PART-TIME UBER DRIVER TAKES WSOP COLOSSUS II IN STUNNING VICTORY
Pockets $1 million in prize money.
In a heartening rags to riches story, poker player and part-time taxi driver Benjamin Keeline (30) has taken down the WSOP $565 buy-in No-Limit Holdem tournament, a.k.a. “Colossus II”. Against incredible odds, he emerged victorious besting a massive field of 21,613.
Keeline, by his own admission, was flat broke before the tournament but made an almost impossible comeback after taking a huge bad beat which left him down to a single $500 chip with the antes at $500 and the blinds at $1,500-$3,000.
“Let those numbers sink in for a moment,” WSOP writes. “There were almost 109,000,000 chips in play at the time. Thats 109 million. To win this tournament, Keeline would have to gain possession of every single one of those chips, and somehow do this all starting out with a single $500 chip”.
“Ive had a really hard time lately,” Keeline said afterward, fighting back the tears. “Im elated. I cant even think about what this means, not just the money, but the gold bracelet. This is something I could not have imagined would happen just a few days ago. Sure, I thought it could happen and I thought I could win if I played well, but to have it go the way it went, well – thats more than I can express how I feel right now. Its going to take some time for this to all sink in.”
This tournament attracted 21,613 entrants which created a prize pool totalling $10,806,500. The massive turnout created the second-largest live poker tournament in history in terms of overall attendance, on the heels of last years inaugural Colossus I event, which drew a record 22,374 participants.
Final table standings were:
1 Benjamin Keeline $1,000,000
2 Jiri Horak $618,000
3 Farhad Davoudzadeh $462,749
4 Richard Carr $348,462
5 Marek Ohnisko $263,962
6 Christopher Renaudette $201,151
7 Alex Benjamin $154,208
8 Jonathan Borenstein $118,937
9 Xiu Deng $92,291
“This wasnt an obstacle the size of a mountain. It was almost a virtual impossibility,” WSOP concluded.