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Former WSOP Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen Claims U.S. Poker Open Title

McKeehen Earns $200,200 And Second Title Of 2021, Moves Into Fifth Place In Player Of Year Race


The hot streak continues for Joe McKeehen, who took down event no. 3 of the U.S. Poker Open on Sunday, earning his second title of the year and $200,200.

The Philadelphia native is making the case that he’s the most accomplished former WSOP champion in the modern era, with more than $10 million in tournament cashes since taking down the 2015 main event for $7,683,346.

His latest victory came over a field of 77 players in the $10,000 no-limit hold’em event, earning him 420 Card Player Player of the Year points and moving him into fifth place in the standings.

McKeehen earned his third career bracelet at the 2020 WSOP Online series, and he returned to live poker this year with a runner-up finish at the $5,000 buy-in WPT Venetian main event for $491,960, and a win at the $10,000 Wynn Spring Classic for $224,100.

In order to secure the title, McKeehen had to overcome a tough final table that included Andrew Lichtenberger (8th), Barry Hutter (7th), Justin Saliba (6th), Jake Schindler (5th), Steve Zolotow (4th), Ali Imsirovic (3rd), and Ray Qartomy (2nd).

On the final hand, both Imsirovic and Qartomy were all in against McKeehen’s pocket jacks, and the board brought the remaining two jacks to give McKeehen quads and the double knockout.

Both Hutter and Zolotow were making their second final table appearance of the series. Hutter took third in event no. 1, while Zolotow finished fifth.

Ali ImsirovicJohan Guilbert had a chance to cash for a third time, having finished in tenth place in both of the first two events, but he busted on the money bubble in 12th place. The Frenchman was looking good to make it three for three until he ran his pocket kings into the pocket aces of Imsirovic to be sent to the rail emptyhanded.

Speaking of Imsirovic, the 26-year-old continues to crush the high roller circuit. He has now final tabled 13 events to go along with five wins in 2021, all with buy-ins of $10,000 or higher.

He now has $2.1 million in cashes this year, bringing his lifetime total to $11.5 million. Imsirovic picked up another 280 POY points, giving him 2,988 and moving him into second place overall behind Qing Liu. He also banked 100 PokerGO Tour points, a race he is dominating at the moment.

Here are the final table results.

Place Player Payout POY Points PokerGO Tour
1 Joe McKeehen $200,200 420 200
2 Ray Qartomy $146,300 350 146
3 Ali Imsirovic $100,100 280 100
4 Steve Zolotow $77,000 210 77
5 Jake Schindler $61,600 175 62
6 Justin Saliba $46,200 140 46
7 Barry Hutter $38,500 105 39
8 Andrew Lichtenberger $30,800 70 31

The U.S. Poker Open is a 12-event series held between June 3-14 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

*Photos courtesy of PokerGO.