event for $130,667
The 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit Thunder Valley $1,700 Main Event marked the fifth time such an event had been played at the Thunder Valley Poker Room in Lincoln, CA. Paul Richardson had made three of the four previous final tables, with two fourth-place finishes and an eighth-place finish.
And in a casino where there are no number fours, it would prove to be Richardson's magic number as his fourth final table appearance finally led to victory. Richardson outlasted a field of 414 entries to claim the top prize of $130,667 and shared his feelings on winning after the tournament.
"It's fantastic," said Richardson. "I've been playing poker for a long time, and (have) slowly but surely been getting better and better; grinding away, so to have a first big win feels great." He said the final table had a lot of pressure and consisted of a lot of gambling across the entire table.
Richardson had his ups and downs throughout the day, though he said he felt good the whole time. "I kept saying to myself, 'play your game. You know, play your strategy. I tried not to think about the tournament and where I was at; just purely play my game."
Final Table Results
|1||Paul Richardson||United States||$130,667|
|2||Arish Nat||United States||$80,761|
|3||Travis Fujisaka||United States||$58,653|
|4||Paul Chai||United States||$43,198|
|5||Roman Shainiuk||United States||$32,271|
|6||Bobby Pham||United States||$24,458|
|7||Terence Reardon||United States||$18,810|
|8||Landen Lucas||United States||$14,682|
|9||Soumitra Nagar||United States||$11,634|
Final Table Action
After playing through the final 45 minutes of Level 24 at the end of Day 2, the final nine came back for a fresh start Monday for the beginning Level 25.
The first hour of play saw Paul Chai, who entered the day second in chips, double up Travis Fujisaka with pocket jacks to pocket queens. Chai lost a bit more from there, but then doubled back up from Fujisaka to claim the chip lead.
Soumitra Nagar was then the first to bow out at the final table, lasting nearly two hours into the day. Nagar hit the rail after exhausting the last of a ten big-blind stack, getting all in preflop with ace-three against Travis Fujisaka's ace-jack. with Fujisaka chipping up to nearly 50 big blinds after the win.
Landen Lucas had come into the final table as the shortest stack and hung around long enough become the eighth-place finisher just 10 minutes after Nagar's elimination. A few hands later, Terence Reardon was the next to go out, finishing a slew of eliminations that came in rapid fire.
Reardon was the victim of a bad beat laid on by Bobby Pham, as Reardon woke up with pocket jacks in the big blind and called off his stack when Pham shoved all in from middle position. Pham had two fives and found a third on the flop, sending Reardon to the rail as the first break of the day began.
About 45 minutes into the next level, Pham then made his exit as the sixth-place finisher. He shoved all in with pocket sixes and ran into Chai's pocket eights. Pham couldn't find a miracle this time and sent the tournament into five-handed play.
The action began to slow down with five players remaining. Arish Nat took advantage of the pace, chipping up with a handful of pots. Meanwhile, Chai's stack went up and down several times, riding the roller coaster that ensued from his big-pot style of poker.
Roman Shainiuk, who entered the day looking for a wire-to-wire victory, had a smooth start to the day. He continued to build, eclipsing the four million chip mark in Level 27. By Level 28, however, Shainiuk's luck ran out, and his tournament run ended when Chai took the last of his 1.1 million after shoving all in with queen-ten and not getting there against Chai's pocket sevens.
Four-handed play began with Richardson as the short stack, but he found a double with ace-ten to Chai's ace-four. His trend went straight up from there, vaulting to the chip lead when he knocked out Chai in fourth place after his pocket tens held versus Chai's ace-jack when the two got stacks in preflop.
Having battled as a short stack for much of the day, Fujisaka's then got last 17 big blinds in preflop with ace-ten to Nat's pocket fives. The flop gave Nat a set of fives but Fujisaka picked up both a wheel and nut flush draw in the process. He was unable to fill up further and finished in third place as a result.
Richardson entered heads-up play with roughly a two-to-one chip lead, though Nat won a series of pots early in the match to pull even. Play continued for about an hour after that, with Richardson regaining the chip lead several times, only to see Nat climb back into contention.
From there, Richardson would pull away one last time before the final hand of the tournament ensued. The two got stacks in on the flop after a single-raised pot preflop. Richardson shoved over a bet from Nat and was immediately called, with Nat holding a pair of threes on a jack-eight-jack flop. Richardson had ten-nine, giving him a ton of outs. The board double-paired on the turn to counterfeit Nat's two pair, and Richardson faded chop outs on the river to emerge as the victor.
After the tournament, Richardson was asked if he felt like this was his event: "Clearly," he responded with a laugh, adding that this was not only now his favorite event, but also his favorite place to play poker. "My friends keep saying, you always finish fourth, so it's great to finish first."
Monday, September 16, 2019 7:36 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 11 hours ago)
Arish Nat Eliminated in 2nd Place ($80,761)
Paul Richardson was in the small blind and completed, putting action onto Arish Nat, who pumped it up to 400,000. Richardson called and the flop came . Nat made a continuation-bet of 400,000 and Richardson reached for chips.
