Matt Keikoan Wins Second WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event 29

Keikoan Collects $425,969 in Prize Money – Now at More than $3 Million Lifetime

Canada Barely Misses WSOP Scoop – Canadian Player Finishes First in Event 28, Second in Event 29
 
For the tournament portal page for this event, including official results, click HERE.

OVERVIEW

Matt Keikoan was the winner of the $10,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em championship at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  This marked his second career WSOP gold bracelet victory.  He previously won the $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event in 2008.

Keikoan is a 42-year-old professional poker player from San Rafael, CA.  Keikoan started out working for about eight years before phasing gradually into the life of a working poker pro.  Keikoan played at Casino San Pablo in the San Francisco Bay area.  While working as a poker prop, some of Keikoan's regular co-workers included fellow highly-accomplished pros Bill Edler, Erick Lindgren, Bill Gazes, Matt Lefkowitz, and others.  

This victory paid $425,969, which was his second-biggest poker payday ever.  Keikoan collected $550,529 when he won his first gold bracelet.  Keikoan also finished 63rd-place in the 2007 Main Event, worth $154,194.  With his hefty cash place in this event, Keikoan now has in excess of $3.2 million in overall career tournament winnings.

The runner up was Dan Idema, a 27-year-old poker pro from Vancouver, BC (Canada).  Prior to playing poker for a living, Idema played ice hockey in the Western Hockey League.  Idema nearly became the fourth Canadian to win a gold bracelet this year, after countrymen Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, and Miguel Proulx won their WSOP victories.  Second place paid a nice consolation prize of $195,147.

The top 54 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event included: Matt Keikoan (1st), Michael Mizrachi (8th), and David Chiu (9th).

Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi is having a phenomenal WSOP, thus far.  He won the Poker Players Championship (Event #2) and made his third final table this year.  Mizrachi now has a 1st, 6th, and 8th place finish at this year’s series.

With his ninth-place finish, David Chiu now has 50 career cashes.  This currently ranks 11th on the all-time WSOP cashes list.

THE CHAMPION – MATT KEIKOAN

The $10,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em Champion (Event #29) is Matt Keikoan, from San Rafael, CA.

Keikoan is a 42-year-old professional poker player.

Keikoan worked as a poker prop for about eight years before phasing gradually into the life of a working poker pro.  Keikoan started out playing at Casino San Pablo in the San Francisco (East) Bay area.

While working as a poker prop, some of Keikoan's regular co-workers included well-respected pros Bill Edler, Erick Lindgren, Bill Gazes, Matt Lefkowitz, and others.

Matt Keikoan is the brother of another poker pro Todd Keikoan, who lives in Las Vegas.

Keikoan attended San Francisco State University, but did not graduate.  

After his WSOP gold bracelet victory back in 2008, Keikoan’s father was interviewed at tableside and commented:  “We were thoroughly pissed off because he left college and wanted to become a professional poker player. But, it turned out well.”  Keikoan’s father and mother were both in attendance at the final table of his second victory.

Keikoan won his first WSOP gold bracelet in 2008.  He won the $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event.  Keikoan collected $550,529 for first place.

Keikoan also finished 63rd-place in the 2007 Main Event.  That cash was worth $154,194.

Last November, Keikoan won the WSOP Circuit Main Event championship, held at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe.  He added $106,435 to his poker bankroll for that win.

For this victory, Keikoan collected $425,969 for first place.

According to official records, Keikoan now has two wins, two final table appearances, and 12 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.   His career WSOP earnings now total $1,184,441.

Keikoan now has in excess of $3 million in overall career tournament winnings.

WINNER QUOTES

On what winning his second WSOP gold bracelet means:  “This one almost feels better than the first one.  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.”

On the grueling heads-up match against Daniel Idema:  “I was just grinding.  That is all I was thinking about.  I was just trying to make every decision I could be the best I could make.”

On how he would have felt had he finished second instead of winning:  “It would have been rough.  Because you want the bracelet.  I wanted a gold bracelet bad.”

On the prospects of winning a third gold bracelet this year:  “I would be very happy to win number three – yes.”

