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Best of Dan Podheiser

Gaming Guru

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Keven Stammen wins WPT World Championship

27 April 2014

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Keven Stammen only briefly relinquished his day-long chip lead en route to winning the World Poker Tour (WPT) Season XII World Championship at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa on Saturday night.

Stammen bested a field of 328 players in the $15,400 buy-in, six-day event to take home the title and the $1.35 million first-place prize.

"I feel like a million bucks!" Stammen exclaimed on the WPT stage following the win.

The Celina, Ohio native entered heads-up play with a nearly 2-to-1 chip lead against runner-up Byron Kaverman, who won $727,860 for second place.

Stammen and Kaverman battled heads-up for roughly 90 minutes before the final hand saw Kaverman shoving all-in from the button with 4s4d and Stammen calling with Ac8s. The flop and turn brought no help to Stammen but the Ah on the river was the dagger that ended the tournament.

And while the heads-up match was fairly uneventful throughout, the biggest moment of the night came just four hands into two-handed play. With the blinds at 75k/150k/25k, Kaverman opened with a min-raise on the button to 300k and Stammen called. The flop came Qc9h7h and Stammen led for 550k. Kaverman continued his aggression and raised the action to 1.15 million and Stammen quickly called.

The turn brought the Ah, putting a third heart on board. With 2.95 million in the pot, Stammen announced “all in” for Kaverman's remaining 2.6 million chips. Kaverman, who kept a stoic look through most of the tournament, immediately appeared confused and sat back in his chair. Kaverman went into the tank for nearly 10 minutes, played with his chips and tried to talk himself into a call, but ended up folding, leaving himself with a 7-to-1 chip disadvantage.

It was later shown on the broadcast (streaming on a 15-minute delay) that Kaverman folded Jh8s, while Stammen held Th8c. Had Kaverman called, he would have had Stammen dead to six outs.

"I felt like he had a hand like he did end up having, maybe a 10-8 or 6-8, but I didn't expect him to jam those hands," Kaverman said.

Stammen dominated the final table from start to finish, knocking out both Kaverman and third-place finisher Tony Dunst. With three players remaining and the blinds at 60k/120k/20k, Dunst shoved his 1.47 million chips from the button with Ac2h and Stammen called from the big blind with Kh6h. The Kc5h3d flop gave Stammen the lead, and the Kd turn and 7c river sent Dunst packing with $452,729 for third place.

Ryan D'Angelo, who entered the final table as the short stack, battled his way to a fourth-place finish. Shortly before Dunst was eliminated in third, Dunst shoved from the small blind for 715,000 with AsJc and D'Angelo snap-called with QsTd. Dunst spiked an Ace on the flop and held to double through and cripple D'Angelo to 890,000 chips.

On the following hand, D'Angelo shoved from the small blind with 9s5c and Kaverman called with Qs2c after tanking for a couple of minutes. The flop came As7h6c, giving D'Angelo an additional four outs to an inside straight, but Kaverman faded the turn and river and held on to eliminate D'Angelo in fourth place. D'Angelo took home $363,930.

Kaverman also knocked out fifth-place finisher Curt Kohlberg when he bested Kohlberg in a series of two hands. With the blinds at 50k/100k/15k, Kohlberg open-shoved for 1.895 million from the small blind with Ad8c and Kaverman quickly called for slightly less from the big blind with AhJs. Kaverman held and Kohlberg was down to just 230,000 chips.

Two hands later, Kohlberg moved in from the cutoff for 215,000 and Kaverman isolated from the button. The cards were turned up and Kohlberg had KdJd to Kaverman's 6h6d. Kohlberg spiked a Jack on the flop, but the river brought the 6 of spades and a dejected Kohlberg walked away with $286,292 for fifth place.

Stammen is currently in the lead in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race. His biggest live tournament score prior to this was a first place in the 2009 World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in no-limit Hold'em event for $506,786. He now has more than $3.4 million in live tournament earnings.
Dan Podheiser

Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.
Dan Podheiser
Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.