Stephen Kehoe Turns WPT Global Satellite Win Into $269,900

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Stephen Kehoe

Lead image courtesy of WPT Global

The World Poker Tour WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas will always be remembered for being the tournament boasting the largest live poker event guarantee. WPT and Wynn Las Vegas guaranteed a prize pool of $15 million, but 2,960 entrants created a $29,008,000 pot. Ireland's Stephen Kehoe was one of those entrants, although he did not fork out $10,000 to enter because he won his seat only at WPT Global for only $550.

WPT Global ran $550 buy-in satellites that awarded seats to the WPT World Championship in addition to $2,000 to cover travel expenses. Kehoe saw some advertisements for those satellites and decided to take a shot at the big time. Kehoe's first attempt did not go to plan but his second satellite resulted in him scooping a package and left him making plans to compete in one of the biggest live tournaments of the Irishman's career.

Having cashed in the 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event, Kehoe was not a complete stranger to high-stakes live events. He entered Day 1C, sat down with his 25,000 starting stack, which he turned into 722,000 by the close of play. Kehoe found himself in the top 20 of the 513 Day 1C survivors.

Day 2 turned out to be a grind for Kehoe, and he ended the night with 711,000 chips in his arsenal. The Irishman fared much better on Day 3, bagging and tagging a 1,470,000 stack after an action-packed day that saw the money bubble burst. Kat Klassen and Tony Dunst busted on the same hand to guarantee the surviving players lock in at least $17,400.

Busting Four-time WSOP Champion Michael Gathy

Michael Gathy
Michael Gathy at the 2022 WSOP

The fourth day was another filled with drama, with Kehoe eliminating Michael Gathy in 118th place. Four-time WSOP bracelet winner Gathy committed his short stack on a jack-six-four-three board that showed two clubs. Kehoe called with queen-jack of clubs, which remained better than Gathy's dominated jack-ten.

However, what the Poker Gods giveth is often taketh! During the 25th level of play, with blinds 75,000/125,000/125,000a, Kehoe opened to 250,000 on the button with pocket tens. Nissim Vaknin three-bet to 1,130,000 from the big blind before calling all-in when Kehoe shoved for 2,450,000 effective. Vaknin turned over pocket kings, which held on a queen-high board.

Kehoe was left with 38 big blinds after that hand, although he ended Day 4 with 3,125,000 chips, or 16 big blinds.

Doubling Through Eventual Runner-Up Benny Glaser

Benny Glaser
Benny Glaser at the 2022 WSOP

Day 5 started well for Kehoe after his ace-king got their against chip leader Benny Glaser's pocket tens. Any hopes of a comeback were dealt a blow in a battle of the blinds involving Soheb Porbandarwala, Kehoe's king-deuce failing to hold against his opponent's suited jack-ten. Kehoe resorted to raising 80% of his stack instead of moving all-in, and the strategy saw him start rebuilding his stack. However, during the 200,000/400,000/400,000a level, Kehoe raised to 5,300,000 from the button, leaving only 500,000 chips behind. Michael Rocco set Kehoe all-in, and Kehoe obliged with a call. Rocco showed a pair of black queens, and Kehoe king-jack. A queen on the flop gifted Rocco a set, leaving Kehoe drawing to a gutshot straight that never came. Kehoe bowed out in 14th place for $269,900.

Keho now has plans to feature in more $10,000 buy-in events, tournaments he wants to win his way into at WPT Global.

"You'll see me playing more of the $10k buy-ins now," Kehoe told the WPT Global blog. "I only played satellites on WPT Global but now I will be a regular player."

Follow in Kehoe's Footsteps With a Welcome Bonus Worth Up To $1,200!

Kehoe is living proof that satellite winners do go on and bank massive prizes in their target events. Why not attempt to follow in his footsteps and qualify for a major live event at WPT Global?

WPT Global gives every PokerNews reader that downloads WPT Global via our links the chance to pad their bankroll with a welcome bonus that weighs in at an impressive $1,200.

Download WPT Global, create your free account, and make your first deposit of at least $20. WPT Global matches your initial deposit 100% up to a maximum of $1,200 in the form of a bonus.

Play real money cash games or tournaments to unlock your deposit bonus and see it release into your playable balance. The bonus releases in $5 increments for every $20 you contribute to the cash game rake or pay in tournament fees. You have 90 days from the date the bonus lands in your account to release it. Any unreleased funds after the 90-day time limit are forfeited, so get grinding!

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