On having the support network of great poker players around him:  “San Pablo is where I learned how to play.  There were some great players there.  They challenge you and make you learn higher levels of poker.  Then, I went from there into tournament poker and it was a good training ground for me.”

On Limit Hold’em versus No-Limit Hold’em:  “I would like to see Limit Hold’em make a comeback.  It is where most of us old timers cut our teeth.  I played this game exclusively for 10 years, so – yeah, it’s a great game.”

On having his family around him to witness his second WSOP victory:  “My mom and dad are here.  So, it does not get any more special than that.”

THE FINAL TABLE

The final table consisted of four former WSOP gold bracelet winners – David Chiu (4 wins), Brock Parker (2 wins), Matt Keikoan (1 win), and Michael Mizrachi (1 win).

Three different nations were represented at the final table – Australia, Canada, and the United States.

The final table began nine-handed.  

The runner up was Dan Idema, a 27-year-old poker pro from Vancouver, BC (Canada).  Prior to playing poker for a living, Idema played ice hockey in the Western Hockey League.  Idema nearly became the fourth Canadian to win a gold bracelet this year, after countrymen Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, and Miguel Proulx (today) won their WSOP victories.  Second place paid a nice consolation prize of $263,243.  

The third-place finisher was Kyle Ray from Athens, GA.  He is a 24-year-old poker pro.  Ray is a Limit Hold’em coach.  This was his fourth time to cash at the WSOP, and marked his second time at a final table.  The Georgia pro collected a nice payout totaling $190,701.

The fourth-place finisher was Jameson Painter, from Goodfield, IL.  He is a 27-year-old poker pro who has now made four WSOP final tables, including three appearances this year.  He took 7th place in $1,500 NLHE (Event #12) and 5th place in $2,500 NLHE (Event #7).  Fourth place paid $140,760.

The fifth-place finisher was Brock Parker, from Silver Spring, MD.  Parker won two gold bracelets last year – in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em and Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em.  This marked his third time to cash so far, in 2010.  He has made six-figure scores at the WSOP four times, after collecting $105,782 for fifth place.

The sixth-place finisher was Zvi Groysman, from Thornhill, Ontario (Canada).  He had his biggest cash out of four visits to the WSOP in this event, which paid $80,884.

The seventh-place finisher was Simon Morris, from Melbourne, Australia.  He won an event at the Aussie Millions earlier this year.  This was his first time to cash at the WSOP, which paid $62,897.

The eighth-place finisher was Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, who has now moved back atop the 2010 WSOP “Player of the Year” leader board with his third final table appearance.  Mizrachi leads all money winners this year, with $1,677,727 in earnings after collecting eighth-place prize money ($49,732) in this event.

The ninth-place finisher was four-time WSOP gold bracelet winner David Chiu, from Las Vegas, NV.  Chiu has cashed at least once every year at the WSOP since 1998.  Ninth place paid $39,959.

The final table officially began at 5:00 pm and ended at 5:05 am.  The final table clocked in at 12 hours and 5 minutes.

OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS

The top 18 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Matt Keikoan, Michael Mizrachi (8th), and David Chiu (9th).

Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi is having a phenomenal WSOP, thus far.  He won the Poker Players Championship (Event #2) and made his third final table this year.  Mizrachi now has a 1st, 6th, and 8th place finish at this year’s series.

With his ninth-place finish, David Chiu now has 50 career cashes.  This currently ranks 11th on the all-time WSOP cashes list.

Note there is some confusion about two David Baker's, who are both enjoying success at this year’s WSOP.  Dave Baker, from Katy, TX, cashed in this event, taking 11th place.  He is to be known as “Dave Baker” in all reporting.  David Baker, from Charlotte, NC and winner of Event #19, will be reported as “David Baker.”

The defending champion was Greg Mueller, from Vancouver, BC (Canada).  He did not enter this year’s tournament.

ODDS AND ENDS

This is the 857th gold bracelet event in World Series of Poker history.  Note:  This figure includes every official WSOP event played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 11 gold bracelets awarded at WSOP Europe (to date).

