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Is Joe McKeehen's WSOP Main Event Final Table Chip Lead the Biggest in Recent Years?

Joe McKeehen
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  • Donnie Peters takes a look at Joe McKeehen's WSOP Main Event final table chip lead in comparison to others.

  • Just how big is Joe McKeehen's WSOP Main Event final table chip lead?

With the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event wrapped up for the summer, the November Nine now has nearly four months of down time before the players will reconvene to battle for poker's most prestigious title. When the cards get back in the air, all eyes will be on chip leader Joe McKeehen. He holds nearly a third of the chips in play and has more than double his closest competitor.

Although McKeehen holds such a big lead over his eight opponents, those of us at PokerNews headquarters wondered just how big McKeehen's lead is compared to that of previous chip leaders of the WSOP Main Event final table. We were able to gather data dating back to 2004, and it's displayed in the table below.

From 2004 to 2014, eight of the 11 chip leaders heading into the final table finished in the top three. That bodes very well for McKeehen not only because he is in the chip lead, but also because of the size of his chip lead. Only once during those years did the final table chip leader finish outside of the top five, and that was in 2007 when Philip Hilm classically blew up and finished in ninth place.

When looking at just how big McKeehen's lead is, one will notice that he's 83.5 big blinds ahead of Ofer Zvi Stern's stack of 29.8 million in second place. Even with such a huge lead, this gap isn't the biggest we've seen dating back to 2004. In 2009, Darvin Moon famously steamrolled the play-down day and entered the final table with a lead of 100.5 big blinds. Moon went on to finish second that year for nearly $5.2 million.

In terms of chip percentage, McKeehen will take the largest portion of the total chips in play into the final table, slightly edging out Greg Raymer's 32.4 percent of chips from 2004 with his 32.8 percent of chips.

Now, let's check out the table.

YearPlayerChips% of ChipsBBsFinish
2015Joe McKeehen63,100,00032.8%158--
 Ofer Zvi Stern29,800,00015.5%74.5--
 Neil Blumenfield22,000,00011.4%55--
 Pierre Neuville21,075,00010.9%53--
 Max Steinberg20,200,00010.5%50.5--
 Thomas Cannuli12,250,0006.4%31--
 Josh Beckley11,800,0006.1%29--
 Patrick Chan6,225,0003.2%16--
 Federico Butteroni6,200,0003.2%15.5--
      
2014Jorryt van Hoof38,375,00019.1%963rd - $3,807,753
 Felix Stephensen32,775,00016.3%822nd - $5,147,911
 Mark Newhouse26,000,00013.0%659th - $730,725
 Andoni Larrabe22,550,00011.2%56.56th - $1,622,471
 Dan Sindelar21,200,00010.6%537th - $1,236,084
 Billy Pappas17,500,0008.7%445th - $2,143,794
 William Tonking15,050,0007.5%384th - $2,849,763
 Martin Jacobson14,900,0007.4%371st - $10,000,000
 Bruno Politano12,125,0006.0%308th - $947,172
      
2013JC Tran38,000,00019.9%955th - $2,106,893
 Amir Lehavot29,700,00015.6%743rd - $3,727,823
 Marc Etienne McLaughlin26,525,00013.9%66.56th - $1,601,024
 Jay Farber25,975,00013.6%652nd - $5,174,357
 Ryan Riess25,875,00013.6%651st - $8,361,570
 Sylvain Loosli19,600,00010.3%494th - $2,792,533
 Michiel Brummelhuis11,275,0005.9%287th - $1,225,356
 Mark Newhouse7,350,0003.9%18.59th - $733,224
 David Benefield6,375,0003.3%168th - $944,650
      
2012Jesse Sylvia43,875,00022.2%1462nd - $5,295,149
 Andras Koroknai29,375,00014.8%986th - $1,640,902
 Greg Merson28,725,00014.5%961st - $8,531,853
 Russell Thomas24,800,00012.5%834th - $2,851,537
 Steve Gee16,860,0008.5%569th - $754,798
 Michael Esposito16,260,0008.2%547th - $1,258,040
 Rob Salaburu15,155,0007.7%50.58th - $971,360
 Jake Balsiger13,115,0006.6%443rd - $3,799,073
 Jeremy Ausmus9,805,0005.0%32.55th - $2,155,313
      
2011Martin Staszko40,175,00019.5%80.52nd - $5,433,086
 Eoghan O’Dea33,925,00016.5%686th - $1,720,831
 Matt Giannetti24,750,00012.0%49.54th - $3,012,700
 Phil Collins23,875,00011.6%485th - $2,269,599
 Ben Lamb20,875,00010.1%423rd - $4,021,138
 Bob Bounahra19,700,0009.6%39.57th - $1,314,097
 Pius Heinz16,425,0008.0%331st - $8,715,368
 Anton Makiievskyi13,825,0006.7%27.58th - $1,010,015
 Sam Holden12,375,0006.0%259th - $782,115
      
