Donald Nimneh Sets His Sights on the WSOP Main Event After RGPS Victory

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Donald Nimneh

A total of 648 players tried their luck in The $700 RunGood Poker Series Destination: Council Bluffs Main Event at The Horseshoe Casino. That tally created a prize pool worth $372,600 that only 80 players were lucky enough to see any piece of.

After the dust cleared, it was Omaha local Donald Nimneh who stood atop the heap, a sum of $69,546 his for the taking, adorned with an RGPS ring.

“Oh, I’m very excited,” he said as he marveled at his hefty payday, as it is his biggest tournament score, aside from a big mystery bounty pull at the Wynn a few years back. According to The Hendon Mob, his biggest cash was from two years ago in this same building for a sixth-place finish in the 2022 RunGood Contender Series Main Event for $15,901!

Nimneh is of Libyan heritage but was originally from Rhode Island until he moved to Omaha some years ago. And it wasn’t until he got to the Midwest that he discovered the great game of poker.

“Yes, I used to watch WPT (World Poker Tour) on TV and online, and I would try to do some of those things here in the cash games, but that was before I realized they are two very different games! I am much better at tournaments and a terrible cash player!”

Nimneh is currently a truck driver who travels all over hauling beef, corn, and other midwestern goods while he also pursues his poker passion. When asked about plans for WSOP, he said he is definitely going to be there, playing the mystery bounty and then coming back for his first shot at the WSOP Main Event!

RGPS Council Bluffs Main Event Final Table Results

Action on the Day

It did not take long for the players to start dropping. Many accomplished players saw their days end earlier than their hopes as players like Brian Winter (60th-$1,218), Taylor Howard (46th-$1,427), Greg Raymer (40th – $1,613) Jared Ward (28th-$1,837), and Blair Hinkle (14th – $4,583). Even the Day 1 chipleader, Nick Barksdale, met his end after running up a monster stack throughout the day but lost several big flips in a row and ultimately busted in 15th place for $4,583. The last player to fall before the final table was Daryl Oppelt, who moved all in on the river of a paired board with seven-high but was called by Mike Vanier with two-pair after a three-minute tank. Oppelt collected $5,725 for his efforts, and the final nine players took their seats.

Final Table Action

RGPS Council Bluffs Final Table
RGPS Council Bluffs Final Table

It did not take too long to see the first casualty of the final table. On the very first hand, Adam Bacome moved all in with ace-king against the pocket tens of Vanier. Failing to improve, Bacome was the first casualty at the final table, exiting in ninth place for $6,956.

Scott Buller was the next one out the door after a few hands had passed. He had just lost a huge pot to Stephen Moy when his nines were cracked by ace-ten, and he moved all in for just a few big blinds with king-six offsuit and was called by David Fager with ace-king. An ace appeared on the flop and the rest was history, sending him to the exit in eighth place for $9,270.

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Soon after Buller’s exit, Vanier met a similar fate. He was cruising at the top of the chip counts for almost a full level until he lost a few big hands in a row, the biggest one when he called Stephen Moy’s shove on a ten-high board with pocket eights. Moy, however, held ten-three for top pair, which held through the runout to score him a huge double and left Vanier short. Vanier then moved all in with ace-queen and was called by none other than Moy to put him at risk with pocket fives. A five on the flop spelled the end for Vanier, and he was sent to the cage in 7th place for $11,633.

The next two eliminations came back-to-back when short-stacked Fager fell to Tyler Klumb when his king-five was bested by queen-seven on a queen-high flop. Immediately after, Jon Gibbs shoved with king-queen and was called by Nimneh, who called with eight-five offsuit. Both a queen and an eight appeared on the flop, but the turn was brutal as it came a five to give Nimneh two-pair and the river bricked to eliminate Gibbs in fifth place.

In fourth place, Moy hit the chopping block. He was left with under ten big blinds after doubling up Stefan Kegley and moved in with nine-seven offsuit against the king-jack of Klumb. A jack appeared on the flop to give Klumb a big lead, and the runout changed nothing, making Moy the fourth-place finisher.

After a quick break and around 10 minutes of three-handed play, Klumb and Nimneh got involved in a big pot that ultimately resulted in a shove from Klumb on a king-high flop and a snap-call from Nimneh. Klumb held king-four for the top pair, but Nimneh held pocket aces for the lead. The board failed to improve Klumb, and he was thus sent out in third for a nice payout of $31,403.

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Stefan Kegley
Stefan Kegley

Nimneh and Kegley then went to battle heads-up, with Nimneh holding a 5-1 chip lead, but there was plenty of back-and-forth action between the two for a solid 15 minutes. It ultimately ended after Kegley was ground down to around 10 big blinds, and he got it all in with pocket nines versus the jack-ten of Nimneh. The flop came nine-high, which was a dream for Kegley, but it quickly turned into a nightmare as the runout of queen-king gave Nimneh a runner-runner straight for the win. With that, Kegley was eliminated as the tournament’s runner-up for $48,758, while Nimneh was crowned the champion and awarded the first-place prize of $69,546 and the RunGood ring.

Well, that’s it for the RGPS Destination: Council Bluffs stop, but be sure to tune in next week for all the action in St. Louis at Hollywood Casino! As always, keep a tab open on PokerNews for everything poker!

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