Top 10 things to keep an eye on at the WSOP Main Event final table

20 July 2015

LAS VEGAS -- When Daniel Negreanu busted out of the World Series of Poker Main Event in 11th place, it felt like the air had been sucked out of the room. The fans in attendance had poured all their energy into supporting and rooting for the popular pro. And when he was eliminated, the fans were spent -- and trying to figure out who to root for next.

This year's final table lacks star power without Negreanu, but it doesn't lack interesting characters or intrigue. Here are 10 things to keep an eye out for as you watch ESPN's taped coverage of the Main Event and wait for the final table to take place in November:

10. Monster to Main
Federico Butteroni finished 20th in the WSOP Monster Stack earlier this summer to win $45,633. He picked up his second career WSOP cash when he won $3,622 in a $1,500 hold'em event towards the end of the Series. Now, he's managed to final table the Main Event, making it a very good Series for the Italian.

9. Two super short stacks
Two players -- Butteroni with 6.2 million and Patrick Chan with 6.225 million -- have just 15 big blinds remaining. How these two players manage their short stacks will be the early story at the final table.

8. McKeehen's beard
Joe McKeehen sported a magnificent red beard during the Main Event. If Brawny Paper Towels hosted poker tournaments, McKeehen would be its icon. Will he keep the beard for the final table? Will he go clean shaven? Inquiring minds want to know.

7. Steinberg's style
Max Steinberg will be easy to spot at the final table: He'll be the player wearing a suit and tie. The Main Event hasn't seen this sort of style at the felt since Marcel Luske stopped making deep runs in the Main Event.

6. American feel
The 2015 Main Event final table features six American players, including the runaway chip leader McKeehen. Three of the top five chip stacks in play belong to Americans as well as they try to return the Main Event championship to U.S. soil.

5. Jersey power
New Jersey is one of three states in the U.S. that regulate online poker. Two players at the final table are from New Jersey. 888 has locked up Thomas Cannuli with a sponsorship deal. Who will get Josh Beckley?

4. One bracelet winner
Steinberg is the only player at the final table who has won a WSOP bracelet. His composure showed as he calmly navigated the final three tables of the tournament. Will his experience help him in the biggest final table of them all?

3. Old guys bringing it
Poker has become a young man's game. This year's final table has six players who are less than 30 years old. It also has two players who are more than 60 years old. And they both have chips! Pierre Neuville is 72 years old and has 21.075 million in chips. Neil Blumenfield is 61 years old and has 22 million in chips. Since 2008, when the November Nine concept debuted, every Main Event champion has been a 20-something.

2. McKeehen's chip stack
McKeehen has 63.1 million in chips. His nearest competitor, Zvi Stern, has 29.8 million. In 2009, Darvin Moon entered the final table play with 58.6 million and finished second. In 2010, Jonathan Duhamel entered final table play with 65.975 million in chips and won the tournament. McKeehen is a much closer to Duhamel than Moon in terms of skill and is a heavy favorite to win the Main Event. How he plays the big stack will ultimately determine his fate.

1. Neuville's life story
Neuville is the most interesting man at the final table. He was an executive for toymaker Hasbro and wasn't allowed to enter a casino because of his position. But he never lost his love for poker -- and he took up the game when he retired from business for health reasons. His journey from businessman to poker pro (which I will chronicle later this week) is the most unlikely and remarkable story the Main Event has seen in almost a decade. And if the 72-year-old can pull off the unlikely victory, he'll give hope to poker players of all ages.

Related Links
Ranked Online Poker Rooms

Featured Vendors
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Global Gaming Expo (G2E)
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
You one stop shop for all your gaming and OEM needs!
Global Gaming Expo (G2E)
The largest gathering of global, commercial and tribal gaming professionals in North America.
Code Red Headsets
Castle Merchandising Inc
Code Red Headsets
Since 1999 Code Red provides a variety of 2-way radio accessories for Casinos & Hotels.
Castle Merchandising Inc
Brand Name Products for your Player Rewards and Loyalty Programs
Casino Schedule Ease
Meister Economic Consulting, LLC
Casino Schedule Ease
Get a 90-Day Free Trial of 100% contactless, customizable table game & full casino scheduling
Meister Economic Consulting, LLC
Economic consulting firm specializing in high quality research and analysis
Slot-Tickets Worldwide
Casino Essentials
Slot-Tickets Worldwide
Slot-Tickets® Worldwide, The Original and Still the Best.
Casino Essentials
The Ultimate Online Training Platform for the Casino Industry
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Breathe Easy with Smokefree Casinos- a project of the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Leader in creating award winning player & employee loyalty programs & events proven to increase ROI
Breathe Easy with Smokefree Casinos- a project of the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation
Breathe easier during COVID-19. We can help you reopen smokefree for everyone’s health.
iPaySolutions Ltd
Casino City Press
iPaySolutions Ltd
Leading experts to help your iGaming business accept payments at the rates you deserve to win big
Casino City Press
A leading publisher and distributor of casino and gaming business data and market research reports.
TribalHub
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
TribalHub
21st Annual TribalNet Conference & Tradeshow Nov 9-12, 2020 Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine TX
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Specializing in the creation of best-of-breed gaming graphics - slot glass, sign faces, and more
Allen Meyer Group LLC
Regulatory Management Counselors, PC
Allen Meyer Group LLC
AllenMeyer - the PPE Suppliers' Supplier
Regulatory Management Counselors, PC
Over 35 years of experience serving the legal and regulatory needs of casino industry clients
Elite Gaming USA
Slot Machines Unlimited
Elite Gaming USA
Provides a diverse inventory of refurbished gaming equipment and supplies from top manufacturers
Slot Machines Unlimited
Exporter of IGT, Williams, AVP, Trimline, Aristocrat, Konami, Bally, & parts over 20 yrs experience
Kallop
Gaming Tickets, Inc.
Kallop
Reward every player like a VIP with luxury brands at surprisingly affordable prices.
Gaming Tickets, Inc.
35 years in the gaming industry - premium quality slot tickets, lottery tickets on time under budget


Your Guide to 15,692 Gaming Industry Suppliers