2010Jonathan Duhamel65,975,00030.0%1321st - $8,944,310
 John Dolan46,250,00021.1%92.56th - $1,772,959
 Joseph Cheong23,525,00010.7%473rd - $4,130,049
 John Racener19,050,0008.7%382nd - $5,545,955
 Matt Jarvis16,700,0007.6%33.58th - $1,045,743
 Filippo Candio16,400,0007.5%334th - $3,092,545
 Michael Mizrachi14,450,0006.6%295th - $2,332,992
 Soi Nguyen9,650,0004.4%199th - $811,823
 Jason Senti7,625,0003.5%157th - $1,356,720
      
2009Darvin Moon58,930,00030.2%245.52nd - $5,182,601
 Eric Buchman34,800,00017.9%1454th - $2,502,890
 Steven Begleiter29,885,00015.3%124.56th - $1,587,160
 Jeff Shulman19,580,00010.0%81.55th - $1,953,452
 Joe Cada13,215,0006.8%551st - $8,546,435
 Kevin Schaffel12,390,0006.4%51.58th - $1,300,231
 Phil Ivey9,765,0005.0%40.57th - $1,404,014
 Antoine Saout9,500,0004.9%39.53rd - $3,479,670
 James Akenhead6,800,0003.5%289th - $1,263,602
      
2008Dennis Phillips26,295,00019.2%109.53rd - $4,517,773
 Ivan Demidov24,400,00017.8%101.52nd - $5,809,595
 Scott Montgomery19,690,00014.4%825th - $3,096,768
 Peter Eastgate18,375,00013.4%76.51st - $9,152,416
 Ylon Schwartz12,525,0009.2%524th - $3,794,974
 Darus Suharto12,520,0009.1%526th - $2,418,562
 Chino Rheem10,230,0007.5%42.57th - $1,772,650
 Craig Marquis10,210,0007.5%42.59th - $900,670
 Kelly Kim2,620,0001.9%118th - $1,288,217
      
2007Philip Hilm22,070,00017.3%929th - $525,934
 Tuan Lam21,315,00016.7%892nd - $4,840,981
 Jon Kalmar20,320,00015.9%84.55th - $1,255,069
 Raymond Rahme16,320,00012.8%683rd - $3,048,025
 Lee Childs13,240,00010.4%557th - $705,229
 Lee Watkinson9,925,0007.8%41.58th - $585,699
 Hevad Khan9,205,0007.2%38.56th - $956,243
 Jerry Yang8,450,0006.6%351st - $8,250,000
 Alex Kravchenko6,570,0005.2%27.54th - $1,852,721
      
2006Jamie Gold26,650,00029.2%166.51st - $12,000,000
 Allen Cunningham17,770,00019.5%1114th - $3,628,513
 Richard Lee11,820,00013.0%746th - $2,803,851
 Erik Friberg9,605,00010.5%608th - $1,979,189
 Paul Wasicka7,970,0008.7%502nd - $6,102,499
 Doug Kim6,770,0007.4%42.57th - $2,391,520
 Rhett Butler4,815,0005.3%305th - $3,216,182
 Michael Binger3,140,0003.4%19.53rd - $4,123,310
 Dan Nassif2,600,0002.9%169th - $1,566,858
      
2005Aaron Kanter10,700,00019.0%1074th - $2,000,000
 Tex Barch9,330,00016.6%93.53rd - $2,500,000
 Andy Black8,140,00014.5%81.55th - $1,750,000
 Mike Matusow7,410,00013.2%749th - $1,000,000
 Steve Dannenmann5,460,0009.7%54.52nd - $4,250,000
 Joseph Hachem5,420,0009.6%541st - $7,500,000
 Daniel Bergsdorf5,270,0009.4%52.57th - $1,300,000
 Scott Lazar3,370,0006.0%346th - $1,500,000
 Brad Kondracki1,180,0002.1%128th - $1,150,000
      
2004Greg Raymer8,215,00032.4%164.51st - $5,000,000
 Matt Dean4,920,00019.4%98.57th - $675,000
 Josh Arieh3,205,00012.6%643rd - $2,500,000
 Glenn Hughes2,275,0009.0%45.55th - $1,100,000
 Dan Harrington2,245,0008.9%454th - $1,500,000
 David Williams1,575,0006.2%31.52nd - $3,500,000
 Al Krux1,305,0005.1%266th - $800,000
 Mike McClain885,0003.5%17.59th - $470,400
 Mattias Anderson740,0002.9%158th - $575,000

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