Published Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 | 6 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 | 9:11 p.m.
The World Series of Poker main event final table concluded the same way it played out over the last three days — with Joe McKeehen wiping out the competition.
The 24-year-old from North Wales, Penn., came in with the largest chip lead under the current format and never faltered. A lethal combination of skillful maneuvering and good fortune led McKeehen to the $7,683,346 first-place prize and world championship gold bracelet.
He managed to win in record time, needing only 184 hands before the fateful final showdown. McKeehen forced a short-stacked Josh Beckley into a decision for all of his chips.
It was a near 50/50 proposition, with Beckley ahead with pocket 4s against McKeehen’s Ace-10 off-suit. Given the way McKeehen had continually caught cards, it was no surprise to see him pair his 10 on the flop’s first exposed card.
As his lead held up, he raised his hands high in the air and congratulated Beckley for a second-place finish worth $4,470,896.
Neil Blumenfield came in third for $3,398,298.
Check back to lasvegassun.com later for full coverage, and look below for live coverage from the final night.
Joe McKeehen or Josh Beckley would fit with the poker-champion prototype as 20-somethings who passed on a traditional career to try out their luck and analytical skills at the table. Neil Blumenfield would break from the recent mold, as a 61-year-old who plays cards only as a hobby.
One of the three will prevail at the final table of the World Series of Poker tonight at the Penn & Teller Theater inside the Rio to win $7,683,346 and the world championship bracelet.
Since the WSOP went to the November Nine format seven years ago, the average age of the champion is 23-years-old with no one older than 27 ever winning. The last six were also all professionals.
McKeehen, a 24-year-old from North Wales, Penn., and Beckley, a 25-year-old from Marlton, N.J., are eerily similar. But not Blumenfield, a San Francisco native who recently retired after selling his software company.
The odds are strongly in McKeehen’s favor. After already coming into the final table with the largest chip stack of the November Nine era, he’s since doubled it.
McKeehen has 128.8 million chips to tonight’s action in contrast to the relatively small stacks of 40.1 million and 23.7 million in front of Blumenfield and Beckley, respectively.
As players constantly remind each other, though, anything can happen in poker. The exciting race to immortality begins momentarily live at the Rio, with ESPN following a slight delay at 6:30 p.m.
Please note this blog will go along live with the action, and not the ESPN coverage. Check for updates below.