LAS VEGAS (AP) The San Francisco tech executive laid off from his job before the World Series of Poker's Main Event start last summer goes home with $3.4 million in third place.
61-year-old Neil Blumenfield lost his chance at poker's championship title and top prize, $7.68 million, when he went all in with his remaining chips with a pair of twos against 24-year-old chip-leader Joe McKeehen who happened to be holding a stronger pair of queens.
Blumenfield was already in last place having failed at a bluff against McKeehen earlier in the night.
And as the community cards were laid out on the table, prayers from Blumenfield's friends and family for another deuce went unanswered.
With that, the finale became a young man's game with McKeehen holding far more poker chips, and 25-year-old poker pro Josh Beckley surviving a total of 6,420 entries to be the last two.
On Tuesday night, the two played on, sitting between stacks of cash totaling $7.68 million and a prized, pricey, World Series of Poker bracelet encrusted with diamonds and rubies.
Only one would win.
McKeehen, the 24-year-old poker pro from Pennsylvania with a math degree, has held an unwavering chip lead and holds 67 percent of all the chips on the table going into Tuesday's showdown, or some 128 million worth. He was responsible for dashing the dreams of four of the ''November Nine'' members on Monday and Tuesday before ousting Blumenfield.
Blumenfield came into Tuesday's matchup in second, holding 21 percent of the remaining chips after nearly taking a pass on playing in the Main Event after he was laid off from his executive position at Intuit days before competing this summer.
As for his decision to ultimately spend the $10,000 to enter, ''it's one of the top ten for sure,'' he said before the Main Event restarted on Monday.
Beckley started in third with 12 percent of the table's chips having clawed up from seventh place at the start with a few hands on day two that shook up the table's dynamic.
World Series of Poker tournament events began in May and continued for 51 days with 68 events, culminating with the annual Main Event. It's a grueling multi-day poker marathon that whittled down the competition from 6,420 entries at $10,000 each to nine players, all already guaranteed at least $1 million each.
No limit Texas Hold `em involves each player getting two cards unseen by the rest of the table and five community cards, the first three on the ''flop,'' the fourth on the ''turn,'' the fifth on the ''river,'' with betting between each.
Freelancer Dan Michalski in Las Vegas contributed to this report.