Joe McKeehen Wins 2015 WSOP $10,000 Main Event

Poker has its newest World Champion. Joe McKeehen, a 24-year-old poker pro from North Wales, Pennsylvania, topped the massive field of the 2015 WSOP $10,000 Main Event to collect the most prestigious non-monetary prize in poker – the gold and diamond bracelet – and the amount of $7,683,346 in prize money.

It took a total of ten days of play before the name of the champion was determined – seven back in July and three in November. This year, the Main Event attracted as many as 6,420 entries and a prize pool of $60,355,857 was generated. The top 1,000 players received a share of the money, payouts starting from $15,000. Each of the nine finalists at the final table was secured with a payout of no less than $1,001,020.

And as mentioned above, McKeehen added nearly $7.7 million to his bankroll and collected his first WSOP gold piece. Here it is important to note that the Main Event Champion bracelet is slightly different than the ones awarded to the winners of the regular WSOP events. It is a gold and diamond one and this year, the unique piece was designed by Jostens.

It took three days of play and a total of 183 hands for the final table to be played down to a winner. In fact, this year’s official nine-handed final table was the shortest one since the November Nine concept was first introduced in 2008.

Action started on Sunday with McKeehen holding a total of 63,100,000 chips – more than any other of his opponents. Actually, the player was in possession of almost a third of all chips in play at the beginning of the final table. Over the past three days, the young poker pro did not lose his lead even for a second and managed to extend it even more. By the end of Day 1 of the final table, he had about a half of all chips in play.

And by the end of Day 2, when there were only three players left to determine the big champion, McKeehen had a total of 128,825,000. In comparison, his last opponents – Neil Blumenfield and Josh Beckley, had 40,125,000 and 23,700,000, respectively.

Day 3 of this year’s Main Event final table kicked off at 6 pm local time on Tuesday. And it took a little more than two hours for the name of the champion to be announced. The first elimination came after about an hour and a half after cards were in the air.

Blumenfield, who was the only amateur player among the three survivors, was busted in 3rd place by the soon-to-be-champion to collect the amount of $3,398,298. Although a bit disappointed that he has missed his chance to be crowned the WSOP Main Event Champion, Blumenfield told interviewers that “to make it to this far is a great feeling of accomplishment.”

The final hand for the evening, the tournament, and for this year’s edition of the WSOP as a whole, was dealt at about 8 pm local time. Beckley open shoved for his last 19,400,000 in chips and McKeehen called almost instantly. Beckley tabled [4c][4d] against his opponent’s [Ah][10d]. The board ran out [Qs][10c][5s][5d][Jc] and the name of the World Champion was clear.

Beckley collected $4,470,896 for his runner-up finish in the world’s most prestigious poker event. Commenting on his accomplishment, the 25-year-old professional poker players said that he is a good friend of McKeehen’s and is happy for his win. He also noted that he is content with the chance to play in the tournament and that he would have not played “anything differently.”

Minutes after his triumph, McKeehen told interviewers that final table play was very smooth and that he did not have to make a lot of tough decisions. The player seemed genuinely happy about being crowned this year’s World Champion, an accomplishment he described as the greatest “anyone can have in this game.”

And here are all November Niners and their respective payouts:

Joe McKeehen – $7,683,346
Josh Beckley – $4,470,896
Neil Blumenfield – $3,398,298
Max Steinberg – $2,615,361
Ofer Zvi Stern – $1,911,423
Tom Cannuli – $1,426,283
Pierre Neuville – $1,203,293
Federico Butteroni – $1,097,056
Patrick Chan – $1,001,020

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