Can anyone take this bracelet, (shown above in all it's bedazzled glory), away from Joe McKeehen?
The 24-year old poker pro from Pennsylvania is taking a huge chip lead into the third and final night of the Final Table of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. McKeehen has nearly 129 million chips, while the other two remaining players, Neil Blumenfield and Josh Beckley, have 40 and 23 million respectively.
But last night's play reminded us that it's never over because one good (or bad, depending on your point of view) card can change everything.
Thomas Cannuli, who entered the night 5th in chips, thought he was going to double up back into contention when his all-in bet with pocket aces was called by Max Steinberg who held pocket 10s. But a 10 came on the flop, sending Cannuli home in 6th place with a $1.4M consolation prize.
Shortly after that, Josh Beckley was in the big blind with pocket aces, when Ofer Zvi Stern moved all in from the small blind. Beckley did what is known in poker circles as an "insta-call." And his aces held up. Stern did not recover from that blow, eventually bowing out in 5th place, earning $1.9M.
Max Steinberg finished 4th for $2.6M, not bad for someone who won his $10,000 entry into this tournament through a $27 tournament on DraftKings.
Tonight, a winner will be crowned, even if it table play stretches into the early hours of tomorrow morning. And while it seems likely to be McKeehen, remember that even at these stack sizes, Blumenfield is basically one double-up away from getting even with the chip leader.
It will be interesting to see if Beckley and especially Blumenfield go aggressively after McKeehen and getting the win or if they just try to outlast each other for second place.
And while it seems obvious to go for the win, remember that while third place pays $3.4M, they can earn an extra million dollars for finishing second.