"All in," he announced. Nat called instantly.
"What is that?" said Nat from the other side of the table, leaning in to see what he was up against as he tabled .
Though Nat had a pair of threes, there were 17 cards in the deck he needed to fade between outs to an open-ended straight, overcards pairing, or the board double-pairing to counterfeit Nat's threes. The turn came to do the latter, leaving Nat in need of hitting a three to double or one of the remaining jacks, eights, kings, or aces in the deck to chop the pot. The river fell to improve Richardson further to a straight and the two got up to shake hands as the tournament concluded, with Nat taking home $80,761 for his efforts.
|Paul Richardson||12,420,000||4,075,000 |
|Arish Nat||0||-4,075,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 7:20 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 11 hours ago)
Richardson Raises the Turn
Paul Richardson limped in from the small blind and Arish Nat raised his option to 400,000. Richardson called, bringing a flop of . Nat put out a continuation-bet of 400,000 and Richardson called.
The turn came and Nat continued, firing out another 800,000. With the chips in one stack, Richardson asked for a count and saw the total when the chips were cut into two stacks of four. He then put out a raise to 2.5 million and Nat quickly folded, resulting in the pot being sent his direction.
|Paul Richardson||8,345,000||2,225,000 |
|Arish Nat||4,075,000||-2,225,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 7:19 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 11 hours ago)
Richardson Gets Some Back
Arish Nat bet 350,000, and Paul Richardson called.
Both players checked the flop. Richardson check-called a 350,000 bet from Nat on the turn.
The river brought no help to either player, both players checked, and Richardson showed to take it down.
|Arish Nat||6,300,000||-45,000 |
|Paul Richardson||6,120,000||45,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 7:15 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 11 hours ago)
Paul Richardson limped in from the small blind, putting action on Arish Nat, who checked his option. The flop came and Nat check-called a bet of 225,000 from Richardson.
The turn fell and Nat checked again. Richardson put out another bet of 700,000 and Nat peeled, bringing the river . Both players checked to take the hand to showdown.
Nat announced a six, tabling for a pair of sixes. Richardson mucked and Nat took down the pot, regaining the chip lead in what has been a back-and-forth last few minutes.
|Arish Nat||6,345,000||1,045,000 |
|Paul Richardson||6,075,000||-1,045,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 7:10 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 11 hours ago)
Richardson Strikes Back
Arish Nat completed the small blind and Paul Richardson checked his option. The two saw a flop of and both players checked.
The turn fell and Richardson checked. Nat bet 200,000 and Richardson put out a check-raise to 650,000. Nat called.
The river came and Richardson fired out a bet of around 1.4 million. Nat quickly folded and Richardson took back the pot and the chip lead to go along with it.
|Paul Richardson||7,120,000||970,000 |
|Arish Nat||5,300,000||-970,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 7:06 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 11 hours ago)
Nat Rivers a Flush, Pulls Even Again
Paul Richardson opened to 350,000 from the small blind and Arish Nat defended. The flop came and Nat checked to Richardson, who fired a continuation-bet of 200,000. Nat called.
The turn was and Nat check-called a second barrel of 700,000 from Richardson.
The river came and Nat checked. Richardson thought for a few moments and announced a check behind.
"Flush," said Nat as he tabled . Richardson mucked, showing as he sent his cards to the dealer while the pot was sent Nat's way.
|Arish Nat||6,270,000||1,785,000 |
|Paul Richardson||6,150,000||-1,785,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 7:01 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 12 hours ago)
Two All Ins, Two Straights and a Chop
Arish Nat limped, and Paul Richardson checked back.
Nat bet 250,000 on the flop, and Richardson called. Both players checked the turn.
The river brought the , Richardson bet 400,000, and Nat raised to 1,000,000. Richardson went all-in over the top, and Richardson called.
Both players had the nuts, with Richardson showing , and Nat .
Monday, September 16, 2019 6:53 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 12 hours ago)
Level 31 started
Monday, September 16, 2019 6:36 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 12 hours ago)
The final two are taking a 15-minute break.
|Paul Richardson||7,935,000||1,775,000 |
|Arish Nat||4,485,000||-1,775,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 6:31 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 12 hours ago)
Nat Fires Thrice
After a series of small, back-and-forth pots, Arish Nat has won a pot that has pulled stacks back to even.
Nat completed from the small blind and Paul Richardson checked his option. The flop came and Richardson checked. Nat bet 150,000 and Richardson called.
The turn fell and Richardson checked to Nat again, who bet 225,000. Richardson found another call, bringing the river .
Richardson checked once more and Nat fired out a third barrel for 450,000. He thought for close to a minute and let his hand go.
|Arish Nat||6,260,000||1,360,000 |
|Paul Richardson||6,160,000||-1,360,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 6:20 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 12 hours ago)
Richardson Raises Out Nat on the River
Arish Nat limped, and Paul Richardson checked back.
