Posts Tagged ‘Joe McKeehen’

Joe McKeehen wins 2015 WSOP – Let the Poker Ambassador Talk begin

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

joe-mckeehen-wsopAs you may already know, Joe McKeehen triumphed over the 2015 November Nine in dominating fashion. The Pennsylvania poker pro easily dispatched his opponents at the Main Event final table through a combination of skill and great cards. Now that McKeehen has joined the other 40 Main Event champions and collected a $7.68 million prize, it’s time for the poker ambassador discussion to begin.

To be honest, nobody is really throwing out the term “poker ambassador” any more because it’s so early-2014. But no matter how you label it, players have already begun scrutinizing every little aspect of McKeehen, from his neck beard to the goofy facial expressions that he made towards the cameras.

What’s more is that he’s followed in the tradition of other recent Main Event champs in wearing sports jerseys to the table. You can read more on this in a TwoPlusTwo thread that’s spawned on the subject, but the general consensus is that McKeehen by himself isn’t convincing recreational players to flock towards the game.

But on the other hand, the whole ‘average guy’ appearance (no well in hell I’m making the ‘average Joe’ joke) can be appealing to the typical viewer. And from a broader perspective, we should consider that McKeehen himself admitted that the unshaven/jersey-monger appearance is just part of the image he wants to portray. Here’s a look at that post:

“I wanted to give off the image that it was my table to all of the other players and that they would have to fight me tooth and nail for any little thing they could get. A lot of my table talk was to do either the same exact thing, or to make me look stupider than I actually am. Anyone that’s played with me deep in a tournament has likely experienced this one way or another. I also made a lot of faces for the crowd in between hands. They laughed more often than they didn’t. I was enjoying myself. I (clearly) didn’t care how I came off on television because I was there to win a poker tournament, not make a bunch of people all over the world think I had my life in order. Hard to argue with the results in this case. Even if, I dressed up a little. I bought sports jerseys! I followed the tradition of Merson and Riess as winners. Pro tip: wear a jersey if you make it to the november 9 and your equity gets an automatic boost.”

So there you have it: a quirky guy who purposely looked like a slob to throw his opponents off. Maybe this isn’t the dashing Phil-Ivey type who’s going to draw more people to the felt. But at least he’s got some personality and is unlikely to run from the game along with his big score.

Who will win 2015 WSOP Main Event?

Monday, July 20th, 2015

max-steinberg-2015-main-eventThe 2015 WSOP Main Event final table has been set for over a week now, which means there’s been plenty of time to look at the November Nine. Joe McKeehen’s name steps to the forefront since he has a massive lead with 62,100,000 chips, versus second-place Zvi Stern’s stack of 29,800,000 chips. Obviously McKeehen has a great chance to win the 2015 WSOP Main Event. But can anybody else compete with this poker pro’s big chip stack and steal the spotlight? Let’s take a look at three other players who, based on their chips stack and experience, have a good chance to win.

1. Pierre Neuville: 21,075,000 chips, fourth-biggest stack

Nicknamed the “Serial Qualifier” for having won online prize packages to 23 straight European Poker Tour events, Neuville has definitely played a lot of poker over the past several years. And the 72-year-old has really cashed in on these opportunities, accumulating almost $2.2 million prior to the Main Event. A former head executive at the Hasbro toy company, Neuville basically dedicated the remainder of his life to poker after a health scare. And this has really allowed him to build the necessary skills to be a major threat among the 2015 November Nine.

2. Max Steinberg: 20,200,000 chips, fifth-largest stack

After turning pro in the mid-2000s, Max Steinberg did quite well on the live poker circuit, accumulating over $1.9 million and winning a gold bracelet at the 2012 WSOP. It is the latter aspect that sets Steinberg apart from the other final table players, given that he’s the only one to experience winning a WSOP event. The only drawback to the San Francisco native is that, two months ago, he basically quit poker to play daily fantasy sports full-time. He’ll now be spending the next three and a half months gaining back any edge he lost during this time.

3. Zvi Stern: 29,800,000, second-largest stack

zvi-stern-main-eventNot much is known about Stern and he declined to answer when asked about his profession back in Israel. Furthermore, he had less than $50k in live tournament winnings coming into the Main Event. However, this (assumed) amateur player does have the second-biggest chip stack, which has to count for something. And he does play a fair amount of poker, given that he’s cashed in several live tournaments.

Joe McKeehen: Risk Champ looks to become 2015 WSOP ME Champ

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

joe-mckeehen-main-eventJoe McKeehen isn’t the type of poker player who’s going to bring attention himself through wild antics or excessive table banter. In fact, he prefers to keep a low profile and just play the game. But given that McKeehen is now the chip leader of the 2015 November Nine, he’s going to be getting a lot of attention in the coming weeks.

The Pennsylvania native first made his mark at the WSOP last year after taking second in the 2014 Monster Stack event ($820,863). But given that McKeehen has more than double the amount of chips (63,100,000) as second-place Zvi Stern (29,800,000) right now, he has an opportunity to do something much bigger.

The first-place prize for the 2015 WSOP Main Event is $7.68 million and McKeehen is definitely in the driver’s seat to win it. Nobody since Jamie Gold in 2006 has held this large of a lead, and Gold essentially dominated the final table en route to $12 million.

All of this bodes well for the 24-year-old, who has some championship experience already in the game of Risk. McKeehen proved his superior skills in the global domination board game by taking down the 2010 Annual Risk Classic. Of course, Risk isn’t quite at the magnitude of what McKeehen is poised to do if he wins the 2015 Main Event along with millions of dollars.

For now, though, he doesn’t really seem overly focused on the money or winning. “It’s pretty fun. I’m just trying to enjoy the ride and play my best,” McKeehen said of his Main Event run. “That’s pretty much all there is to it. I’m trying to not let the moment overtake me.”

McKeehen will get an opportunity to continue the fun on Nov. 8th, when the November Nine meets again to play for a vast fortune.