Joe McKeehen Takes Down $2,200 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max

2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Hollywood, FL
Event #18
Entries: 226
$2,200 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max
Prize Pool: $452,000
March 30, 2017

Joe McKeehen tops $2,200 no limit hold’em eight-max field

With the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown championship set to get underway on Friday, many of poker’s biggest names are in South Florida for the high-stakes series-ending events that are on the horizon.

It was no surprise that the one-day $2,200 no limit hold’em eight-max event was full of the game’s best players. It was 2015 World Series Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen who came out on top of one of the tougher fields that has been put together so far this series.

McKeehen added another $104,608 to his already massive career earnings after defeating a field of 226 players in the early hours of Friday morning.

McKeehen has poker’s most coveted title to his name already, but this final table was about as tough as it can get. Ian O’Hara, Faraz Jaka, Charlie Carrel, Brian Altman and Byron Kaverman all joined McKeehen at the final table. While Sam Panzica, Keven Stammen, Daniel Weinman, Niall Farrell and Dan Colman were all in the money.

McKeehen had to get through Sean Perry, son of poker Pro Ralph Perry,  in order to take down the title.

“It was a very difficult field,” said the Philadelphia native. “So, I’m proud of this one for sure. I feel like I played a hell of a lot better in this one, like I needed to, compared to a lot of other tournaments that I’ve done well in before.”

The win helps get a monkey off of McKeehen’s back as well as put some money in his bank account.

“It’s a good one to win,” said McKeehen. “I mean, it’s only the end of March, but I only have one tournament cash this year. So, it was nice to make this one count.”

The win gives McKeehen a nice confidence boost at the right time with the $3,500 championship event starting on Saturday. Unfortunately, McKeehen thinks that the late night from the win may hinder him on Friday afternoon.

“Now I’m going to end up sleeping in and showing up later,” said McKeehen about his plan for Day 1 on Friday. “Which theoretically is supposed to be worse. If you think about about it logically like that.

On the other hand, McKeehen is focused and feeling good about his game.

“I thought I played reasonably well today and I’ve been pretty down on my game lately,” he said. “So, I’m pretty happy. I’m definitely going to come in confident tomorrow. I just hope I don’t go on winner’s tilt and just go in and fire five bullets and play like an idiot. Which is certainly possible.”

McKeehen jumped into the spotlight of the poker world when he won more than $7.6 million in his Main Event win in 2015. At his heart, though, he is a grinder and loves playing poker.

It’s his love for the game that keeps him at the tables when he isn’t playing for seven-figures.

“I do enjoy playing the game and I really do like putting my mind to the test against really good players,” said McKeehen. “I like learning and getting better. These are still giant tournaments. Six-figures is never anything to laugh at up top. If I can play a tournament with six-figures up top, I probably will.”

Final Table Results:

1st: Joe McKeehen – $104,608
2nd: Sean Perry – $74,797
3rd: Ian O’Hara – $46,330
4th: George Dolofan – $28,182
5th: Faraz Jaka – $21,764
6th: Charlie Carrel – $18,035
7th: Brian Altman – $15,368
8th: Byron Kaverman – $12,837

Event 18: Joe McKeehen Wins $2,200 No Limit Hold’em ($104,608), Sean Perry Eliminated in 2nd ($74,794)

$2,200 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
Level 27: 20,000/40,000 with a 5,000 ante
Players Remaining: 1 of 226

Joe McKeehen

Sean Perry raised on the button to 105,000 and Joe McKeehen three-bet out of the big blind to 290,000. Perry called and they were heads-up to a flop of Kc7s5h.

Both players checked and the turn was the Tc. McKeehen bet about 180,000 and Perry moved all in for about 800,000. McKeehen snap-called.

McKeehen showed TsTd, good for a set, and needed to dodge a club against Perry’s Qc8c.

The river was the 5c, which improved Perry to a flush, but McKeehen made a full house. McKeehen wins the pot and the tournament.

He took home the trophy and the $104,608 for first place, while Perry took home $74,794 for his efforts.

Sean Perry

Joe McKeehen – $2,200 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max Champion
Sean Perry – Eliminated

Event 18: Joe McKeehen Flops Trips

$2,200 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
Level 26: 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 226

Sean Perry raised on the button and Joe McKeehen called out of the big blind.

The flop was TsTd6c and McKeehen checked. Perry bet and McKeehen called. The turn was the 8d and McKeehen checked again.

Perry bet 155,000 and McKeehen called. The river was the 6h and both players checked.

“Ten,” said McKeehen as he showed Th7s.

Perry mucked his hand and McKeehen put a little distance between the two players.

Joe McKeehen – 1,800,000 (60 bb)
Sean Perry – 880,000 (29 bb)

Event 18: Sean Perry Takes It On The Flop

$2,200 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
Level 26: 15,000/30,000 with a 4,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 226

Joe McKeehen raised on the button and Sean Perry three-bet to 155,000 out of the big blind.

McKeehen called and the flop was QcQs2s. Perry bet about 160,000 and McKeehen folded. Perry mucks his hand and takes the flop.

Most of the pots between the two during heads-up play thus far have only seen one street of action. They have been trading small blows and are still basically even in chips.

Sean Perry – 1,400,000 (47 bb)
Joe McKeehen – 1,300,000 (43 bb)

Event 18: Ian O’Hara – 3rd Place ($46,330)

$2,200 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold’em (Freeze-Out)
Level 25: 12,000/24,000 with a 4,000 ante
Players Remaining: 2 of 226

Ian O’Hara

Ian O’Hara moved all in on the button for 182,000 and Joe McKeehen called out of the big blind.

O’Hara showed Td8d and needed some help against McKeehen’s Ah3c.

“It’s a virtual flip,” said McKeehen before the flop was dealt.

The flop was Js6s5h, keeping McKeehen in the lead.

“It’s less of a flip now,” said McKeehen.

The turn was the 3s and the river was the Kh. O’Hara was eliminated in third place for $46,330. McKeehen won the pot and will go heads-up against Sean Perry for the title.

Joe McKeehen – 1,300,000 (54 bb)
Ian O’Hara – Eliminated