Joe McKeehen Crowned Poker Champ of Philadelphia

McKeehen took down the first-ever Philadelphia Poker Championship Series Main Event at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Jeff Walsh
Mar 6, 2023
Philadelphia fan Joe McKeehen took down the Philadelphia Poker Championship Series at Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania has long been a proving ground for some of the top talents in the poker world. Names like Paul Volpe, Matt Berkey, Kane Kalas, and Poker Hall of Famer John Hennigan all hail from some part of The Keystone State. But when it comes to the City of Brotherly Love, there’s one player who can now lay claim to the title of “Poker Champ of Philadelphia” and that’s Joe McKeehen.

McKeehen, who famously won more than $7.6 million in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event donning an Allen Iverson 76ers jersey, added yet another title to his multi-page poker resume when he took down the inaugural Philadelphia Poker Championship Series at Rivers Casino Philadelphia for a reported $94,320 on Sunday. The $2,200 event was the biggest buy-in tournament ever held at the venue and 187 East Coast entries piled into the poker room to generate a prize pool of more than $360,000.

McKeehen, who has made five World Poker Tour final tables and was picked by some prognosticators to win WPT Player of the Year honors this year, started Day 2 with a healthy chip lead and finished the night with the win. The result pushes his lifetime total tournament earnings north of $19.5 million, second all-time for the state only behind the controversial high roller, Jake Schindler.

Even before this win, 2023 had already been good to McKeehen. He kicked off the year with a third-place finish in The Borgata’s $5,300 “The Return” for a $440,327 payday and then he booked back-to-back scores during the Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open series for more than $90,000.  Just weeks into March, McKeehen has already out-earned his totals from 2022 according to The Hendon Mob.