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Thomas Keeper Wins Event #10 of Western New York Poker Challenge

Thomas Keeper

The 2014 Western New York Poker Challenge Event #10: $300 No-Limit Hold’em attracted 119 entries to the Seneca Niagara Falls Casino & Hotel – which created a prize pool of $29,958 — and after more than 12 hours of play, Thomas Keeper emerged victorious to captured a $4,500 prize and the tournament trophy.

WNY Poker Challenge Event #10 Results

1stThomas Keeper$4,500*
2ndRyan Rivers$6,000*
3rdScott Aitchison$6,000*
4thKevin Reyes$4,500*
5thAnish Bedhia$2,097
6thAlex Visbisky$1,558
7thMaurice Sessum$1,258
8thTravell Thomas$1,019
9thChris Myers$809
10thMark Archer$629
11thMike Feldmeyer$629
12thGeorge Johnson$629

*Reflects four-handed deal

The top 12 finishers of Event #10 each locked up $629 after Dave Grana was eliminated on the money bubble. It happened in Level 18 (4,000/8,000/1,000) when action folded to Travell Thomas on the button and he raised to 20,000, which Grana called from the big blind. When the flop came down {k-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{3-Spades}, Grana moved all in for 77,000 and Thomas shifted in his chair. He thought long and hard before finally declaring, "I can't fold top pair."

Thomas Keeper Wins Event #10 of Western New York Poker Challenge 101
Travell Thomas

Thomas: {k-Spades}{9-Spades}
Grana: {q-Hearts}{j-Clubs}

Grana decided to go with his open-ended straight draw, but it proved an unwise investment as both the {8-Clubs} turn and {6-Clubs} river failed to help him. Grana was eliminated as the bubble boy while the remaining 12 players are guaranteed at least $629.

From the eliminations continued and included George Johnson (12th - $629), Mike Feldmeyer (11th - $629), Mark Archer (10th - $629), Chris Myers (9th - $809), and Thomas.

In the first hand back from a break at the final table, Thomas got his short stack all in and was up against Keeper.

Keeper: {j-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}
Thomas: {k-Spades}{2-Spades}

Thomas was looking for a king, but the {3-Clubs}{q-Clubs}{q-Hearts} flop failed to produce. The {J-Hearts} turn gave Keeper a full house, and that left Thomas drawing dead headed to the {10-Spades} river. Thomas lamented his bust and then made his way to the payout desk in eighth place to collect $1,019.

After the eliminations of Maurice Sessum (7th - $1,258), Alex Visbisky (6th - $1,558), and Anish Bedhia (5th - $2,097), the final four players struck a deal. They split up the prize money with the two chip leaders taking $6,000 each and the two shorter stacks $4,500. They also agreed to leave the extra $330 to the dealers while playing for the trophy.

That ultimately led to a wild four-handed match that saw the chips rotate among all four players. It also saw them agree to skip levels to finish the match in a timely manner. Kevin Reyes, one of the shorter stacks, was the first to go, and then Scott Aitchison, one of the bigger ones, followed him out the door in third. That left Keeper and Ryan Rivers, who hit the bad beat jackpot at the casino for roughly $72,000 the night before, to battle it out heads up.

Thomas Keeper Wins Event #10 of Western New York Poker Challenge 102
Runner-up Ryan Rivers

Amazingly, it came to an end when just a single blue T1,000 chip separated the two. In the final hand, Rivers opened for 125,000 from the button and Keeper announced that he was all in. Rivers opted to call, and as it turned out he got it in good.

Keeper: {k-Spades}{q-Spades}
Rivers: {a-Spades}{4-Hearts}

Despite the good call, Rivers was not rewarded as the {9-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{k-Hearts} flop gave Keeper the lead with a pair of kings. The {2-Clubs} turn meant Rivers needed an ace on the river to capture the trophy, but it was not meant to be as the {10-Clubs} blanked. The stacks were counted down, and indeed Rivers was the short man by one chip. Thanks to the deal, Rivers took home $6,000, while Keeper got $4,500, the trophy, and title of champion.

Congratulations to Thomas Keeper, winner of the Western New York Poker Challenge Event #10! The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be at Seneca Niagara Casino all weekend long to bring you live updates from the 2014 Western New York Poker Challenge, so be sure to tune in.

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