Joe McKeehen is the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, winning $7.7M and a huge bracelet that can hold the two winning cards.
McKeehen dominated the Final Table, entering with a huge chip lead and maintaining it through three nights of play, and personally eliminating six of the eight foes standing in his way.
He ended it by beating Josh Beckley in the final hand, what poker players call a race, (all in before the flop with two nearly equal hands, statistically). In this case McKeehen's Ace-10 beat Beckley's pocket 4s when a 10 hit the flop.
McKeehen had already knocked out 61-year-old amateur Neil Blumenfield in third place with pocket queens versus Blumenfield's deuces.
But it was two earlier hands against Blumenfield that really clinched the title for McKeehen. In the first hand, Blumenfield came out firing with a triple-barrel bluff. McKeehen called him all the way and won a big pot.
Later, in a similar situation, McKeehen faced a big river bet, with just one pair. But this time Blumenfield actually did have a flush, and McKeehen correctly folded.
Those two hands demonstrated how well McKeehen played, not only at the Final Table, but also throughout the Main Event.
He also needed some luck on his side. In a now-famous hand on Day six, back in July, McKeehen was all in against Beckley and in bad shape. He needed a 10 and only a 10 on the river, (9% chance), to stay alive, and the 10 came.
So one river card, four months ago, propelled Joe McKeehen from average Joe to the top of the poker universe.