Milwaukee’s freezing temperatures didn’t keep players away from a WSOP Circuit tournament at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino this past weekend. The tournament’s main event drew 604 entries, resulting in a prize pool of $906,000 that shattered initial guarantee of $750,000. By the time it was over, Keven Stammen had outlasted them all, earning him $190,265 and his first WSOP gold ring.
Stammen found himself in a matchup against several of poker’s toughest players. Ten-time WSOP gold ring winner Maurice Hawkins and three-time gold ring winner Andy Philachack made it to the final table with the Ohio native before Philachack was sent to the rails in fifth place by Michael Crawford. Crawford kept the fight going by then proceeding to eliminate Hawkins in fourth place.
Crawford held a comfortable chip lead with just three remaining at the felt, but this changed quickly when Stammen took out John Reading. As the heads-up action began to unfold, Stammen picked up a nut flush versus Crawford’s top pair to put his opponent on the ropes. He then dealt the final blow a few hands later to eliminate Crawford, who earned $117,680 for his second-place finish.
Stammen has already had several key wins in his career. The 32-year-old picked up a gold bracelet and just over $506,000 at the 2009 WSOP $2,500 NLHE tournament and also grabbed a title win at the 2014 WPT World Championship where he added $1.35 million to his bank. In total, he now has earned over $5.4 million in live tournament play. His first tournament win came in 2006 when he took down a $1,000 NLHE tournament at the Fifth Annual Five Diamond Classic in Las Vegas, pocketing $21,895.
The veteran player also has a steady track record playing on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, where he goes by the nickname “Stamdogg,” and on Absolute Poker as “stammdogg3.” He’s earned $250,000 in lifetime cashes, including several six-figure wins. He’s ranked third on Ohio’s All-Time Money List, and 99th on the U.S. All-Time Money List. He’s finished in the money ten times in WSOP events, and seven in WPT events.