Last year, Dan Kelly had a huge World Series of Poker, cashing ten times, making two final tables, including the first-ever Millionaire Maker event, and advancing to Day 3 in just about every event he played. He seemed to accomplish just about everything except for one thing--winning a second bracelet.
This year, Kelly isn't advancing to Day 3 in every other tournament he plays, but the poker pro has made 2014 a time to remember in his poker career by winning his second career gold bracelet in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em event. The 25 year old from Potomac, MD earned $195,167 for the win, which brings his total WSOP earnings to more than $2.2 million. More importantly, he managed to win in front of his parents, who, surprisingly, had never watched their son play live poker before. Thanks to a serendipitously-timed visit to Vegas, they were on the rail cheering as their son picked up his second bracelet.
Kelly's first bracelet came when he was just 21 years old. It was a big victory too, as Kelly took down the $25,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold'em event in 2010, earning over $1.3 million. Since then, Kelly has made at least one final table every year he has been eligible to play at the WSOP. This was his seventh career final table appearance. As for how this win compares to his first bracelet, which came in one of his first-ever WSOP events during his rookie season, the always soft-spoken Kelly was honest that the first will always hold a place of honor to him.
"Probably hard to top the first one since it was my first World Series [of Poker] and a $25,000 [event], but this one is still pretty cool," Kelly admitted. He also appreciates the victory after so many near-misses last year. While his results may not be as far-reaching as they were in 2013, Kelly will still take this result over how he performed a year ago.
"It feels better," Kelly explained. "It's always nice to win. It's frustrating getting sixth and fifth."
Kelly is an atypical online poker whiz kid in that he has always played every game. While it is unsurprising that he would succeed in a non-No Limit Hold'em event such as this one, this is actually his first-ever Limit Hold'em cash. Kelly even acknowledged that the variation of Hold'em is not exactly something he looks forward to playing. As for where the game ranks on his list of favorites, Kelly said, "Not super high, but it is kinda fun in that it goes super fast. There's not a lot of tanking. People raise, people fold, people call."
It may not have been his favorite game before, but with a second bracelet made all the more special by his friends and family on the rail, Kelly may just have a change of heart. When asked if tonight might get him to appreciate the game a little more, Kelly gave a small hint of how much the win means to him with his response:
"Maybe a little bit."
While Brandon Shack-Harris and runner-up Yegor Tsurikov spent the bulk of the final table with the chip lead, Kelly managed to add to his stack when it mattered most, chipping up short-handed to take the chip lead into heads-up play against Tsurikov. Kelly's comment about the fast pace of Limit Hold'em certainly held true at this final table. In the span of just over seven hours of play, the final table played 331 hands of poker, which averages out to around 47 hands per hour.
While it has been the Championship events that are supposedly drawing the star-studded final tables, these $1,500 events can certainly produce a stacked line-up, as was the case here. With two five-time bracelet winners in Jeff Lisandro (7th) and David Chiu (6th) as well as bracelet winners Kelly and Shack-Harris, there were 12 total bracelets represented on the table.
This marks Shack-Harris' third final table of the summer. His third place finish brings his total score in the Player of the Year race to 474, which is good enough to move him into the top three in the standings.This year’s $1,500 Limit Hold’em event drew 657 players and produced an $886,950 prize pool. The top 72 finishers each earned a payday. Some of the notables who cashed include Daniel Negreanu (63rd), Allyn Jaffrey Shulman (30th), Jeff Shulman (25th), Berry Johnston (19th), and recent bracelet winner Steven Wolansky, who bubbled the final table in 10th place.Here are the final table results for the $1,500 Limit Hold’em event:1st: Dan Kelly - $195,1672nd: Yegor Tsurikov - $120,5013rd: Brandon Shack-Harris - $78,3354th: Sean Berrios - $57,5365th: Jesse Katz- $42,8576th: David Chiu - $32,3387th: Jeff Lisandro - $24,6838th: Bryce Landier - $19,0519th: Ron Burke - $14,856