The final table was played on the ESPN Main Stage.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory (or some hours later when the tournament runs past midnight).  The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion, which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this year.  The ceremony begins at the conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament, usually around 2:20 pm.  The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played.  The entire presentation is open to public and media.  Video and photography are permitted by both public and members of the media.

Keikoan requested that the national anthem of the United States be played at his WSOP gold bracelet ceremony.

On this day, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 to win their 16th NBA championship.  The World Series of Poker congratulates Dr. Jerry Buss and Frank Mariani, co-owners the storied franchise.  Buss and Mariani are devoted poker players who enter many WSOP events each year.  Congratulations to both champions!

EVENT HISTORY

This year's event attracted 171 entries.  The number of entries declined slightly from last year's 185 players.  

During the 1990s, Limit Hold’em tournaments routinely attracted the largest fields of any WSOP tournament.  For several years, the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament had twice number of entrants as the Main Event.  It was traditionally the first open event offered during the first weekend of the WSOP.

Limit Hold’em made its debut at the 1983 WSOP. The first Limit Hold’em world champion was Tom McEvoy.  He went on to win the Main Event that same year.

The start of Limit Hold’em’s popularity can be traced back to California’s legalization of flop games (including Hold’em) in 1988.  Prior to the late 1980s, Limit Hold’em was spread in only a few small Las Vegas casinos and underground games, located mostly in the American South.

Limit Hold’em was king during most of the 1990s, except in the Northeast where Seven-Card Stud was the dominant form of poker.  In fact, finding a No-Limit Hold'em game was next to impossible.  In 2003, things began to change. No-Limit Hold'em gradually became the most popular form of poker played, not only in the United States but abroad.  Today, Limit Hold'em tournaments have become less common.

The list of former Limit Hold’em champions is quite an illustrious group.  Former Limit Hold’em champions include – Tom McEvoy, Berry Johnston, Humberto Brenes, Johnny Chan, Mickey Appleman, David Chiu, Jay Heimowitz, Farzad Bonyadi, and Greg Mueller.

TOURNAMENT PLAY

The tournament was played over three consecutive days, from June 15-17, 2010.

The heads up match between Daniel Idema and Matt Keikoan went more than four hours.  The two rivals dueled back and forth.  The chip lead changed five times.

Keikoan was down to the felt and all-in a few times, but managed to survive.

By the time the final hand was dealt, the limits were so high the total number of chips in play amounted to just 18 big bets.

The final hand of the tournament came when Dan Idema was crippled after losing a series of late hands.  He moved all-in with     and faced Matt Keikoan’s    .  The final board showed          , which gave Keikoan the final pot of the tournament with three of a kind, with an ace-kicker.

2010 WSOP STATISTICS

Tournament attendance is up from this same point last year.  Last year, through 29 events, there were 28,658 entries.  This year, there have been 30,552 total entries through 29 events, an increase of 6.6 percent.

Tournament prize money figures are down slightly from last year.  Last year, through 29 events, total prize money was $56,347,126.  This year’s total prize money currently stands at $53,632,830.

Through the conclusion of Event #29, the nationalities of winners have been:

United States (20)
Great Britain (3)
Canada (3)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #29, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (15)
Great Britain (3)
Canada (3)
Vietnam (2)
China (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Lebanon (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #29, the ratio of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (20):  Michael Chow, Michael Mizrachi, Praz Bansi, Josh Tieman, Peter Gelencser, James Dempsey, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Matt Matros, Yan R. Chen, Steve Gee, Carter Phillips, Jason DeWitt, Eric Buchman, David Baker, Richard Ashby, Dutch Boyd, Sammy Farha, David Warga, Will Haydon, Matt Keikoan

Semi-Pros (3):  Frank Kassela, Tex Barch, Miguel Proulx

Amateurs (6):  Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt, Vanessa Hellebuyck, Jeff Tebben

Through the conclusion of Event #29, here is the list of repeat WSOP gold bracelet winners at the 2010 WSOP:

Praz Bansi
Men “the Master” Nguyen
Russ “Dutch” Boyd
Sammy Farha
David Warga (* his first WSOP win was in a non-open event)
Matt Keikoan