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North Wales, PA Poker Champ Joe McKeehen Does It Again At The WSOP


The 25-year-old North Wales, Pennsylvania poker player who won the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event is a champion once again.

Last month, Joe McKeehen captured his second WSOP bracelet. This time he defeated a field of 120 players in the 2017 WSOP $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. The event was held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 19-21.

Limit Hold’em champion Joe McKeehen

McKeehen earned $311,817 for the win. This obviously paled in comparison to the $7,683,346 he earned at the 2015 WSOP Main Event. That tournament also carried a $10,000 buy in, but drew 6,420 entries.

The WSOP Main Event is widely considered poker’s world championship. Most $10,000 buy-in events at the WSOP are also considered championship-level tournaments. This is particularly the case with poker variants like Limit Hold’em. In fact, Limit Hold’em events are rarely found anywhere outside of the WSOP, and certainly not with a $10,000 buy-in.

Limit Hold’em plays similarly to the infinitely more popular no-limit version of the game. However, bets and raises during the first two betting rounds are limited to the size of the big blind. They are double the big blind in the final two rounds of betting.

Topping Pennsylvania poker’s all-time money list

The win pushed McKeehen’s career tournament earnings up to $13.6 million.

It also helped increase his lead on the Pennsylvania poker all-time money list. That race tightened up at the end of May when Bryn Mawr, PA, poker pro Jake Schindler, 27, finished runner up in the $300,000 buy-in 2017 Super High Roller Bowl. That event was held at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Schindler collected $3.6 million for the runner-up finish. That pushed his career live tournament earnings up to more than $12.8 million.

Previous online poker success

McKeehen’s WSOP bio claims he learned how to play poker by watching it on TV. He also honed his skills playing online poker. McKeehen has more than $1.1 million in online tournament earnings playing at online poker rooms including PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker under the screen name dude904.

Adversarial media relationship

The Arcadia University math grad has cultivated an antagonistic relationship with much of the media that covers the game. However, he has continued to prove he is a force to reckoned with since his 2015 WSOP Main Event victory, earning more than $3.8 million on the felt, alongside that reputation for being bristly with the press off of it.

In fact, McKeehen has continued to enjoy success at the WSOP, where he has 17 cashes lifetime for a total of $9,826,283 up to June 27, 2017.

Outside of the 2015 WSOP Main Event, his biggest score at the WSOP came in 2016. That’s when he finished sixth in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for $829,792. However, McKeehen did earn $820,863 finishing runner-up at the 2014 WSOP $1,500 MONSTER STACK event, a year prior to winning the 2015 WSOP Main Event.

Image credit: Byelikova Oksana / Shutterstock.com


Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.