He has the look of the guy who checks your ticket stubs at the local movie theater. But instead of counting down the hours until another shift ends, 24-year-old Joseph McKeehen is counting up $64.1 million in chips as the money leader heading into the final table at the World Series of Poker this November.
McKeehen, a Pennsylvania native and a massive Philadelphia Flyers fan, has some impressive career totals (including 83 career cashes and 12 final tables) but was still a relative unknown heading into this year’s series. The youngster played like a Broad Street bully, though, knocking out fan-favorite Daniel Negreanu in 11th place after hitting a straight on the river.
“Somebody joked that I already murdered poker,” McKeehen told ESPN after ending Negreanu’s run at the November Nine. “I’ve got nothing to say, hopefully I can bring it back.”
Now the “alleged murderer” enters the final with the biggest chip lead in the November Nine era, holding $34.3 million advantage over second-place Zvi Stern of Israel. The odds are in McKeehen’s favor to claim the coveted gold bracelet and $7.7 million grand prize (which would nearly quadruple his lifetime earnings).
Sitting at a very youthful table with five players 27 years or younger, McKeehen actually has the second-most earnings at live events, sitting at just under $2-million. A leader in both experience and chips, he’s very deserving of being a 7/5 favorite heading into the final table.
The final showdown starts November 8th, and when it’s all said and done, McKeehen should have a very movie-like ending to his World Series.
(Photo credit: flipchip / LasVegasVegas.com [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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