An excellent contrast in this World Series of Poker review with the former World Champion Joe McKeehen winning his second bracelet, and a man who wouldn’t even know who Joe McKeehen was, winning his first.
Joe McKeehen has followed the example set by Joe Cada, Jonathan Duhamel, and Carlos Mortensen as a former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champ who has gone on to win a second gold bracelet this side of the Noughties.
The 2015 World Champion can now boast Championship victories in both premier No-Limit and Limit Hold’em events, after besting a field of 120 entrants, in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, a 9% increase on last year’s numbers.
Limit events may remind you of the days of pay phones, and pearl necklaces, but they seem to attract a particular type of consistency. The defending champion Ian Johns finished 11th, and the 2015 champion Ben Yu finished fourth two days after winning the Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship.
The key to McKeehen’s triumph was the elimination of Sorel Mizzi in third.
The pair stared at a Jc8c7h flop in a three-bet pot with Mizzi, the aggressor. Mizzi bet and McKeehen called. The turn was the Ah, Mizzi bet for the second time, McKeehen raised, and Mizzi re-raised to put McKeehen all-in, and he called.
Mizzi showed pocket jacks for the flopped set, but McKeehen had outs with Ac7s for two pairs. The river was the Ad, to give McKeehen a sturdier boat, and Mizzi never recovered from that point forth.
McKeehen held a 3.6m v 2.4m chip lead over Jared Talarico in heads-up action, once Mizzi’s challenge had run its course. Talarico was hoping to advance one place higher than his runner-up finish to Marco Johnson in last year’s $3k H.O.R.S.E event, but it didn’t happen with McKeehen beating him down into eventual submission.
McKeehen now owns two gold bracelets and two World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold rings.
Final Table Results
- Joe McKeehen – $311,817
- Jared Talarico – $192,717
- Sorel Mizzi – $135,985
- Ben Yu – $97,904
- JC Tran – $71,949
- Robert Campbell – $53,995
- Ray Henson – $41,399
- Terrence Chan – $32,443
- Aaron Sacks – $26,000
Other players who went deeper than Davy Jones’ Locker were the super-talented trio of Shaun Deeb (12th), Daniel Negreanu (13th), and Phil Hellmuth Jr (16th).
Thomas Reynolds Wins Event #37: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
When searching through the WSOP Black Box recorder there are always more stories appertaining to professional success, so it was nice to have a change in the narrative of the most recent $1k.
Thomas Reynolds was so raw when it came to the nuances of the poker bubble that he wasn’t aware he was competing against so many professional players.
So Reynolds wouldn’t have known he was up against a three-time WSOP bracelet winner in Michael Gathy at the final table. The Belgian eventually falling by the wayside in fifth position after another cracking run, underlying his credentials as a severe WSOP heavyweight.
And Reynolds showed stamina.
His heads-up encounter with Gathy’s vanquisher, James Hughes, lasted over 100 hands until the pair finally got it in with Reynolds holding the goods, and Hughes chasing a flush and straight draw. The draws stayed cuddled up in the deck, and Reynolds won his first bracelet, and his 11th cash of his life, none of which ever rose higher than $2,255.
Final Table Results
- Thomas Reynolds – $292,880
- James Hughes – $180,919
- Reginald Hampton – $131,061
- Eric Blair – $95,899
- Michael Gathy – $70,884
- Vlad Darie – $52,932
- Chris Johnson – $39,937
- Chad Eveslage – $30,448
- Joep Raemaekers – $23,460
Other players who burrowed so deep they nearly ended up down under were the partypoker MILLIONS Nottingham final tablist Katie Swift (19th), the former WPT500 winner Craig Varnell (21st), and the former online WSOP bracelet winner Anthony Spinella (23rd).