2021 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open
Seminole Hard rock Hotel & Casino
$25,500 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller
Prize Pool: $2,247,700
August 9-10, 2021
Joe McKeehen added another title to his already lengthy poker resume on Tuesday evening at the Hollywood Hard Rock after taking down one of the largest buy-ins of the series.
The 2015 World Series of Poker main event champion bested a field of 91 entries in the $25,000 no-limit hold’em high roller event to earn $550,990 in a heads-up chop with four-time World Poker Tour champion Darren Elias.
Over the course of his decade-long career as a poker pro, Tuesday’s victory was his 24th of his career. And in his words, it was a smooth ride to victory.
“I came in with a lot of chips and had a lot of hands early. I made some nice hands, won some pots and kind of just stayed afloat from that point on,” said McKeehen. “I got to three-handed and had some chips. I got a little lucky and that was that.”
McKeehen made his mark on the poker world with his WSOP main event win worth $7.68 million. Unlike several other main event champs, the Pennsylvania native has proven himself to be more than a one-hit wonder.
Since then, McKeehen has cemented himself as one of the best in the game and will play the highest stakes available if he’s at the tournament stop.
The victory is a continuation of his success from the summer. In June, McKeehen won the $10,000 no-limit hold’em at the U.S. Poker Open for $200,200 and then turned around two days later and finished third for $102,000 in another $10,000 U.S. Poker Open event. His latest six-figure score bumped his career live tournament earnings to more than $18 million.
“I love playing the high rollers here,” said McKeehen. “They get good turnouts usually and they’re good fields. They end in two days so the structure is pretty good. There’s a decent amount of play, but I also like the one-day ones as well. I just like to play. I play what’s offered.”
McKeehen came into the final table with 56 big blinds and the chip lead. He extended it as he eliminated Nadya Magnus in eighth, Joseph Cheong in sixth and Thomas Boivin in third.
After Boivin was eliminated in third, McKeehen was left heads-up with Darren Elias. The two were very close in chips, but agreed to a deal that saw McKeehen take home $550,990 and Elias $539,135.
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*Reflects Heads-Up Deal