$10,000 WSOP Main Event

Buckley Out, McKeehen Wins 2015 WSOP Main Event

The 2015 WSOP Main Event champion, Joe McKeehen.

Heads-up didn’t last long. 

Nothing could stop Joe McKeehen at the final table. McKeehen started the heads-up match with a nearly 4-to-1 lead and just kept chipping away at Josh Beckley, one million at a time. 

It took just 12 hands for McKeehen to finish off Buckley and seven of those hands ended without a flop. 

In the last hand of the tournament, Beckley moved all-in for 19.4 million and McKeehen called. It was a $3.2 million coinflip after McKeehen showed A♥T♦ to Beckley’s 4♣ 4♦. 

Everything fell in McKeehen’s favor this tournament though and the flop Q♠ T♣ 5♠ flop was no different.

The turn brought a 5♦ and a few gasps from audience but the J♣ came on the river to give Joe McKeehenthe title of WSOP Main Event champion.

Beckley won $4,470,896 for the runner-up finish while McKeehen won the bracelet and $7,783,346.

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

Joe McKeehen Winner4

The turn scared McKeehen.

Joe McKeehen Winner5

But he emerged victorious.

Neil Blumenfield Eliminated in 3rd Place ($3,398,298)

23:46, 10 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Neil Blumenfield

Neil Blumenfield

Neil Blumenfield was down to his last 12 million when he moved all-in.

Josh Beckley had raised to 2 million from the button and Joe McKeehen re-raised to 5.4 million from the small blind. Blumenfield moved all his chips in and only McKeehen called.

Blumenfield turned over 2♦ 2♥ but McKeehen had his pair beat with Q♥ Q♠. The board ran T♥ 7♥4♣ 4♠ K♠ and Blumenfield’s Main Event run came to an end.

“Now I just want to spend a nice night with the love of my life,” Blumenfield said.

Blumenfield, who works in software, says there are a lot of similarities between software and poker.

“Only really the top 10 percent cash and even then, there’s only like 1 or 2 percent that actually make any real money,” Blumenfield said. 

“There are lots of ups and downs too and you just need to focus and keep moving forward.”

Blumenfield said that when it came poker, he was “as average as they come.”

“I think a lot of people wrote me off because they saw the hand histories and judged my mistakes from July,” Blumenfield said. 

“But Levahot beat those mistakes out of me and even if a 61-year-old guy with no PHD in math can learn this game, then a lot of people can.”

Blumenfield took home $3,398,298 for his finish while Joe McKeehen started the heads-up match with 155 million to Josh Beckley’s 37 million.

Neil Blumenfield Elim4

Neil Blumenfield and his rail hoping for salvation.

Neil Blumenfield Elim5

The deuce never came.


Joe McKeehen and Josh Beckley are heads-up for the title. 

Beckley Bumping Up

22:36, 10 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Josh Beckley

Josh Beckley

Josh Beckley nearly doubled up without a double up.

Beckley started the day with 24 million and is now at about 45 million. A few of those chips came from Neil Blumenfield, but most came from Joe McKeehen.

In one hand, Beckley raised to 2.5 million from the button and Blumenfield re-raised to 6 million. Beckley moved all-in and Blumenfield folded.

A few hands later, Beckley took down the largest pot of the day.

Beckley raised to 2.5 million from the small blind and McKeehen called from the big blind. The flop came T♣ 7♣ 6♦ and Beckley bet 1.9 million.

McKeehen called and a 6♠ came on the turn. Beckley bet out 3.6 million and McKeehen called again.

The 5♠ completed the board and Beckley put out a final bet of 6.2 million. McKeehen thought, called and then mucked when Beckley showed A♦ 6♣ and took down the 29 million chip pot.

The hand put McKeehen back to his start-of-day stack with about 128 million while Blumenfield became the tournament short stack.  

One More Day

20:43, 10 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    


Joe McKeehen has had the chip lead for months, but can he hold on to it for one more day? 

If he can, he’ll become the newest WSOP Main Event champion and win $7.7 million.

With 128 million chips --nearly two-thirds of those in play-- McKeehen is just 65 million chips away from the title.

He’ll have to fight Neil Blumenfield and Josh Beckley for them though.

