Alex Keating secured the largest poker tournament win of his career on the final day of the 2023 World Series of Poker, topping an 813-entry field in the $5,000 no-limit hold’em eight-max event to earn $701,688 and his first gold bracelet.
Keating now has more than $3.5 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name after this marquee victory. Prior to this, his top score had been the $423,890 he earned as the third-place finisher in the 2016 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic main event.
While not officially listed as a turbo on the schedule, this tournament did feature a brisk pace. It took just two days of play inside the Horseshow Las Vegas to narrow the sizable field down to a champion.
The top 122 finishers made the money in this event to take a share of the $3,739,800 prize pool. By the end of day 1, just 60 contenders remained with four-time bracelet winner David Peters in the lead and Keating in eighth chip position to start the day.
Plenty of big names fell during the playdown to the final table, including World Poker Tour champion and bracelet winner Phil Laak (35th), bracelet winner and WPT champion Ryan Tosoc (24th), Peters (20th), bracelet winner and WPT champion Pat Lyons (15th), and high-stakes tournament regular Punnat Punsri (10th).
Keating came into the final nine as the chip leader. He then outlasted bracelet winner Mike Eskandari (9th), 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas main event winner Christian Harder (7th), 14-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Joshua Reichard (6th), and 2019 WSOP Europe main event winner Alexandros Kolonias (5th) on his way to securing the title.
Guoliang Wang finished as the runner-up, earning $433,662 for his efforts. Keating secured 1,824 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his first qualified score of the year, but it alone was sufficient to move him into 129th place in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|4||Marcello Del Grosso||$218,402||912|
Photo credit: WSOP / Hayley Hochstetler.