2 poker chips lead to $1M win at WSOP
June 14, 2016 3:08 AM
by Patricia Chavira
Every poker player dreams of winning a gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker. With 69 events, many of those dreams will become reality this summer at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, where the WSOP is running through July 18.
One of the most compelling stories to come out of the WSOP so far is Colossus II winner Benjamin Keeline’s journey to his first bracelet win.
With a WSOP Circuit ring and $323,132 in earnings on the circuit, Keeline is obviously a talented poker player. However, in interviews he has stated he almost didn’t come out to the Series this year due to financial difficulties. He had become an Uber driver in Boulder, Colorado to supplement his income.
Thanks to his father, he entered the first open event of the WSOP, Event 2: $565 Colossus and won in spectacular fashion. Keeline recounts how he was down to two chips after suffering a bad beat and was forced to put his second to last chip up for the ante.
He decided this was the hand to go in with, so he put his last chip in and won. It was a fateful decision that literally changed his fortunes.
He kept doubling up until he turned those two chips into over 100,000, and he was back in the game.
At the final table with his family watching, Keeline was heads-up with opponent Jiri Horak, a 28-year-old poker pro from the Czech Republic. On what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament, Horak raised from the button to 5,000,000 with Ace-Nine off-suit, and Keeline pushed all-in with pocket Jacks.
When a 9 flopped, Horak hit his 9 with an Ace kicker, which gave him hope. When the river was an Ace, Horak thought he won the hand with two pair and ran to his entourage to celebrate.
What Horak didn’t realize was the ace was a spade, which made Keeline a spade flush and the winner of the Colossus II.
The tournament was over and Keeline collected $1 million for winning the second-largest poker tournament in history. For his second place finish, Horak collected $618,000.
Xiu Deng from Las Vegas became the first female player this year to make a final table at the WSOP. She collected $92,291 for her 9th place finish. This is her fourth cash in a WSOP event.
Follow all the action from the WSOP at wsop.com.
Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in gaming. She has played poker professionally for over 10 years. Email: PatriciaChavira@gamingtoday.com