Winning a monster-field WSOP event like the Colossus is the pinnacle of anyone’s poker career, but spare a thought for the player who thought he’d won it, but hadn’t…
Seven players contested the first ever World Series around a sigle table back in 1970. The second tournament of 69 at this year’s WSOP attracted 21,613 entries making it the second biggest tournament of all time.
Cashing in a tournament like this is impressive. Making the final table is literally a poker dream come true, giving the nine players a shot at the $1m first prize for a paltry $565 buy-in.
Heads-up, Ben Keeline and Jiri Horak were guaranteed $618,000 but both desperately wanted their first seven- figure score. The stacks were pretty shallow when the tournament defining hand happened. Keeline had the lead with 30BBs and Horak was looking to cripple him with his 24BB stack when he called an all-in with A♦-9♣.
He wasn’t in great shape. Keeline had pocket Jacks and was a 72% lock for the bracelet. That improved to 81% on the 3♠-7♥-9♠ flop despite Horak picking up some additional outs. The 6♠ turn took some away but Horak’s rail weren’t focused on the potential flush. When the A♠ dropped on the river they started celebrating and drew Horak in, mobbing him and celebrating the ‘win’. Horak managed to disentangle himself and went to check the board, getting confirmation of the bad news which he then relayed to the rail. Did Horak know all along? It’s possible but if not he just had the bracelet and an additional $382,000 wiped out in ten cruel seconds.
Ben Keeline v Jiri Horak: June 2016, 2016 WSOP Colossus II
For more great WSOP coverage take up our offer of a free annual subscription to PokerPlayer magazine here