San Antonio’s Rounders Card Club stepped into the limelight of Texas’ tournament poker scene over the last two weeks. The members-only club ran its first-ever series, promising $1.5 million in guarantees and featuring a $1 million guaranteed Main Event.
Every event surpassed guarantee
Nearly all poker rooms in Texas are private clubs. Commercial casinos are prohibited in Texas, so to be able to operate, poker rooms must conduct business as private clubs with membership fees.
By all measures, the series at Rounders was a huge success. Every tournament exceeded its guarantee, awarding more than $1.8 million in prizes across nine events.
The Main Event, which offered eight starting flights over five days, drew 932 entries for a prize pool of $1.2 million. The final two players in Trung Pham of Temple, Texas, and Louisiana’s Jared Ingles, agreed to a heads-up chop, earning both players over $160,000.
Pham earns career-best score in Main Event
All Day 1 flights played into the money, resulting in 141 players cashing and advancing to Sunday’s Day 2. Another full day brought the field down to the final table of nine, which was live-streamed on Rounders’ YouTube channel.
Ingles (9 million) and Pham (7.7 million) entered the final table atop the chip counts, with blinds resuming at 125K/250K.
As the day progressed, the duo racked up five of seven eliminations en route to heads-up play. Pham knocked out Brian Buchhorn (7th place) and Jose Soto (3rd place), while Ingles caged Kaleb Harwell (8th place), Maury Solano (5th place) and Raja Sekhar (4th place).
When heads-up play began, Ingles held more than two-thirds of the chips in play. However, Pham proved to be a formidable opponent. With over $1.3 million in lifetime earnings, he ground his way to a slight chip lead before the two struck a deal that sealed Pham’s largest score of his career.
Ingles, who won a $1,700 WSOP Circuit Main Event at Cherokee, NC, earlier this year, had over $1.4 million in live earnings prior to the Main Event. His Main Event cash is the second-largest award of his career.
Final Table Results
Each event had a unique winner
Each of the nine events throughout the series produced a different winner, with four claiming career-best scores. In addition to Pham’s Main Event win, Edward Stanish, Randy Chavez and Si Yool Lee added new top scores to their live resumes.
As mentioned earlier, every event exceeded its guarantee. Event No. 5 ($300 PLO) more than doubled its $10,000 guarantee, with Events No. 1 ($240 Monster Stack) and No. 4 ($400 Big O) also smashing their guarantees by more than 50%.
South Texas Poker Championship Results
|Tournament||Guarantee||Number of Entries||Prize Pool||Winner||Prize|
|Event #1: $240 Monster Stack||$40,000||254||$74,000||Edward Stanish||$14,750|
|Event #2:$300 4 Game Big Bet Mixed||$10,000||51||$13,260||John George||$4,800|
|Event #3: $400 Big Texas NLH||$300,000||1,180||$413,000||Randy Chavez||$60,000|
|Event #4: $400 Big O||$15,000||67||$23,450||Bret Atiyeh||$4,300|
|Event #5: $300 PLO High||$10,000||91||$23,660||SiYool Lee||$6,201|
|Event #6: $240 Monster Stack||$40,000||206||$55,800||Trey Mayers||$12,500
|Event #7: Mystery Bounty Freeroll||$20,000||258||$20,000||Dwayne Carreon||$2.900|
|Event #8: $1,400 Main Event||$1 million||932||$1.165 million||Trung Pham||$168,000|
|Event #9: $450 Last Chance||$50,000||152||$60,800||Walter Rodriguez Ugarte||$15,900|
Upcoming Texas poker events
Just over a month remains in 2022, but Texas poker players still have some options across the state.
Notably, The Lodge Poker Club in Round Rock is hosting a Black Friday tournament on Nov. 25, featuring a $300 buy-in and $100,000 guaranteed over two starting days.
Houston’s Prime Social Club then hosts its “All-In For The Holidays Series,” which runs from Nov. 26 to Dec. 4. The $600 Main Event starts on Nov. 30, with five days’ worth of starting flights and a $300,000 guarantee.
Action then moves back to The Lodge for an 11-day series from Dec. 8 to 19, with an opening-weekend event that features a $150 buy-in and $150,000 guarantee. The $600 Main Event offers four days of starting flights and a $500,000 guarantee.
A week later, “The Last Poker Series” runs from Dec. 26 to 30, featuring five events with buy-ins ranging from $300 to $1,000.