Two years ago I quickly mentioned how a former prop player won his first bracelet by outlasting a tough field to win a lot of money. Well, he did it again. Matt Keikoan is now the limit hold 'em world champion after defeating a field of 171 players in the $10,000 buy-in Event 29. Keikoan earned more money from his first win than this one ($550,529 versus $425,969), but the second bracelet is always sweeter.
"This one almost feels better than the first one," said Keikoan of his two World Series of Poker wins. "What I went through here tonight, all the ups and downs and back and forth, it wasn't easy. It was sure nice to get the first one. It was nice to get the second one, too."
The fight that Keikoan put up during the final day of play was quite impressive. He held nearly half the chips in play early on during the final table, but then lost most of them and needed to battle back. He was the underdog to Dan Idema at the start of heads-up action, but after a see-saw battle, Keikoan emerged with all the chips in front of him.
"I was just grinding," Keikoan said of his confrontation with Idema. "That is all I was thinking about. I was just trying to make every decision the best I could make."
Keikoan played limit hold 'em exclusively for 10 years and would need that experience to defeat a final table that included three other former bracelet winners: Michael Mizrachi, David Chiu and Brock Parker. Heading into Day 3 as the short stack, Chiu battled back to make the final table, but fell short of his fifth title by finishing ninth. Mizrachi, who tied James Dempsey for first in the Player of the Year race with this final table, went out in eighth, giving him $1,677,727 in earnings for the WSOP. 2009 double-bracelet winner Brock Parker went out fifth in his second cash of the Series.
Kyle Ray, a limit hold 'em coach for the online poker training site CardRunners, finished third.
Here's a look at the action at the final table:
Other notable finishers from Event 29 include Zvi Groysman (sixth), Anh Van Nugyen (10th) and Dave Baker (11th).
Below are the complete results of Event 29 at the 2010 World Series of Poker:
Event 29: limit hold 'em world championship
Prize pool: $1,607,400
Players in the money: 18
1. Matt Keikoan ($425,969)
2. Daniel Idema ($263,244)
3. Kyle Ray ($190,702)
4. Jameson Painter ($140,760)
5. Brock Parker ($105,783)
6. Zvi Groysman ($80,884)
7. Simon Morris ($62,898)
8. Michael Mizrachi ($49,733)
9. David Chiu ($39,760)
10. Anh Van Nguyen ($32,614)
11. Dave Baker ($32,614)
12. Darren Woods ($32,614)
13. Mark Klecan ($27,069)
14. Albert Minnullin ($27,069)
15. Patrick Walsh ($27,069)
16. Matthew Gallin ($22,809)
17. Gianluca Marcucci ($22,809)
18. Kenny Hsiung ($22,809)