Event #11: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack
Day 2 Completed
Event #11: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack
Day 2 Completed
It wasn’t easy for Kenneth O’Donnell, but he managed to grind it out over the course of two days and was crowned a champion for his efforts at the 2023 World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas.
O’Donnell out maneuvered Jefferson Guerrero in a quick heads-up battle on Day 2 to take down Event #11: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack. In fact, the heads-up showdown went just three hands before O’Donnell emerged as the winner.
O'Donnell garnered a $351,098 winning prize and, of course, a WSOP bracelet, the first of his poker career. Guerrero collected $216,941 for his runner-up finish.
|1||Kenneth O'Donnell||United States||$351,098|
|3||Ka Chen Kan||China||$162,371|
|4||Aaron Georgelos||United States||$122,407|
|5||Robert Gittelman||United States||$92,953|
|6||Eric Pfenning||United States||$71,104|
|7||Manuel DeAlmeida||United States||$54,794|
|8||Andres Morales||United States||$42,539|
The newest WSOP bracelet winner's climb to the top meant he had to navigate a minefield of a who’s who in the poker community.
The player field boasted poker royalty with 16-time WSOP bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Famer Phil Hellmuth, as well as WSOP bracelet winner and Women in Poker Hall of Fame inductee Kathy Liebert.
Hellmuth’s quest for a 17th WSOP bracelet came to an end in Level 32 when he was eliminated in 47th place for a payout of $7,385.
O’Donnell also had to keep an eye on multiple WSOP bracelet winners, which included past WSOP Main Event champions Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, and Jerry Yang. Other notable bracelet winners to play the event included Pei Li, Allen Cunningham, Bradley Jensen, Jeremy Wien, Farzad Bonyadi, Erik Cajelais, David Jackson and Mike Ruter, among others.
Li made a deep run before being eliminated in 11th place for $26,223. Li’s exit ensured there would be a first-time WSOP bracelet winner at the conclusion of the tournament.
O’Donnell rose to the occasion in the face of stout competition. He persevered throughout the two-day event by steadily building his chip stack with well-timed aggression –– and he admits, some luck –– to get to the final table, which he started with the fourth-largest stack. And then he took it home.
A total of 6,085 entrants participated in Event #11, which generated a prize pool of $3,098,760.
Ka Chun Kan finished in third place ($162,371), while Aaron Georgelos took fourth place ($122,407).
O’Donnell, who calls St. Petersburg, Florida, home, says he’s been playing poker “for decades,” and nothing comes close to what he’s feeling after securing his first WSOP bracelet.
“It’s huge,” O’Donnell told PokerNews after winning the event. “It’s amazing.”
O’Donnell has cashed in tournaments before, according to his Hendon Mob page. His largest payout came when he took home $53,299 from a $1,700 No-Limit Hold’em tournament at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Poker Classic in 2021.
But this is the WSOP, and knowing the level of competition he faced in the tournament field brought the reality of the moment home.
“It’s absurdly lucky,” O’Donnell told PokerNews after coming out on top from the heads-up battle. “These giant field events are an exercise of just repeatedly getting lucky, and I did.
“I’m very, very happy to have been the ‘Chosen One’ for the poker gods today. This feels really special. I just feel really blessed.”
As for what’s next, O’Donnell doesn’t plan to go home just yet.
He’s remaining in Las Vegas and eyeing more tournaments. But first, he owes his wife a phone call to let her know he’s a WSOP bracelet winner.
“I’ll play something tomorrow (Wednesday),” O’Donnell said with a chuckle. “I’ll talk to my wife back home in a minute and wake her up.”
This concludes coverage of Event #11 of the 2023 WSOP, but make sure to continue to stay plugged in with PokerNews for live updates of your favorite events throughout the summer.
Event #11: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack has come to an end at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas and it was Kenneth O'Donnell who emerged with all of the chips, taking home $351,098.
This event had a total of 6,085 entries, creating a prize pool of $3,098,760 and a total of 912 players reached the min payout of $960.
318 players reached day two and it was a rapid pace as only 160 were remaining by the first break. O'Donnell had gained chips in the middle of the day and managed to battle his way to victory throughout the tournament, eventually dominating the short-handed final table with only a few left.
|3||Ka Chen Kan||$162,371|
Stay tuned to PokerNews as a full recap will be posted shortly.
Kenneth O'Donnell jammed on the button and Jefferson Guerrero made the call for his 43,000,000 stack.
Jefferson Guerrero: K♦10♣
Kenneth O'Donnell: J♦8♦
The flop came Q♠J♣8♣, giving Guerrero and open-ended straight draw but O'Donnell connected more so, making two pair. The 3♠ on the turn changed nothing but the 8♠ river improved O'Donnell to a full house, ending the heads-up battle.
Guerrero collected $216,941 for his second-place finish.
15-minute break as Kenneth O'Donnell and Jefferson Guerrero battle for a WSOP gold bracelet.
While winning a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet is one of the greatest accomplishments a poker player can achieve, many of the greatest and most successful players in the game have yet to put one on their wrists.
PokerNews has had a decent track record with highlighting players without bracelets who have gone on to win them. Jason Koon won a maiden bracelet in 2021 after making the "Best Without a Bracelet" list that year, while Dan Smith and Alex Foxen both found bracelets in 2022 to be removed from that year's list.
With the 2023 WSOP happening now, here's a look at some of the best players who have yet to add a World Series bracelet to their long lists of accolades.
Kenneth O'Donnell raised to 5,000,000 on the button and Ka Chun Kan jammed for about 36,000,000. Jefferson Guerrero instantly folded and O'Donnell made the call.
Ka Chun Kan: 9♣9♦
Kenneth O'Donnell: A♥Q♠
"No nine-ball corner pocket this time!" Yelled O'Donnell to his rail.
The dealer didn't quite listen so well this time as he fanned a flop of 9♠8♣6♥, leaving O'Donnell thinking he was dead.
The 10♦ hit the turn though, giving him a gutshot straight draw, which Kan couldn't fade as the J♠ completed the board on the river. Kan was eliminated in 3rd place for $162,371.
|Ka Chun Kan||Busted|
Ken O’Donnell and Ka Chun Kan were involved in a battle of big stacks.
Kan raised 6,000,000 on the button. The small blind got out of the way, and O’Donnell made the call.
The dealer placed 2♦3♠9♣ on the board, prompting O’Donnell to check. Kan made a small 4,000,000 bet, which O’Donnell check-called. The 5♥ hit the turn, which O’Donnell and Kan checked.
Things got interesting on the river when 4♦ appeared to put a possible straight on the board. O’Donnell checked, and Kan bet 8,500,000, which O’Donnell immediately called.
Kan tabled 8♠7♠, while O’Donnell showed K♣3♣ for a pair of threes and the win, which put a large dent in Kan’s once formidable stack.
|Ka Chun Kan||36,000,000||-32,480,000|