It’s reminding me once again of that WSOP Circuit final table from a couple of years ago that I’ve mentioned before, the one at Caesars Atlantic City I helped cover where McKeehen entered the final day with a big lead and never seemed to be challenged much at all on his way to the win.
Kind of remarkable, really, to think how easily things have gone for McKeehen at the final table thus far. Not only has he avoided making any bad decisions, he’s barely even taken that many risks at all even with decent hands in good spots. Both his opponents’ styles and the cards have dictated that result somewhat, but the overall impression has been that it’s hard to imagine how things could have gone much differently for McKeehen up to this point.
Easily the most interesting hand last night was the one that came relatively late when they were four-handed and Josh Beckley managed to three-bet and then fold pocket jacks to a reraise from the chip leader. We knew when watching that McKeehen had four-bet with pocket queens, which helped raise the eyebrows a little further when we saw Beckley avoid getting hooked by his two hooks.
The hand reminded me of one from the 2006 WSOP Main Event final table, something I brought up in another “what would you do?”-type PokerNews article today. I’m referring to a hand in which Richard Lee reraised all in with pocket jacks versus Jamie Gold’s queens and was knocked out in sixth.
Even though the two hands were similar, it’s funny to go back and think about how crazily different the play was at the ’06 final table -- where, it should be said, most of those there were amateurs, with Allen Cunningham being the exception. In fact in the hand Gold limped in with his queens, something that is hard to imagine happening today. So, too, have the 3x-and-above opening raises at that final table become a thing of the distant past.
Will be there ’til the end again tonight. While it’s hard to envision McKeehen in trouble, it sure would be interesting to watch should either Beckley or Neil Blumenfield manage to get in a position where they can present him some difficulty to complicate the conclusion.