Whereas veterans are respected in the field of poker and experienced players usually have an upper hand, performances in major poker tournaments have proven that youth is not necessarily a disadvantage. Joe McKeehen is a good example that whether playing within brick and mortar casinos or playing online poker, it is possible to make big winnings despite being young. Last July, McKeehen won a whopping 63.1 million worth of chips, an amount exceeding twice what his closest rival poker competitor, Zvi Stern, won. He is only 24yrs old.

Mckeehen Beats Daniel Negreau in WSOP

This month, this young poker player from Pennsylvania has upset the World Series of Poker Championship (WSOP) Championship by beating the favorite, Daniel Negreanu. Print media showed Negreau lying on the floor with both hands on his face in shock after finishing 11th place. This is the 2nd time Negreau who is a favorite of many in the gaming arena has fallen this low. He had a similarly poor show in 2001.

Even Poker Provides Discipline

It is said that sports help to develop discipline, but some people may not be so sure about that when it comes to betting games like poker. However, the reaction of the two poker competitors, Daniel Negreanu and Joe McKeehen, after this month’s WSOP championship affirm that even poker instills discipline in players. While Negreau was shocked at being beaten by McKeehen, and surprised too at coming eleventh, he accepted defeat without excuses. He even joked that the experience was nothing he could not handle with some vodka. As for McKeehen, he admitted that at some point when playing against Negreau, he was star struck.

Was McKeehen ever a favorite?

Actually, although McKeehen has been gradually rising as a serious contender in poker tournaments, many people did not expect him to beat poker players like Negreanu with a big margin. McKeehen’s first big cash came in 2010 when he was only 19yrs of age. Of course, people in the world poker arena who had not taken the young poker player seriously before took notice of him then. After that came the live tournament in New York’s Turning Stone Casino and McKeehen got more limelight as a formidable competitor.

In betting games, including online poker and gaming activities in casinos, what makes a player a favorite amongst fans is how consistently they win games. Alternatively, a player can become a favorite if they continue to give other competitors a run for their money. For McKeehen, what has endeared him to poker fans in the course of time is the regularity with which he has continued to qualify for the finals. He even had a chance to play in Florida, as a side trip, at the Florida State Poker Championship at Pompano Beach. In 2012, Joe McKeehen won a Turbo event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and pocketed $2,000, and then pocketed a further $10,000 in the Six Max High Roller event after finishing in the tenth position. And, of course, between now and that time, he has won other mini prizes.

Before his July win this year, the biggest cash amount McKeehen had won was $820,863. That is the time he played at the Monster Stack and came 2nd, just behind Hugo Pingray. The poker fraternity will, definitely, be keenly following McKeehen’s performance come November Nine. Even when state laws on gambling in some places seem to be restricting and sometimes ambiguous, entry of young players in competitive poker is a positive sign that the game of poker is still popular. And, of course, the fact that most states allowing online gambling welcome poker players from neighboring states as well is a positive factor too.