Blumenfield is currently second in chips with 40 million, but he has the most vocal and visually coordinated rail.

McKeehen fans have no uniform attire and Beckley’s railbirds are wearing matching shirts. The Blumenfield rail also has matching shirts, but they also have matching fedoras.

They’ve also started chanting “fear the fedora.”

Beckley, with 24 million, is the tournament short stack and will be facing 500,000/1,000,000 blinds.

All three players are already guaranteed $3.4 million, but they're fighting for the title of world champion and the $7.7 million payday that comes with it.

Max Steinberg Eliminated in 4th Place ($2,615,361)

00:11, 10 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Max Steinberg

Max Steinberg

A short-stacked Max Steinberg had been pushing his chips around for a while but was getting no callers.

Then, after Joe Mckeehen raised to 2 million from under-the-gun, Steinberg moved all-in for 16.5 million from the big blind. McKeehen called with a dominating A♦ Q♣ to Steinberg’s A♥ J♦.

The 9♦ 7♣ 5♠ flop brought no help for Steinberg and neither did the 8♣ on the turn or the 3♦ on the river.

Steinberg was eliminated in 4th place and McKeehen got his first elimination of the day.

Players will have to wait until tomorrow for more eliminations though.

The tournament stopped with three players and they’ll be returning at 6 p.m. tomorrow to play down to champion.

Steinberg and Rail2

Steinberg and his rail as his final board hits the felt. 

Steinberg fans2

Max Steinberg spent a lot of time interacting with fans after his elimination. 

Zvi Stern Eliminated in 5th Place ($1,911,423)

23:35, 9 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Zvi Stern

Zvi Stern

 After doubling up Josh BeckleyZvi Stern was chipped down a bit further before he nearly moved all-in.

“Stern is all-in,” the announcer said. But then the dealer corrected him.

Stern bet 11.5 million and left himself with just 425,000. Neil Blumenfieldraised from the big blind and Stern called all-in.

Stern turned over A♣ J♥ but was dominated by Blumenfield’s A♠ K♣. The 7♥ 5♠ 3♦ kept Blumenfield in the lead and then a K♦ came on the turn to pair his king.

The river was a Q♦ and Stern was eliminated from the 2015 Main Event.

Stern, who was from Israel, was the last member at the final table not from the United states.  

Stern said poker isn’t as common in Israel but he hopes to see more of the game in his home country. 

He also said that his slow play, which drew criticism, started out as a joke and he thought it was funny to some people. 

Later on in the tournament though, Stern said that he had to consider a lot of possibilities since every decision was incredibly important.

As for our eventual champion, Stern thinks the man who took him down can take the whole thing down.

“There’s one guy there who has the most spirit and really wants it bad,” Stern said. “I think [Neil’s] more dangerous than you  guys think. I’ll be rooting for him.”

The elimination pushed Blumenfield past 31 million and after he won a few more pots, Blumenfield jumped into second with 40 million.

While Blumenfield took a pot off Joe McKeehen, our chip leader has continued to rise and is over 100 million.

Stern Hug2

Stern is now rooting for Blumenfield to take it down. 

Beckley Doubles, Rises to Second

22:09, 9 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Josh Beckley and his rail celebrating.

Josh Beckley and his rail celebrating. 

After Thomas Cannuli’s elimination, Josh Beckley was the tournament short stack with just about 10 million.

Now Beckley is sitting in second place with 42 million.

After taking down a few small pots, Beckley doubled up through Zvi Stern. Action folded to Stern on the small blind and the Israeli player moved all-in.

Beckley quickly called and turned over A♠ A♥ to Stern’s 9♠ 9♣.

Aces didn’t fare so well for Cannuli, but they did the job for Beckley.

The board was a lowly 7♦ 2♣ 5♦ 3♠ 2♦ and Beckley doubled up to 30 million.

After that, Beckley took a big pot off of Max Steinberg to take over second place. In that hand, Beckley raised to 1.9 million from the small blind and Steinberg called from the big.

The flop came Q♦ 6♠ J♦ and Beckley bet 2.1 million. Steinberg called and a T♠ came on the turn. 

Beckley upped the bet to 3.8 million and Steinberg called again. A J♥completed the board and Beckley bet 10.1 million.

