|Sunday, November 8, 2015 marked the return of the elite November Nine to the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suite in Las Vegas to play out the final table of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event. Joe McKeehen lead the counts going into Day 1, and built heavily upon that lead as he now holds more than half of all the chips after directly eliminating three championship hopefuls.
Hailing from Pennsylvania, 24 year old McKeehen was on a hot streak when the final table was set in July. That streak continued during the near 4-month hiatus when Joe finished 1st for $90k at a NLHE event during the Wynn Fall Classic two weeks ago. Last night, he picked up right where he left off.On just the second hand of the WSOP Main Event final table, McKeehen called an all-in from the day’s 8th place chip starter, Patrick Chan. Holding Ks Qc, Patrick went to battle with Joe’s Ad 4h. Neither received any help from the board, sending Chan out in 9th for the first million-dollar prize of the event, $1,001,020.
|WSOP Chip Leader Joe McKeehen – photo courtesy ESPN|
By the 7:30 break, the PA poker pro remained in the lead, increasing his original 63mm stack to 69.575mm. Ofer Zvi Stern, who started the day in 2nd place with 29.8mm held tight to his position, although his stack saw a slight decrease to 27.8mm. Neil Blumenfield also retained his starting 3rd place position, boosting his stack from 22mm to 27.325mm. Likewise, a crowd favorite, Italian Federico Butteroni, was still alive in 9th after losing nearly half of his chips, falling from 6.2mm to just 3.15mm.
McKeehen back on the Warpath after Break
Half an hour into resumed play, Joe McKeehen would take aim at his next victim; the target, Butteroni. Joe raised 1mm on the button, getting an all-in shove from the Italian. McKeehen called, tabling As Ks and putting Federico behind with Ah Jc. Shouts of “Jack! Jack! Jack!” came from his rail, but the cards weren’t so forgiving. Butteroni was eliminated in 8th for $1,097,056.
Just after 10:30pm, on what would become the final hand of the night, Pierre Neuville found himself going face to face with the unstoppable Joe McKeehen. Shipping his last 3mm on Ac Jc, Neuville was all-but set to double up as McKeehen showed Jh 6h. But once again, Lady Luck graced the young American’s shoulder.
The flop delivered Qd 10d 3h, giving but a glimmer of hope to McKeehen. Then the Qh came on the turn, opening the door for Joe to complete the unlikely flush draw. The stage’s oldest competitor in the history of the WSOP November Nine, 72 year old Neuville rose from his seat, fully anticipating the worst. His wife had already turned her back in the audience, unable to watch the hand unfold.
Just as Pierre expected, McKeehen made the flush when the 10h fell on the river. The Belgian poker player’s run came to an end as he exited the table for a 7th place, $1,203,293 finish.
Day 2 of the WSOP Main Event final table will resume at 4:30pm today. The starting chip counts for the remaining 6 contenders are as follows, with Joe McKeehen now holding 57% of the total chips:
2015 WSOP Main Event Final Table Day 1 Results
|Ofer Zvi Stern||32,400,000|
|Pierre Neuville (7th)||$1,203,293|
|Federico Butteroni (8th)||$1,097,056|
|Patrick Chan (9th)||$1,001,020|