The 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event is down to under 50 players from the 6,865 that began the trek several long days ago. In the bunch that's still vying for the $8,711,956 top prize are two Team PokerStars Pros and one PokerStars qualifier. They are JP Kelly, Tony Hachem and Philipp Gruissem.
Scanning through the WSOP archives, we find that Kelly is the only one of these three holding a gold bracelet. In fact, he has two of them. Kelly's two bracelet wins came in 2009, but they came on two entirely different continents. First, Kelly won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event in Las Vegas for nearly $200,000. A few months later, he won the £1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event at the WSOP Europe for over £135,000 ($225,535). In the WSOP Europe title he won, Kelly nearly defended it the following year, but came out runner-up. He's also had a couple other WSOP final tables, but never in the Main Event. IN fact, he's never even broke the top 100.
Kelly's best finish in the WSOP Main Event came last year. It's also his only WSOP Main Event cash prior to this run. Out of the 7,319 entrants, Kelly finished in 111th place and earned $57,102. He's already surged past that finish and earned himself nearly triple the money this year. One thing is for sure, if Kelly can make it to the November Nine this year, we could be witnessing one of the most epic rails ever given the noise the British crowds have been providing in support of their players.
Kelly's Career WSOP Results
- 2007 $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em: 32nd - $12,348
- 2007 $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em: 16th - $16,891
- 2008 $2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha: 9th - $22,598
- 2009 $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em: 1st - $194,434
- 2009 $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha: 34th - $6,056
- 2009 £1,000 No-Limit Hold'em: 1st - £136,803 ($225,535)*
- 2010 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em - Six Handed: 40th - $7,610
- 2010 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em: 208th - $3,089
- 2010 $10,000 World Championship No-Limit Hold'em: 111th - $57,102
- 2010 £1,000 No-Limit Hold'em: £82,854 ($127,818)*
- 2011 $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em - Shootout: 18th - $13,368
* - Denotes WSOP Europe result
Right now, Kelly sits with about 9.25 million in chips. That's a little over double the average at the current moment, which is a very good thing for Kelly. He's looking to be the first-ever Team PokerStars Pro (with their deal already in place) to final table the WSOP Main Event and make history in that regard.
In order to keep up with Kelly's progress for the rest of the 2011 WSOP Main Event, be sure to keep your browser glued right here to PokerNews. You can also follow along with the PokerStars Blog for some more detailed coverage on PokerStars Team Pros.