William Lousa Alvin’s trip to Northern Nevada was long and improbable. The native of Stockholm won a $55 satellite on PokerStars to win a $2,500 package to Run It Up Reno. The package included $1,200 for travel expenses, a $600 main event seat, six nights at the Peppermill and a bunch of RIU gear.
From Stockholm, he made stops in London and Dallas before finally arriving in Reno. He was airborne for 24 hours before finally landing at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. His flight back, however, will be much sweeter.
Lousa Alvin, a longtime member of the RIU community on Discord and better known as ‘Igotabanana’ to fellow RIU warriors, won the first-ever no-limit hold’em short deck tournament in RIU history in the early hours of Sunday morning.
With a loud, rowdy and certainly loyal rail, Lousa Alvin defeated a 122-entry field and John Lindley heads-up to win $2,529 and take a RIU trophy all the way back to Sweden in the $125 no-limit hold’em short deck event.
“I mean, it’s literally the best day of my life,” said an ecstatic Lousa Alvin after his victory. “I’ve been in the community for three years, almost four. I met them all and I get to win a trophy. It’s the best day of my life, for sure. The community is amazing. I love the support. I love everybody here.”
The Swede seems universally loved by almost the entire community. When hearing that he wasn’t going to be able to play in much more than just the main event seat that he won, Eric Goldstein, another fixture in the RIU community, offered to buy half of his action in other events so that Lousa Alvin could take in a full RIU Reno experience.
Lousa Alvin put together a package and Goldstein took half of his action in nearly every event that Lousa Alvin played. Unlucky for Goldstein and luckily for the champ, this event wasn’t included in the package and he’ll take the entire first-place prize money back to Sweden for himself.
It was kept out of the package for a good reason. Before Saturday, Lousa Alvin had never played the game before.
“Low pocket pairs are bad and suited connectors are the nuts,” said Lousa Alvin when asked about what type of adjustments he made. “That’s about it.”
Why the nickname about Bananas? There’s not much rhyme or reason behind it, but it sure stuck.
“It’s a silly story,” said Lousa Alvin. “I tried to use my old username to register on League of Legends, but they were all taken. So I just thought of something random. So I thought ‘How about I got a banana?’ I’ll play this game one time or whatever. And it just kind of stuck with me. I like it.”
The final five players ended up agreeing on a deal to adjust the payouts. Here are a look at the full results:
1st: William ‘IGotABanana’ Lousa Alvin – $2,529
2nd: John Lindley – $1,900 + seat into Platinum Pass freeroll (RIU gear last longer winner)
3rd: Rafael Gordon – $1,500
4th: Brian Weinstein – $1,000
5th: Jesse Fullen – $1,000
6th: Teng Vang – $500
7th: Sarah Kenyon – $370
8th: Brendon Kaufman – $370
9th: Mark Mazza – $320
10th: Andrew Camou – $320
11th: Maxwell Brown – $285
12th: Samuel Rubin – $285
13th: Ben Spragg – $255
14th: John Boriold – $255
15th: Prabhjot Mall – $255
16th: Jon Turner – $230
17th: Eric Goldstein – $230
18th: Donald McCormick – $230