Steinberg thought for some time but decided to fold.

The hand put Beckley up to 41 million while Steinberg dropped to 23 million.

While Beckley’s new stack was good for second place, it was still about half of Joe McKeehen’s tack.

Beckley’s been on the rise, but no one’s been able to touch McKeehen yet.

Thomas Cannuli Eliminated in 6th Place ($1,426,283)

21:09, 9 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Thomas Cannuli

Thomas Cannuli

Just like yesterday, a player was eliminated on the second hand of the day.

But for the first time this November Nine, Joe McKeehen wasn’t responsible for the elimination. 

In the second hand of play, Thomas Cannuli raised to 1.4 million from under-the-gun and Max Steinberg moved all-in for about 20 million from the big blind.

Cannuli only had 10 million and called all-in. While Cannuli had the shorter stack, he had the stronger hand.

Steinberg tabled T♥ T♦ while Cannuli turned over A♣ A♥. Cannuli went in between his two rails and held on to them for emotional and pokeral support.

The audience gasped and Cannuli shut his eyes after the flop came J♣ 6♣T♠ to give Steinberg a set of tens.

The turn brought a Q♦ to give Cannuli an inside-straight draw but an 8♠on the river ended his tournament.

Steinberg chipped up to about 31 million while Cannuli became our 6th place finisher.

“You can get unlucky,” Cannuli said. “Don’t be a baby about it. 

"It’s over and done with, the hand, you can’t take it back. I’ll move forward.

“It’s back to the grind for me." 

Cannuli also said he’s confident he’ll be back at the final table and his crowd cheered. Then some of them got yelled at for smoking and they left.

Cannuli Elim7

Cannuli, hoping to dodge a 10.

Cannuli Elim8

That painful feeling when your aces get cracked at the WSOP ME final table.

Cannuli Elim2 1 1 1

"Don't be a baby about it."

Shuffle Up and Deal

20:21, 9 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Duncan Bastin and Yvonne Betts

Duncan Bastin and Yvonne Betts

Cards are in the air.

While the 2014 WSOP World Champion announced yesterday’s shuffle up and deal, a charitable couple announced today’s.

Daniel Negreanu has been very active when it comes to donating and fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Las Vegas. 

The hospital is a leading cancer research facility and also researches other life-threatening diseases that affect children.

One of the fundraising prizes was the chance to come and announce the shuffle up and deal today. Duncan Bastin and Yvonne Betts won that prize and took the microphone before cards hit the air.

“Here’s one thing women don’t say often,” one of the announcers said. “Let’s hurry it up a bit guys.”

The joke fell painfully flat on the crowd. Perhaps they want their guy to stay in for as long as possible. There’s $7.7million for whoever lasts longest.

“Shuffle up and deal,” Bastin and Betts said.

After a few minutes of delay for the TV cameras, play started.

Models ESPN2

Day 9 Ready to Go

19:31, 9 November 2015, published 4 years agoShare:    

Day 9 is about to begin.

Day 9 is about to begin.

We’re back for another day of play at the 2015 World Series of Poker.

Only six players remain and Joe McKeehen is still in the lead with nearly half the chips in play. McKeehen made the final table with the largest lead in November Nine history and his lead was never in peril yesterday.

McKeehen dealt all three eliminations yesterday and now the final six are guaranteed $1,426,283. The next elimination will guarantee players nearly another $500,000. After that, we’ll need another few eliminations to end the day. Play is scheduled to last until we have three players and then they’ll return tomorrow at 6 p.m. to play to a winner. 

The rest of the players are battling to stay afloat. Zvi Stern is second in chips but has nearly a third of McKeehen’s stack. That stack is still worth about 54 big blinds. Neil Blumenfield is two big blinds behind Stern while Joshua Beckley and Thomas Cannuli are the short stacks with about 18 big blinds each.

Play will resume on level 37 with 300,000/600,000 blinds and a 75,000 ante.

Spectators are starting to flood into the Penn and Teller Theater, ESPN cameras are getting shots of cheering players and a small squad of models in fluffy bichromatic headdresses and sparkly bikinis are taking pictures with fans.

These are all signs that the November Nine is about to start.

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