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With so many of pokers biggest stars in Event #8, WSOP’s seventh event didn’t see quite as many big name players in it.  However, that’s certainly not to say that Event #7 was lacking any kind of excitement.  In fact, there was a great story to be told here.

This No Limit Hold’em affair featured 1,593 players in it and had a prize pool of $2,899,260.  The buy-ins were $2,000 and the event was three days long.  It kicked off Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.

And Theo Tran kicked of this tournament in a good way as he jumped out to the early day 1 lead.  Tran was just coming off a great performance in Event #2 where he took 4th place.  Nick Romano and Scott Montgomery trailed closely behind.

Day 2 didn’t see a whole lot of change at the top as Theo Tran once again topped the leaderboard by finishing with 1,884,000 chips while Mihai Manole trailed closely with 1,020,000 chips.

Here is how the final table looked after the break-neck day was over:

Seat 1: Matt Keikoan 1,011,000
Seat 2: Theo Tran 1,884,000
Seat 3: Shannon Shorr 627,000
Seat 4: Carter Gill  652,000
Seat 5: Mihai Manole 1,020,000
Seat 6: Chris Bjorin 205,000
Seat 7: Mike Lisanti 358,000
Seat 8: J.C. Tran 273,000
Seat 9: Alex Bolotin 345,000

With such a huge lead and so much experience in his back pocket, many people were already picking Tran to win the bracelet for Event #7.  However, he definitely had some competition from players like Shannon Shorr and J.C. Tran.

And in the end, it proved to be too much competition as Shorr was able to put Theo out in fourth place after Shannon flopped a set of 7’s which beat Tran’s top pair.  Matt Keikoan took care of Carter Gill and that left Keikoan and Shorr as the last two remaining at the final table.

Keikoan was able to gradually reduce Shorr’s chip stack throughout heads-up play which forced Shannon to try and do something bold to get back into things.

Holding 10-6, Shorr went all-in against Keikoan’s spade-suited K-4 combination.  The flop came up in favor of Keikoan as K-7-7 giving Matt the two pair.  After the turn was shown as a Q, the river was pretty much a mute point as the celebration was on for Keikoan.  He received $550,601 and his first bracelet as a reward.

This turned out to be something of a feel-good story as Keikoan has been a long-time pro who’s struggled at various stages of his career.  He even had to take other casino jobs while playing poker to make ends meet.  Now he’ll have over a half million to make ends meet.

As for the rest of the results, here they are:

Rank/Player/Money
1.Matt Keikoan $550,601 
2.Shannon Shorr $349,141 
3.Carter Gill $228,897 
4.Theo Tran $191,231 
5.Chris Bjorin $155,013 
6.Mihai Manole $123,141 
7.J.C. Tran $94,166 
8.Alex Bolotin $72,436 
9.Mike Lisanti $50,705 
10.Manelic Minaya $33,321 
11.Yan Chen $33,321
12.Thong Tran $33,321 
13.Timothy Taft $26,077 
14.Issam Abbas $26,077 
15.Dustin (Neverwin) Woolf $26,077 
16.Darren Nelson $18,833 
17.Scott Montgomery $18,833 
18.Keith Carter $18,833 
19.Richard Monroe $14,487 
20.Shawn Hattem $14,487 
21.Philip Siegel $14,487 
22.Bon Phan $14,487 
23.Paulson Kai $14,487 
24.Nancy Tyner $14,487 
25.Larry Gurney $14,487