Robert Richardson Bests 1,448-Entry Field
Self-proclaimed dream seller gets a wish of his own, outlasts Harrah’s Tunica’s largest Circuit field ever to earn gold and $74,932.
From a starting field of 1,448-entries, Event 3, a $365 re-entry tournament, is down to just one following almost 40 hours of play. Robert Richardson of Cordova, TN outlasted the super-sized event to earn a Circuit gold ring and 50 points toward the Casino Championship. Additionally, his $365 investment yielded a $74,932 first prize.
“I thank God,” Richardson said. “Anytime anybody asks me about this, I don’t want to make it seem like I did this or I did that. Anything that you can do and accomplish, you should always give God honor and glory for it.”
Richardson’s faith helped keep him focused during what was a grueling few days. The 1,448-entry field – which marked a 14 percent attendance increase over last year’s tournament and the largest field in the property’s Circuit history – was made up of two Day 1s. Each starting flight permitted unlimited re-entries and the latter played well into the early morning hours.
The field drew the likes of 2003 Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker and 2013 bracelet winner Dana Castaneda, both of whom made a run deep into the money. Castaneda started Day 2 with a top-30 stack while Moneymaker had his work cut out for him beginning 158th of 177 returning.
According to onlookers, Moneymaker caught a heater amassing almost 400,000 chips with the help of a little aggression and some fortunate flops. His stack kept growing and people kept busting, but, as so many before him, he succumbed to the field, exiting 47th. He was preceded on the rail by Castaneda who busted two spots prior in 49th.
Richardson’s masterful performance stole the headline from the aforementioned headliners. By his own account, he picked off a bluff holding pocket threes in a four-bet pot with 12 players remaining. In addition to a healthy stack, the pot gave him the confidence he needed if he was to best the talented final table and make his way through the likes of Ryan Stevenson.
Stevenson, the defending Harrah’s Tunica Main Event champion and one of the most experienced players at the table, came to the 10-handed finale short stacked but not about to go anywhere. He clung to life, grinding his stack to a higher and higher finish. His demise came only when he ran top pair ran into the set of Robert Gray and Stevenson exited sixth.
With yet another headliner gone, the spotlight was Richardson’s for the taking. A 35-year-old self-proclaimed dream seller, the cash was the first of Richardson’s WSOP career. While the $74,932 first prize is undoubtedly a nice addition to his poker bankroll, he admitted a portion will go toward his wife’s shopping bankroll.
Event 3 was the third of 12 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Harrah’s Tunica. The $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-Entry tournament attracted 1,448 entries generating a $434,400 prize pool. The top 153 players were paid.
The tournament featured two starting flights beginning Saturday at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. The first flight drew 883 entries and advanced 108 while the second flight drew 565 and advanced 69.
Day 2 began Sunday at 12 p.m. with 177 players remaining and just 153 spots finishing in the money. The bubble burst during the first level of play. From there, the nine-handed final table began at 12:30 a.m. and Day 2 wrapped shortly after 1:30 a.m.
Play on Day 3 began Monday at 2 p.m. with six players remaining. The event concluded at roughly 6:45 p.m.
Notes on the Event
- The 1,448-entry field marks the largest Circuit event ever held at Harrah’s Tunica.
- 2003 WSOP Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker advanced from the opening flight holding just 31,500 chips. He began Day 2 in 158th of the 177 remaining players, but went on to finish 47th.
The player who accumulates the most overall points during Harrah’s Tunica’s twelve combined gold ring tournaments earns the title Casino Champion and receives automatic entry into the WSOP National Championship to take place at Caesars Atlantic City this spring.
All players who cash in ring events receive points that apply toward the Casino Champion’s race and the season-long race to claim one of 50 at-large National Championship bids awarded to the top point earners throughout the season. More information on the points system is available on WSOP.com.
Here is the list of gold ring winners from Harrah’s Tunica:
EVENT #1: Mitch Franks defeated 384 players ($365 NLH) for $25,341
EVENT #2: Nick Burris defeated 560 players ($365 NLH) for $35,290
EVENT #3: Robert Richardson defeated 1,448 entries ($365 NLH Re-Entry) for $74,932
With the third tournament wrapped, nine more ring events remain at Harrah’s Tunica.