Who said fourth time is a charm? Was it St. Patrick? Or perhaps Noel Gallagher? Or was in Rimbaud or RZA? I forget. My memory is fuzzy, but if you're Paul Richardson, you will never forget the moment he broke through to the winner's circle at Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California, just outside of Sacramento.
Richardson from San Ramon, CA made five previous attempts at a WSOP Circuit Main Event at Thunder Valley. He final tabled the Main four times including a fourth place finish last September at the 2018 WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley and a fourth place finish two Septembers ago at the 2017 WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley. Back in January 2019, he also made the final table of another WSOP Circuit event, but he only finished in 8th place that time.
Last September, Richardson ran good with his two biggest cashes of his career. He final tabled a $1,650 Main Event for the Heartland Poker Tour in Blackhawk, Colorado. Richardson banked nearly $68K for his largest cash of his career. A couple of days later, Richardson went deep at the WSOP Circuit at Thunder Valley with another fourth-place finish, which paid out $57K.
Richardson also cashed in the WSOP Main Event at the Rio in Las Vegas three times. In 2016, he posted his best finish with a 409th place cash for $28K. He also cashed in the Main Event the last two summers. This summer, Richardson busted in 528th place in the 2019 Main Event during 50th running of the WSOP.
Richardson returned to Thunder Valley with a specific goal... a WSOP Circuit ring. He had what it took to go deep and final table the Main, but he had yet to close it.
The $1,700 buy-in Main Event attracted 414 runners and a prize pool worth $627,210. Only the top 63 places paid out. Notables who went deep and cashed included Chainsaw Kessler, Brett Murray, Kelly Minkin, Ausin Yoo, Bae Le, Eric Ross, Eric Wong, Marty Wong, Chet Sickle, Dustin Crump and Jesse Cohen.
Only 96 players returned to action on Day 2.
Dan Stir bubbled the final table in tenth place.
Richardson came into the final table sixth in chips, but that did not deter him. Roman Shainiuk came into the final table with the lead and 2.3 million. Paul Chai and Arish Nat were the only other players with over 2 million. Landen Lucas survived the cut as the short stack. Also still alive were Bobby Pham, Soumitra Nagar, Travis Fujisaka, Terry Reardon, and Paul Richardson.
Travis Fujisaka busted in third place, which paid out $58K. His elimination set up the heads-up joust between Arish Nat and Paul Richardson.
Arish Nat busted in second place. For a runner-up finished Nat earned a payout worth $80,761. Not too shabby, eh?
Paul Richardson secured his largest cash to date with his first-ever six-figure cash. Richardson banked $130,667 and a WSOP Circuit ring.