$1,100/$500K: Keith Brennan Defeats Cangir Elcin Outright

2019 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 22
$1,100 SHRPO Big 4 Event (Re-Entry)
$500,000 Guaranteed
Entries: 537
Prize Pool: $537,000
August 12-13, 2019

Keith Brennan

After a speedy final table, under five hours of play, Keith Brennan took down the Event 22 $1,100 SHRPO Big 4 No Limit Hold’em title. Brennan secured took the biggest piece of the $537,000 prize pool with his first place finish earning $104,035 as well as a prestigious guitar pick trophy.

Event 22 boasted a field of 537 entries surpassing the $500,000 guarantee. The top 68 took home at least $1,480 for their efforts. The starting field contained the usual suspects such as Benjamin Zamani, Marvin Rettenmaier, Mohsin Charania, Tony Miles, Mukul Pahuja, Jerry Wong, Steve Karp, Loni Harwood, and Mark Dube, all of whom finished in the money.

Day 1 moved fast playing to the final table. Here’s a look at how they stacked up overnight heading to Tuesday’s Big 4 finale:

Seat 1: Jack Duong – 2,395,000 (79 bb)
Seat 2: Cangir Elcin – 3,040,000 (101 bb)
Seat 3: David Castranova – 835,000 (27 bb)
Seat 4: Keith Brennan – 865,000 (27 bb)
Seat 5: Gary Leibovitz – 910,000 (30 bb)
Seat 6: Corey Hochman – 670,000 (22 bb)
Seat 7: John Michalak – 865,000 (27 bb)
Seat 8: Mario De La Puente – 795,000 (26 bb)
Seat 9:  Brock Wilson – 365,000 (12 bb)

Brennan came into the final table in the middle of the pack with Turkey native Cangir Elcin leading the way. Poker pro Brock Wilson was the shortest stack, but quickly doubled through Jack Duong when he spiked a set with pocket nines to crack pocket jacks.

First to be eliminated was David Castranova ($10,350) when his top pair got defeated by Jack Duong’s two-pair on the river. Next to go was Corey Hochman ($13,545), when his pocket aces were cracked by Cangir Elicin who made a straight on the turn with queen-nine. Elicin added to his chip lead stacking over 4,600,000.

Brock Wilson, turned his short stack into a seventh place score worth $17,030. Wilson got it in good with Ace Jack versus John Michalak’s King Seven. Wilson flopped a Jack but Michalak ran out a straight to eliminate Wilson.

Cangir Elcin took out the sixth place finisher Mario De La Puente ($20,540) with two-pair when De La Puente missed his straight draw. Elcin extended his chip lead to over 5,700,000 with that hand.

It was the eventual champion’s turn to do some dirty work when Brennan’s pocket tens held against WSOP Bracelet Winner Jack Duong’s pocket fours. Brennan had over 2,300,000 and was gaining ground on Elcin. Duong took home $24,935.

After a few double ups Gary Leibovitz became the fourth place finisher, earning a  $32,550 pay day. Chip leader Elcin’s king high held against Leibovitz’s queen high to send it to three-handed play.

Brennan scored a big double up through Elcin when his pocket three’s held against Elcin’s Ace King. Elcin still had a decent lead, but it was short lived. Brennan shoved over a big bet of Elcin a few hands later to take the lead for the first time.

Brennan went on a roll after that and at one point the three-handed counts looked like this:

Seat 2: Cangir Elcin – 1,350,000
Seat 4: Keith Brennan – 8,215,000
Seat 7: John Michalak – 2,355,000

John Michalak wound up being the third place finisher at the hands of Elcin when his Ace Queen fell to Elcin’s Jack Five. Michalak’s third place finish was good for $46,400.

Cangir Elcin (left) versus Keith Brennan (right)

Heads up play started with Brennan holding an over 4 to 1 lead:

Seat 2: Cangir Elcin – 2,020,000
Seat 4: Keith Brennan – 8,730,000

It didn’t take long for Brennan to come out on top. He found Ace Jack against Elcin’s pocket nines. In typical crazy poker fashion there was a jack in the window followed by the nine, giving Elcin a set. The turn, an ace, made things interesting. The river was just what Brennan was looking for, another ace. He ended up with a higher full house to eliminate Elcin in second place and become the $1,100 Big 4 No Limit Hold’em Champion.

The Irish poker pro, hailing from Ashbourne, said he made the trip over seas to play here at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at the recommendation of a few friends.

Final Table Results:

1st Place: Keith Brennan – $104,035 + Trophy
2nd Place: Cangir Elcin –  $72,285
3rd Place: John Michalak – $46,400
4th Place: Gary Leibovitz – $32,550
5th Place: Jack Duong – $24,935
6th Place: Mario De La Puente –  $20,540
7th Place: Brock Wilson – $17,030
8th Place: Corey Hochman –  $13,545
9th Place: David Castranova – $10,350