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Duhamel beats Racener to win World Series of Poker Main Event

9 Nov 2010

By Vin Narayanan
LAS VEGAS -- Jonathan Duhamel beat John Racener Monday night to win the World Series of Poker Main Event and $8,944,310. Racener won $5,545,955 for finishing second.

After his win, Duhamel went body surfing in the arms of his supporters.

"It's a dream come true for me," Duhamel said after winning poker's most prestigious tournament. "I'm the happiest guy on earth right now. It's amazing."

Duhamel entered heads-up play with 188.95 million in chips, while Racener held just 30.65 million. And in the end Duhamel's chip lead was just too much for Racener to overcome. The 23-year-old French Canadian used his big chip stack to wear Racener down and defeat him in 43 hands.
Jonathan Duhamel holds some of the $8,944,310 he collected for winning the WSOP Main Event.

Jonathan Duhamel holds some of the $8,944,310 he collected for winning the WSOP Main Event. (photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

In the final hand of the 2010 WSOP Main Event, Duhamel pushed all in pre-flop with As-Jh for a little more than 200 million in chips.

After thinking about briefly, Racener called and tabled Kd-8d. The board missed both players, making Duhamel the first WSOP Main Event champion from Canada.

Duhamel reached heads-play by playing big pot poker Saturday. Duhamel, who was the chip leader with 65,975,000 in chips at the start of the final table, won the biggest pot in WSOP history -- more than 180 million -- in one hand and giving him what proved to be an insurmountable chip lead.

But the first Canadian Main Event champ shifted gears Monday and wore Racener out by playing small ball.

"I kind of knew that John Racener wanted to grind it out so I had to do the same thing," Duhamel said after his big win. "I knew it would not last two or three hands, it would last a lot longer than that."

"I didn't want to be too obvious with my game," Duhamel added. "I didn't fold at all. I limped a little bit just to try and confuse him and have a good balance to my game."

Duhamel's balanced play -- he limped, raised and pushed all in in seemingly equal proportions -- gave very little room for Racener to move around.
John Racener had a smile on his face after finishing second in the WSOP Main Event.

John Racener had a smile on his face after finishing second in the WSOP Main Event. (photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

"He played real solid," Racener said after the head-up match. "I thought he was going to play more aggressively, but he was patient and that threw me off a little bit. I was like 'Wow, this is going to be a lot harder than I thought.'"

"I thought he was going to play real fast...and I could trap him a little bit," Racener added.

Racener won about one-third of the hands during heads-up play.

Racener made an early stand during the 11th hand of heads-up play. After winning about 12 million during the first 10 hands to cut Racener's stack down to about 18 million, Duhamel pushed all in with Kh-4c only to run into Racener's pocket queens. The queens held up, and Racener was back in contention with 36.5 million in chips.

"I peeled the queens and I was so happy," Racener said. "(Since he'd moved in with king-four earlier), that's what made me call with king-eight. I had about the same amount of chips."

Racener said that even though he won more than $5 million at the Main Event, he won't be a regular at cash games.

"I'm always going to be that 'tournament guy.'" Racener said. "I like going there and buying in for 5k, 10k and trying to win that half-million or million dollars. I don't like playing cash games that much."
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