2017 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
$2,200 No Limit Hold’em Eight-Max
Prize Pool: $452,000
March 30, 2017
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
- Download: Final Results (PDF)