Philly creates poker Rocky

Nov 17, 2015 3:00 AM

The World Series of Poker continued its recent trend of unheralded pros in their 20’s winning its most prestigious tournament.

Philadelphia’s Joe McKeehen, 24, became poker’s world champion, leading wire to wire at the final table to capture his very first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $7,683,346 in gaming’s richest event.

The chip leader extended his lead during each of the three days of final table play, until he was the only player left with chips.

McKeehen ended play in July by knocking out the noted professional Daniel Negreanu in 11th place, and then proceeded to knock out the 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd place finishers on his way to the championship.

The runner-up was 25-year-old Joshua Beckley. The Marlton, New Jersey resident ended his terrific run after besting 6,418 other hopefuls. Beckley collected well over $4 million.

With the victory, McKeehen, despite his young age, has now won nearly $11 million playing poker for a living.

The event took 10 playing days, spread out over 128 days to produce a champion. When play began in July, players started with 30,000 in chips and the blinds were at 50 and 100. When play completed blinds were at 500,000 and 1,000,000 with antes of 150,000.

Three-handed play began Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. PT and lasted exactly 90 minutes before Neil Blumenfield was eliminated. Blumenfield, 61, from San Francisco, California, was looking to become the event’s oldest winner since Johnny Moss (66) won the title 41 years ago and first amateur champ since Jerry Yang took the crown in 2007.

Rounding out the final table were:

4th place: Max Steinberg, Las Vegas, Nevada, $2,615,361

5th place: Ofer Zvi Stern, Herzliya, Israel, $1,911,423

6th place: Tom Canulli, Cape May, New Jersey, $1,426,283

7th place: Pierre Neuville, Knokke-Heist, Belgium, $1,203,293

8th place: Federico Butteroni, Rome, Italy, $1,097,056;

9th place: Patrick Chan, Brooklyn, New York , $1,001,020

The 2015 WSOP attracted a record 103,512 players from 111 countries to its 68 events, generating a total prize pool of more than $210 million.

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