After three exciting days of poker at the Venetian Poker Room, Cole Keenan of Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania outlasted 671 total entrants and 75 Day 2 players to win the MSPT Venetian $1,100 Main Event for the Mid-States Poker Tour Venetian trophy and $123,722. Keenan claims part of a $647,515 prize pool that paid 72 players and exceeded the $500,000 guarantee.
Keenan was still processing the win after taking his winner’s photo. “This is insane. Wow,” he said while looking at the beautiful MSPT Venetian trophy. “I got here two minutes before late registration and I had to go get a Grazie card so I almost didn’t make it in.”
This was the second tournament that Keenan has played, the first being last week when he arrived in Las Vegas. Keenan considers himself a cash player and he doesn’t have the opportunity to play tournaments back in Pennsylvania.
Keenan came into the final table as the chip leader and was a factor early, eliminating Michael Berk in eighth place with jacks and Rohan Long in sixth with three fives. The two big pots helped Keenan take advantage of several quick eliminations once action kicked off at the final table. Saad Ghanem went out on the first hand of final table action, followed closely by Berk in eighth and Francis Anderson in seventh, all within about 20 minutes of one another.
Dave Ouellette and his dog Jack were knocked out in fifth place by eventual runner-up Michael Williams. Ouellette was the Day 1a chip leader and carried that to a strong finish.
With four players left, Keenan found himself down to less than two million in chips when he picked up kings to eliminate Tsz “Phil” Shing in fourth place.
The final three players fought for over an hour until Williams eliminated Thu Nguyen in third place with three eights. Williams and Keenan then cut a deal to play for the trophy and $22,495 while splitting the rest of the pot to guarantee themselves $101,227 each.
Williams had a significant advantage in chips to begin heads-up play, but Keenan quickly turned it around and took the lead before finally eliminating Williams with ace-king to claim the championship trophy.
Other notable cashing players on Day 2 include Kathy Liebert, Ralph Massey, Ryan Laplante, and Christopher Carey.
This wraps up PokerNews live coverage of the MSPT Venetian $1,100 Main Event from the Venetian Poker Room. Be sure to join us again from September 16-26, when the MSPT visits Sycuan Casino in San Diego, California for the United States Poker Championship.