One of the most fascinating stories about poker players has come out of Benjamin Keeline, Winner of the Colossus 2 Poker Tournament at the WSOP. He works as a part time Uber driver and was literally in rags. Though he’d been playing poker for years, the ups and downs had more recently been downs. In 2011, he won a WSOP Circuit gold ring and had nearly $400,000 in poker earnings over five years. But poker earnings are sometimes different.
Poker earnings have to include costs and that may be travel related like hotel, transportation costs, entertainment costs as well as tournaments that might not have paid off costs as well. Making a profit in poker can be a very challenging. Keeline’s first entry was in fact a quick out and he had to enter a second time. And in more drama, he was down to a single $500 chip with antes at $500 and blind $1500-$3000. So he came back from a very low point to overtake the competition and win the event for a massive payday of $1,000,000. The Colossus is one of the largest poker tournaments in history with over 21000 entries. The buy-in for the event is $565.
The final hand of the Colossus was no different for Benjamin Keeline. He had a pocket pair of jacks. His opponent, Jiri Horak from Czecholslavakia had Ace Nine unsuited. As the flop rolled out, an Ace and Nine appeared and victory looked likely for Horak but four of the five cards were spades giving Keeline a spade flush victory.
The top nine finishers were:
Benjamin Keeline $1,000,000
Jiri Horak $618,000
Farhad Davoudzadeh $462,749
Richard Carr $348,462
Marek Ohnisko $263,962
Christopher Renaudette $201,151
Alex Benjamin $154,208
Jonathan Borenstein $118,937
Xiu Deng $92,291
Notable facts about the Colossus 2
Xiu Deng is the first female to make it to a final table.
Two of the final table players came from the Czech republic.
3,245 players in the event collected prize money.