Both players checked through on the flop, as well as the turn.
Richardson bet 200,000 on the river, and Nat raised to 800,000. Richardson then three-bet to 2,375,000, sending Nat deep into the tank.
"You got a four?" wondered Nat out loud. Nat eventually decided to preserve the five million chips he had left, making the fold.
|Paul Richardson||7,520,000||1,390,000 |
|Arish Nat||4,900,000||-1,390,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 6:15 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 12 hours ago)
Nat Pulls Even
Stacks are nearly identical after three hands at the felt. Here's what went down.
Paul Richardson completed his small blind and Arish Nat checked his option. Action checked to the turn on a board of , where Nat check-called a bet of 200,000 from Richardson. Both players checked the river to take the hand to showdown.
Nat tabled , announcing a pair of nines as he did. Richardson mucked.
Nat opened to 250,000 from the small blind and Richardson defended. Both players checked a flop of and the turn fell . Richardson checked to Nat, who bet 275,000 and received a fold to take down a small pot.
Richardson opened to 300,000 from the small blind and Nat defended. The flop came and Nat checked. Richardson put out a continuation-bet of 300,000, sending Nat into the tank.
After about 20 seconds, Nat cut out three stacks of T100,000 chips tall in front of him, three-tall each. He then stacked them back up and put out a check-raise to 900,000. Richardson quickly folded.
|Arish Nat||6,290,000||1,790,000 |
|Paul Richardson||6,130,000||-1,620,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 6:08 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 12 hours ago)
Nat Puts Richardson to the Test
Paul Richardson limped, Arish Nat raised to 350,000, and Richardson called.
Nat continuation bet for 325,000 on the flop, and Richardson called.
Nat checked the , Richardson bet 525,000, and Nat put in the check-raise for the rest of his chips, around 2,500,000. Richardson thought it over for awhile before folding.
|Paul Richardson||7,750,000||-605,000 |
|Arish Nat||4,500,000||435,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 6:02 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 13 hours ago)
Richardson Wins a Small One To Start
After a couple-minute break, Arish Nat and Paul Richardson took their seats again and with play underway, Nat completed his small blind. Richardson checked and the flop came . Both players checked.
The turn fell and Richardson checked again. Nat bet 150,000 and Richardson called. Both players checked the river to take the hand to showdown.
Richardson tabled for two pair, tens and fours, and took down the pot upon Nat mucking.
|Paul Richardson||8,355,000||-50,000 |
|Arish Nat||4,065,000||50,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 5:58 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 13 hours ago)
Travis Fujisaka Eliminated in 3rd Place ($58,653)
Paul Richardson opened to 225,000 on the button, and Travis Fujisaka went all in from the small blind for 1,705,000.
Arish Nat asked for a count, then went all in with his own stack. Richardson got out of the way, and the two shorter stacks went to battle.
The flop brought a little bit of everything, giving Nat top set but giving Fujisaka the nut flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. The turn brought in the full house for Nat, ending Fujisaka's tournament run.
Nat and Richardson will now go heads up for the championship.
|Paul Richardson||8,405,000||1,120,000 |
|Arish Nat||4,015,000||790,000 |
|Travis Fujisaka||0||-1,960,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 5:50 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 13 hours ago)
Richardson Fires Twice
Paul Richardson opened to 250,000 on the button and was called by Arish Nat, who defended his big blind. The flop came and Nat checked to Richardson, who made a continuation-bet for another 250,000.
The turn fell and Nat checked again. Richardson put out a bet of 900,000 and Nat quickly folded.
|Paul Richardson||7,285,000||785,000 |
|Arish Nat||3,225,000||-600,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 5:48 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 13 hours ago)
Fujisaka Rivers a Straight
Arish Nat was on the button and raised to 200,000, receiving a call by Travis Fujisaka who defended his big blind. The flop came and Fujisaka check-called a continuation-bet of 175,000 by Nat.
Both players checked the turn , bringing the river . Fujisaka checked and Nat thought for a few seconds before checking behind.
Fujisaka tabled for a straight and Nat mucked, resulting in the pot being sent Fujisaka's way.
|Arish Nat||3,825,000||-375,000 |
|Travis Fujisaka||1,960,000||230,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 5:40 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 13 hours ago)
Fujisaka Gets the Ace on the River
Arish Nat opened to 250,000 on the button, and Travis Fujisaka went all in with his short stack from the big blind. Nat made the call.
It didn't look good for Fujisaka when the cards turned over, and he stood up and was about to walk away from the tournament through the turn on the runout. The saved Fujisaka's tournament life, however.
"I'll take it," said Fujisaka, who's back up to 17 big blinds.
|Paul Richardson||6,500,000||-90,000 |
|Arish Nat||4,200,000||-420,000 |
|Travis Fujisaka||1,730,000||520,000 |
Monday, September 16, 2019 5:40 PM Local Time (about 1 day and 13 hours ago)
Level 30 started