Jeff Gross is already a member of Team Run It Up, but now he’s joins the group of team members that have RIU Reno trophies. The streamer, vlogger, poker pro and whatever you else want to label the Michigan native took down the $550 pot-limit Omaha six-max championship in the early hours of Monday morning.
Gross defeated Kevin Gerhart heads-up, denying Gerhart his second trophy, and besting a field of 51 entries to win $8,075. He’s used to playing events with buy-ins up to $25,000 and has over $3.1 million in live earnings. Monetarily, the win isn’t going to change much in his life.
Symbolically, however, it means much more.
“It’s hard to win trophies,” said Gross. “I’ve been playing poker for 17 years. Playing online is one thing and it’s hard to win, but live is a whole another thing. You look at the Hendon Mobs. I don’t have a lot of wins. I’ve had a lot of seconds and thirds in big spots that really hurt.”
He’s got a runner-up finish in a $5,000 no-limit hold’em shootout at the World Series of Poker and a third at WPT Montreal. He understands the heartbreak and knows how tough it is to close out any tournament.
“Look at the size of that trophy,” said Gross. “It’s nice to win. It’s momentum. Being part of Run It Up is huge and it is hard to win tournaments. That final table was tough. It’s one of those things. It’s a confidence builder and I get to leave here with a trophy. A lot of the Run It Up team does have a trophy, so it feels good to be part of that club.”
Running it up was part of what Gross had to do to finish off the final table. During five-handed play, Gross went from chip leader to short stack and then back to the middle of the pack. He started off heads-up play with a chip disadvantage as well.
Gross used his high level skill and some help from Lady Luck to be able to last to heads-up play and then move back into the chip lead.
“I was down to 2.5 bigs,” said Gross about what his stack looked like about two key hands he lost five-handed. “I got a couple spots where I held, fortunately, and then it was smooth.”
After Claudio Elizalde busted in fifth, the chips seemed to find their way into Gross’ and Gerhart’s stack before Gross was just too much for Gerhart to overcome.
“The chips got dispersed [five-handed] and it was all even for a minute,” said Gross. “And then things went my way.”
The running theme among all of the winners at this stop was the amount of fun they were having. It’s the same thing for Gross. Even as a professional poker player, Run It Up Reno is a different kind of tournament series with a unique atmosphere.
“It’s just a really fun place,” said Gross. “It’s one of those things where I’m like ‘Oh, I’m going to pop on and stream for a couple hours,’ but there’s barely time. It’s a blast. It’s almost like summer camp. I’m tired and ready to close on a high-note with the Platinum Pass.”
With the win, he gets a seat into the Platinum Pass freeroll on Monday afternoon to give him a chance at a $30,000 package into the PokerStars Players Championship.
“I’m going to play that tournament no matter what,” said Gross about the PSPC. “But it would be sweet to win. It would be a nice go out on a heater and grab that.”
1st: Jeff Gross – $8,075
2nd: Kevin Gerhart – $5,200 + seat into Platinum Pass freeroll (RIU gear last longer winner)
3rd: Jordan Spurlin – $3,420
4th: Steven Filipovic – $2,400
5th: Claudio Elizalde – $1,800
6th: Sarah Sherman – $1,440
7th: Steven Wilkie – $1,200
8th: John Gwinn – $1,200