Matt Keikoan Crushes Event 7

Matt Keikoan
Matthew Keikoan wins Event 7 at the 2008 WSOP

Matt Keikoan was due. The tournament specialist has been a regular on the poker circuit for years now and despite some big cashes in the WSOP and the WPT, had never made a major final table.

Keikoan didn't waste the opportunity awaiting him at his first big final table. Keikoan bided his time and watched chip leader Theo Tran finally hit the rail. Around this time Keikoan shifted his game into overdrive and his constant aggression won him numerous pots.

In heads-up Keikoan was raising almost every hand and finally got the best of Shannon Shorr, who is no slouch at poker either. spoke to Keikoan shortly after the tournament ended.

First of all Matt, for readers who might not know you that well, where are you from and how long have you been playing poker?

I'm from San Rafael, California, and I've been playing for about 17 years.

We couldn't help but notice Gavin Smith and Erick Lindgren cheering you on from the rail. How do you know them?

They're friends of mine. We were all part of a group that played cards. Erick puts me in tournaments.

I guess you have bragging rights now?

Well Erick and Bill [Edler] have bracelets so they have that. [laughs] It's especially sweet that Gavin [Smith] doesn't, however, because he's ribbed me for years about being stuck in tournaments.

Shannon Shorr
Only one player stood between Matt Keikoan and his first bracelet.

What was your strategy heading into the final table?

Well I had the big stack to my left so I figured I had to play somewhat conservatively to start. I didn't want him giving me any problems so I went along with that game plan and then picked it up as things went on. I didn't have a big plan; it was just a general one and I adjusted from there.

Theo Tran entered the final table with a huge stack. Were you particularly worried about him?

It's always trouble when you have the bigger stack on your left because he has position on you. I also knew that it was a chance to get chips though. It really goes both ways. I wanted to stay out of his way if I could.

Could you walk us through your heads-up battle with Shannon Shorr?

Wow, I'm still trying to figure out what happened. It went kind of smoothly for me actually. I just kind of built up. I did catch some cards - I've been catching cards this entire tournament - so I got lucky in that respect. I guess that's how you win tournaments.

Are you a tournament specialist?

I've been playing tournaments for about four years now and the closest I've ever gotten to winning is a ninth place in a World Poker Tour Event. I play a lot of tournaments so it has been a long four years.

Are you going to play quite a few more events?

Probably not. I have a daughter back home so I'll be heading back to see her and I'll be coming back for the Main Event. I might play a couple more events but we'll see.

Thanks for your time, Matt.

Thank you.


Matt Keikoan ended four years of near misses on the poker circuit on Friday night. With guys like Erick Lindgren and Gavin Smith cheering him on you had to figure they knew what was up. They did indeed. Keikoan played nearly perfect poker in the later portion of the tournament and grabbed a much-deserved bracelet. Congrats to Keikoan for finishing first, and a big shout-out to Shannon Shorr for coming in second.

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