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Dutch pro wins first WSOP bracelet

11 Jul 2018

Ronald Keijzer

Ronald Keijzer (photo by WSOP)

Name: Ronald Keijzer
Nationality: Dutch
Birthplace: Rotterdam
Current Residence: Amsterdam
Age: 26
Profession: Professional poker player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 3
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 31st in 2018 $365 PLO Giant
Total WSOP Earnings: $484,401

Ronald Keijzer left his home in Amsterdam and came to the 2018 World Series of Poker because of the plethora of pot-limit Omaha tournaments. He likes them even more when he wins them, which he did in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The 26-year-old Dutch poker pro defeated 901 entries to take home his first bracelet and $475,033 in the $3,000 pot-limit Omaha six-max event. It was both his second cash of the summer and his second career WSOP cash on North American soil. His first cash came at the 2017 WSOP Europe.

“I’m very happy,” said Keijzer. “I love PLO tournaments and I came to Vegas specifically for the PLO tournaments and this was the last one, so yeah, I’m very happy.”

Coming into the final day, he was easily one of the least experienced tournament players in the field. He doesn’t lack experience on the felt itself. Keijzer spends a lot of time on the felt playing cash games in Europe.

“I just play poker all the time,” said Keijzer. “Cash games mostly.”

Having played mostly cash games, the shorter-stacked tournament settings could produce some spots that Keijzer wasn’t familiar with. Luckily, Keijzer didn’t have to deal with short-stack scenarios very often.

With two tables remaining, he scored a series of knockouts to converge the final seven players to the unofficial final table with him and Romain Lewis at the top of the chip counts.

“I busted 10th, ninth and eighth place in like 15 minutes or something,” said Keijzer. “So, I joined the table and I think I had 1.8 million and then 20 minutes later I had about four million and at the final table with seven players. I started with a pretty big stack and kept playing a lot of hands. It went well.”

Sitting on a big stack with large pay jumps looming over everybody’s head, it was the perfect storm for the cash game pro. Many of his bets were for the size of the pot, and he applied constant pressure throughout the final table.

“I wasn’t really planning on it,” said the Rotterdam native when asked if that sizing was a game plan coming in. “I didn’t have any plans. I was just seeing how the table reacted to it. I felt like they were just a little too passive. Too tight. Folding a little too much, so I decided to push it a little bit and see how far I could go.

“I think my position on the table was just very good with my stack and the other stacks and the ICM pressure. So, I felt like I could just do a lot and I tried it. It worked.”

When cards got in the air at 2 p.m. on Tuesday for the final day of play, there were still four tables remaining. The final 24 was trimmed down to just seven players just before 9 p.m. and the final seven players went on dinner break.

When they returned, Tommy Le was busted in seventh place just before the end of the level and the final six were credited with making the final table. They went almost a full level before Ryan Lenaghan busted in sixth.

Lenaghan potted it from the hijack and Scott Bohlman defended his big blind. On the flop, Bohlman and Lenaghan got the rest of the chips into the middle. Bohlman flopped bottom set and was a heavy favorite against Lenaghan’s hand.

Lenaghan needed a queen or runners to stay alive but bricked off to hit the rail in sixth for $69,369.

Over the course of the next level, Bohlman continued to chip up and James Chen gradually became one of the shorter stacks. With about 10 minutes left before they took what ended up being their final break of the night, Chen fell to Keijzer.

The two got all in preflop with Keijzer’s hand against Chen’s. Chen got it in good with pocket kings, but the eventual champion flopped a diamond flush. Chen was drawing to runners that never came and he was gone in fifth.

They returned from the break with Mohammad Abediarani as the short stack. Lewis stole the chip lead away from Keijzer on one of the first key hands of the level and then Abediarani busted to Keijzer.

Abediarani was all in on a king-high flop with middle pair and an open-ended straight draw against Keijzer’s top pair, top kicker and a gutshot straight draw.

The turn and river were both sixes, improving neither player. Keijzer won the pot with top pair and Abediarani was out in fourth.

That left the table three-handed between Keijzer, Lewis and Scott Bohlman. Bohlman, who already has a bracelet this summer, was at his fourth final table of the summer in what was his 11th cash.

Bohlman was the short stack at the start of three-handed play, but not by a ton, and after a couple hands went his way, the Illinois native took over the chip lead.

The final three players battled for over an hour with each player taking a turn at the top and the bottom of the counts. Eventually, Bohlman would busted in third.

Bohlman was all in preflop with Ad-Ah-Tc-3s against Lewis’ Ac-Qc-Js-Jd. The board came Kc-6c-3d-3c-9h, which gave the loud and boisterous rail a sweat on every turn of the card. Lewis flopped a flush draw, turned a flush, but gave Bohlman trips. Lewis faded a river card that would fill up Bohlman, which gave him the pot and Bohlman a third-place finish.

Lewis started heads-up play against Keijzer as the short stack with 64 big blinds. Most of the time, these stack depths would make for a long heads-up battle. These two European pros, however, got the money in fast.

Keijzer won the first key pot of heads-up play with two pair, to open up a 2-to-1 chip advantage before Lewis ran a three-barrel bluff that ended in a river shove. Keijzer check-called all three streets, having turned the nuts and won the pot with Broadway.

The 22-year-old French pro took home $293,553 for his second runner-up finish of the summer.

Final table results
1st: Ronald Keijzer - $475,033
2nd: Romain Lewis - $293,553
3rd: Scott Bohlman - $199,572
4th: Mohammad Abediarani - $137,954
5th: James Chen - $96,987
6th: Ryan Lenaghan - $69,369

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)
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