November 2015: The World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2015 Main Event ended in celebration, cheers and unparalleled joy for Joe McKeehen, who was crowned as the winner of the series. At just 24 years of age, this North Wales, Pennsylvania resident awed everyone with his consistently winning performance throughout the event.
McKeehen hit the jackpot with a staggering $7.68 million, apart from the gold and diamond winner’s bracelet, which is many a poker player’s dream to win. This relatively new player’s win came as a very pleasant surprise indeed, given at the uproar that followed the last hand. The Main Event began in July 2015, and McKeehen earned a spot among the final nine players, also known as the ‘November Nine’, surpassing the 6000+ players that participated. These nine players come back after a break to play at the final WSOP table that decides the winner of the event.
Right from the start, McKeehen had a 3 to 1 margin lead over his closest competitors, making him the player to watch out for, and he carried this margin through to the final table. He managed to knock out Neil Blumenfield (3rd position) and Josh Beckley (2nd position) to emerge victorious. Blumenfield was one of the crowd favourites owing to the fact that at 61, he was the oldest player at the final table. He won over $3.39 million for finishing third.
During the final heads up with Beckley, McKeehen played a strong game, forcing Beckley to make some difficult decisions. During the final hand, Beckley raised with pocket fours against McKeehen’s Ad,10d. A 10 on the flop turned the tables in McKeehen’s favour, making him the WSOP 2015 winner and putting Beckley in second place with $4.47 million as the prize.
From working on an ice cream truck loading ice to winning the World Series of Poker in 2015, Joe McKeehen sure has come a long way. What magic humble, soft-spoken guy creates in the future with regards to poker remains to be seen.