McKeehen Takes Down Bracelet In ‘Boring’ Final Table

5 years ago
Joe McKeehen Wins The 2015 WSOP Main Event
12 Nov

As expected, Joe McKeehen lifted the 2015 WSOP Main Event bracelet, using his massive chip lead on entering the final table to bludgeon his fellow ‘November Niner’s’ into submission.

Having entered the final day with over 80% of the total chips in play, and accounting for the first three KO’s of what has been described as a ‘boring final table’ by many, McKeehen finished where he began, taking out the competition to lift the $7,683,346 first prize.

Although no-one can take the coveted gold bracelet away from the new and fully-deserved champion, the US taxman will snatch a huge chunk of his multi-million dollar payday – 44.07% of it to be exact!

A break-down of the US citizen’s taxation on his epic win was detailed by, and it makes for painful reading -with federal taxes, state income tax and a local earned income tax cutting his actual winnings to a meagre $4,297,394.

As a professional poker player, he’ll owe self-employment tax along with his federal income tax ($3,073,240),” according to the experts, adding, “ Pennsylvania state income tax ($235,879), and the local township (North Wales Boro) Earned Income Tax ($76,833), a total of $3,385,952 (44.07%). He’ll get to keep an estimated $4,297,394 of his winnings.”

The 24-year-old Pennsylvanian poker pro won’t exactly be poor on the back of his win, but neither will the US Government!

Having dispatched Patrick Chan in 9th place, Federico Butteroni in 8th, and Pierre Neuville in 7th on the opening day of play, McKeehen then watched on as Thomas Cannuli was taken out in 6th place, Israeli Ofer Zvi Stern in 5th, and then proceeded to send Max Steinberg to the rails himself in 4th place.

With everyone making a million dollars at least –the taxman’s cut being offset by the sponsorship, invites and all the extras which come along with making the prestigious final table, McKeehen was left on day 3 facing the combination of Josh Beckley and Neil Blumenfeld in the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Neither player could make a serious dent in McKeehen’s huge lead, and when he took down the crown it felt as though the much-anticipated final table had been somewhat of a damp squib – McKeehen’s dominance taking much of the competitive aspect out of the normally ‘electrified’ crowds watching on in person, online or on TV.

As described by Marc Meltzer:

Each hand took about as long as one or two plays during the Eagles vs. Cowboys game.”

Obviously not a problem for the true poker aficionado, but perhaps less-than-enthralling for the millions more who tuned in. Although, as the reporter states:

Eliminating three players per night made the time commitment a little easier on viewers than previous years.”

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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