Cole Keenan Crowned MSPT Venetian Champion

Cole Keenan is a cash game player by trade but he showed his tournament prowess by winning the $1,100 MSPT Venetian Main Event for $123,722.

Cole Keenan has an incredible poker tournament record. He has one cash and one victory from the two events he has played in his lifetime! The victory came in the $1,100 MSPT Venetian Main Event, a result that netted Keenan $123,722.

The cash game player from Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania, headed to Las Vegas, Nevada last week. Keenan finished 64th in a $1,100 buy-in event at the Wynn for $3,195. He then bought into the $1,100 MSPT Venetian Main Event alongside 670 opponents. Keenen emerged victoriously three days later with the $123,722 top prize in tow.

Seventy-five of those starters made it through to Day 2 where the top 72 finishers won a slice of the $647,515 prize pool. Kent Buckingham was the unfortunate bubble boy. Buckingham committed his stack with 8h-8d on the 9s-8s-7h flop and found himself against the As-Ts of Saad Ghanem. The Th turn changed nothing, but the 2s river completed Ghanem’s flush.

Several well-known players busted inside the money place. They included Kathy Liebert, Ryan Laplante, Jordon Cristos, Jason Wheeler, and Ralph Massey.

Keenan Leads The MSPT Venetian Final Table

Keenan sat down at the final table as the chip leader and was guaranteed $11,332. That sum increased to $25,447 within the first level courtesy of a trio of bustouts.

Saad Ghanem fell in ninth during the 25,000/50,000/5,000a level. Ghanem open-shoved for 220,000, and both Tsz Shing and Rohan Long called. Shing bet 205,000 on the Kh-3s-9d flop, Long raised to 500,000 but folded when Shing pushed all-in. Shing turned over Ah-As, and Ghanem 2c-2d. The Qc turn and 6c river sent Ghanem to the rail.

Michael Berk busted a few hands later. Berk pushed all-in for 705,000 with 3c-3d, and Keenan called with Ad-5d. The board ran 9h-Jd-5s-Qc-4d, and Berk headed for the exits.

Francis Anderson was the third of the quick-fire eliminations. Anderson got his stack into the middle with ace-six against Michael Williams’ ace-ten. A Qd-7s-9s-5h-9d board left only six players in the hunt for the title.

The final six became five when Long became the next Keenan victim. Long’s shove with Js-Jc looked set to give him a much-needed double through the Ad-5h of Keenan. However, the 5s-5d-7h flop left Long drawing very thin. No jack on the turn nor the river resigned Long to a $25,447 sixth-place prize.

Nguyen Leads With Only Four Players Remaining

The final table lost another player with Dave Ouellette clashed with Michael Williams during the 30,000/60,000/10,000a level. Williams opened to 150,000 with Ah-6h, Ouelette three-bet all-in for almost 2,000,000 with 7c-7s, and Williams somehow found a call. An Ad-Kd-4s-As-6d board rewarded Williams’ ballsy call with his weak ace, much to Ouellette’s disappointment.

Keenan claimed another scalp when he woke up with pocket kings after Shing open-shoved for 14 big blinds. Shing turned over Js-9s and busted despite catching a nine on the turn.

Thu Nguyen was the chip leader when play was four-handed, but went on a roller-coaster ride where his stack fluctuated wildly. It took one swing too many when William raised to 400,000 at the 75,000/150,000/30,000a level with Ad-8c, and Nguyen ripped in 3,000,000 with 2s-2h. William called, flopped an eight, and turned trips to send Nguyen to the showers.

Keenan secured the title in a cooler hand against Williams. All the chips went into the middle of the felt, Williams holding As-Qd and Keenen the Ad-Kc. Keenan’s Big Slick held on a 7c-Td-Ac-3c-8h board.

The pair struck a deal before commencing the one-on-one battle. The deal saw both players secure $101,227, leaving $22,495 extra for the eventual champion. Keenan was that champion, thus, taking home $123,722.

Place Player Home town Prize
1 Cole Keenan Gilbertsville, PA $123,722*
2 Michael Williams Mound, MN $101,227*
3 Thu Nguyen Fountain Valley, CA $62,938
4 Tsz Shing Las Vegas, NV $45,974
5 Dave Ouellette Dickinson, ND $34,509
6 Rohan Long Windsor, CT $25,447
7 Francis Anderson Las Vegas, NV $19,296
8 Michael Berk Chesterton, IN $14,699
9 Saad Ghanem Burnsville, MN $11,332

*reflects a heads-up deal that left $22,495 more for the champion

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


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