The final day of the 2015 WSOP Main Event final table, aka the November Nine, concluded on Tuesday night at the Rio in Las Vegas, NV. Joe McKeehen came in with 66% of the chip in play and all the momentum.
Attempting to stand in his way were Neil Blumenfield and Josh Beckley, both hoping to make the improbably comeback and become poker’s newest world champion. In the end, it was all McKeehen as he went wire to wire to win the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Blumenfield Lost His Mojo – Out Third
Neil Blumenfield came into this final table as an amateur and few gave him any real hope of making the final three. I felt that he had nothing to lose and would play the game of his life at the final table and that is what happened over the course of two days.
However, Day 3 presented Blumenfield a totally different challenge against two pros that had adequately adjusted to his style. Couple that with an inability to pick up any hands and he was ground down to a shove or fold stack. He managed to pick up pocket ducks, but ran right into pocket queens.
Josh opens w/ A7, Joe 3-bets, Neil shoves w 2s2h, Josh folds, Joe calls w QsQh. Board Th7h4c4sKs. Neil Blumenfield wins $3,398,298 in 3rd— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) November 11, 2015
Blumenfield’s run ended in third place, good for $3.39 million. His run at the final table proved that you don’t have to be a 20-something to make a deep run in the Main Event and keeps the hope alive for amateurs that still believe that “Anyone Can Win” at the World Series of Poker.
"We've gotta get online poker going in the U.S. again." Neil Blumenfield knows. Get with the program, politicians.— All In Magazine (@allinmag) November 11, 2015
It’s Better to Be Good and Have the Deck Smack You in the Face
There’s no argument that Joe McKeehen has played well during this November Nine final table and he continued to do so on Tuesday. Things couldn’t get better for the chip leader right? Wrong. The deck started smacking McKeehen in the face at the right times and allowed him to play with absolutely no fear.
When he didn’t have a premium hand, his rags would connect with the flop. Throw in a couple of impressive soul reads against Blumenfield and Beckley and there was simply no way anyone could beat him.
Josh Beckley had an impressive run, going from short stack at the start of Day 2 to finishing in second. In the end, nobody was beating McKeehen on Tuesday and this was his year to win the title.
24-year-old Joe McKeehen wins World Series of Poker Main Event, $7.6 million, in an Iverson jersey pic.twitter.com/9n9LyOmU0l— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 11, 2015
Will McKeehen Become an Ambassador? Does it Matter?
As in past years, the discussion reignited after McKeehen’s win on whether he would be an ambassador for the game following his win. McKeehen was noncommittal about that role and some feel he will reject it. The question is, do we really need him?
Look at some of the other players at the final table that will make perfect ambassadors. You have Tom Cannuli, Max Steinberg, Pierre Neuville, Neil Blumenfield and even Federico Butteroni. They are all players with wonderful personalities that fans can get behind and representative that the industry could back as an ambassador.
Why not use the players that want to grow the game and let the others do what they will. I would love to see Cannuli or Steinberg become the next big ambassador for the game. They have the potential to reach a new generation of players and would be excellent company spokesmen.