Joe McKeehen is the World Series of Poker Main Event champion after defeating Josh Beckley in heads-up action to claim the $7.6m first prize.
Joe McKeehen is poker’s new world champion.The 24-year old from Pennsylvania dominated the event. He started the final table with a 3:1 chip lead; he never let it go. Not once was his stranglehold threatened. Not once did he lose a hand of any significance. Not once did anyone who knows anything about poker believe anyone was going to win except him.
Leading up to the tenth and final day of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, McKeehen had eliminated the first three players: Patrick Chan, Federico Butteroni and Pierre Neuville. On the second day, he put his feet up and let the other players duke it out with Thomas Cannuli and Ofer Zvi Stern eliminated by Josh Beckley and Neil Blumenfield respectively.
McKeehen ended Day 2, in the same way, he started Day 1 – removing people. This time, it was WSOP bracelet winner Max Steinberg who felt the blunt force trauma of the big stack to exit in fourth.
So into the final day we went:
WSOP Main Event Final Table Starting Chip Counts
1st. Joe McKeehen – 128,825,000
2nd. Neil Blumenfield – 40,125,000
3rd. Josh Beckley – 23,700,000
There was no magical fairytale, no help from Poker Gods and no miracle one outers on the river.
It all went to plan.
Joe McKeehen’s plan.
The only interesting aspect of the night was who would be $1m the richer: Josh Beckley or Neil Blumenfield? It turned out it would be Beckley. Blumenfield cold four-bet jamming from the big blind with pocket deuces and McKeehen calling with pocket queens to end the hopes of the second eldest player at the final table.
Heads-up play would last 13 hands. Nine of them went the way of McKeehen, and four went the way of Beckley. The 184th hand of this rather rapid Main Event saw Beckley open shoving for 19.4m holding pocket fours, and McKeehen calling with [Ah] [Td]. The board ran out [Qs] [Tc] [5s] [5d] [Jc] to hand McKeehen a stronger two pairs; $7.6m and the claim to be one of only 40 people to ever win the most prestigious title in poker.
WSOP Main Event Final Table Payouts
1st. Joe McKeehen – $7,680,021
2nd. Josh Beckley – $4,469,171
3rd. Neil Blumenfield – $3,397,103
4th. Max Steinberg – $2,614,558
5th. Ofer Zvi Stern – $1,910,971
6th. Thomas Cannuli – $1,426,072
7th. Pierre Neuville – $1,203,293
8th. Federico Butteroni – $1,097,056
9th. Patrick Chan – $1,001,020