The 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event has come to a close, with 888poker-sponsored player Joe McKeehen going wire to wire at the final table to earn the $7.7 million victory. McKeehen was able to ride his enormous chip lead to the win, and not once did it look like he was in jeopardy of relinquishing his command.
PokerNews was on hand for all the action in Las Vegas for the duration of the final table. As a part of our coverage, that is brought to you by 888poker, we have been bringing readers a special "888 Hand of the Day" from each day of play.
Things were no different Tuesday, and this 888 Hand of the Day involved not one, but two of 888poker's sponsored players. One, of course, was McKeehen, and the other was 61-year-old Neil Blumenfield.
Five hands into Tuesday's third day of the final table, Blumenfield attempted a triple-barrel bluff that he ultimately couldn't recover from. Although Blumenfield's bluff was unsuccessful, the maneuver showed that the man from San Francisco wasn't going to sit around and wait for the goods, but rather that he was there to go for the title. This, plus McKeehen's great call, made it the 888 Hand of the Day.
The Bluff Gone Wrong
The blinds were at 500,000/1,000,000 with an ante of 150,000, and Josh Beckley folded on the button to put the action on McKeehen in the small blind. He completed the bet, and then Blumenfield raised to 3 million from the big blind. McKeehen called, and the two players saw the flop come . McKeehen checked to the aggressor, and Blumenfield bet 2.2 million. McKeehen called.
The turn was the , and McKeehen checked again. Blumenfield fired 3.5 million at the pot, but he couldn't shake McKeehen, who called to see the land on the river. This was a very interesting card, as it completed a club flush draw that was present on the flop and also gave way to a few straight possibilities. McKeehen checked, Blumenfield fired 7 million, and McKeehen went into the tank. He thought for a bit, counted out the chips to make the call on the rail in front of him, and then tanked a bit more. McKeehen even tried talking to Blumenfield to get a read, but Blumenfield simply sat motionless, staring directly at McKeehen.
Some might say that Blumenfield looked too strong, as if he was trying to mask his weakness with the fake presence of confidence. While it's unknown as to whether or not that's what allowed McKeehen to feel confident making the call, he eventually stuck the chips in and watched as Blumenfield tabled the for just queen high. McKeehen then showed the for top pair, and the chips were sent his way.
That hand pushed McKeehen to nearly 144 million in chips. Blumenfield, on the other hand, slipped to under 20 million and was never able to fully get things back on track. Although it wasn't a total blow up by Blumenfield, it'd be hard to argue that he wasn't rattled by the failed bluff.
Blumenfield went on to finish in third place after he cold four-bet jammed with pocket twos from the big blind. McKeehen had three-bet from the small blind after Beckley opened the button and called with pocket queens to send his opponent to the rail.
We all know how it ended from there, and this hand without a doubt played a big part in McKeehen's path to the winner's circle.
*Photo courtesy of Jamie Thompson/888poker.