Puppy joins final table of MSPT Venetian but Cole Keenan, a human, wins

Jon Pill
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Posted on: September 7, 2021 9:35 pm EDT

The Mid-States Poker Tour was back at the Venetian this week for another $1,100 main event.

The winner, Cole Keenan, flew in from Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania for the event. Even so, he almost missed his window to enter.

“I got here two minutes before late registration and I still had to go get a Grazie card so I almost didn’t make it in,” Keenan told reporters after the event. This is the second MSPT Venetian in a row to be won by a player who almost didn’t enter. Last time around, Chance Kornuth won after nearly missing registration because he was distracted with parenting his child.

With 671 entrants and a buy-in of $1,100, the event comfortably exceeded the $500k guarantee. The total prize pool came to $647,515. The money bubble broke at 72, but 75 players made it to Day 2.

The result was a tense start for at least three players who woke up early to play just a few minutes of live poker before hitting the rail. Once the money bubble broke, things heated up. The remaining 71 players were eliminated over the course of about 15 hours of play.

The final table saw nine players — and one small dog who was accompanying his owner Dave Ouellette — duke it out for the prize. The final table took almost half of the play time of Day 2. It was a seven-hour battle to bring it down. Ouellette and Jack, his puppy, took 5th place for $34,509.

Quick heads up kill

The end came fast after the heads-up play was reached. With the blinds at 100,000/150,000 and a 30,000 ante, Williams was behind with about 6.2 million in chips.

When Williams picked up the A♠Q, it seemed like a good spot to get his 41 big blinds in pre-flop. Cole Keenan called him off with the AK♣, leaving Williams with his tournament life on the line and in bad shape from a mathematical standpoint.

The flop came 7♣TA♣, locking off most of Williams’ hopes for a backdoor draw of some kind. There was still a broadway straight that he could back into, but most of his hopes were on the three remaining queens in the deck.

The turn was the 3♣, taking away both the backdoor straight draw and the Q♣ as possible outs for Williams.

The final card was the 8, ending the game and giving the title to Keenan.

The @MSPTpoker account tweeted out that “Cole Keenan in his 2nd tournament ever bests a 671 player field to take home the [prize] and $121,722.”

Williams won $101,227 for second place.

Mid-States Poker Tour Venetian $1,100 Main Event complete final table results

PositionPlayer NamePayout
1stCole Keenan$123,722
2ndMichael Williams$101,227
3rdThu Nguyen$62,938
4thTsz Shing$45,974
5thDave Ouellette$34,509
6thRohan Long$25,447
7thFrancis Anderson$19,296
8thMichael Berk$14,699
9thSaad Ghanem$11,332

Featured image source: Flickr by WPT