Over the past three days, Joe McKeehen has been the man to beat. When he entered the final table, he already had a double chip lead on the nearest competitor. By the time day three rolled around, he had accumulated 3.21 times more than the second place player. With such a huge chip lead, McKeehen was able to play a strong game without ever reaching any crucial decision-making point. This left the final two contestants Josh Beckley, and Neil Blumenfield, to battle it out for second place. According to McKeehen, the last time that he had had to worry was way back in July during day six. Ever since then smooth play and good luck have been on McKeehen’s side.
All told, the final table lasted for 184 hands of play before finally a champion emerged. It was one of the cleanest wins in the WSOP history. Now for a breakdown of the final day of play:
The first big hand happened when Blumenfield decided to bluff against McKeehen. At this point, McKeehen was in a tough spot and had to make a decision. Confident in his chip lead, Joe made the call and came up with top pair. This play quickly knocked Blumenfield down to third position.
Over the next few hands, Blumenfield was unable to make a large enough comeback to get back in the competition. He eventually ran out of chips, once his pocket twos were defeated by a pair of queens from McKeehen.
Now it was down to a duel between Beckley and McKeehen. At this point, McKeehen had $155.65 million to Beckley’s 37 million chips. McKeehen managed to win the first three hands followed by a few rounds of uneventful play. During the 13th hand of the duel, the final moment approached.
With only $19.4 million left, Beckley decided to move all in and McKeehen happily took the call. During this hand Beckley had pocket four and McKeehen had an Ace-Ten. The flop was a queen and ten five, which put McKeehen well ahead. Then with a five on the turn and a jack on the river it was all over for Beckley. In this one instant, McKeehen made poker history and claimed the title as winner of the WSOP main event for 2015.
During an interview with Pokernews, McKeehen mentioned that he used to joke with friends about how he would one day use his math degree to play poker. Now with $7.7 million in his pocket and a gold belt in his hands nobody will ever laugh at this claim again.