Up until now, John Racener has always been known as the poker player who finished second in the 2010 WSOP Main Event ($5,545,955). But now, he’ll also be known as a WSOP champion after taking down the Event #17: $10k Dealers Choice 6-handed Championship.
Racener outplayed a field of 102 player to claim the $273,962 first-place prize. This brings his career winnings up to a very impressive $9,516,468.
10 years after beginning his live poker career, Racener finally has the gold bracelet that’s alluded him.
“I’ve been wanting this forever. I’ve got so many seconds and thirds,” said Racener. “I have over $10 million in earnings, but no gold. I’ve just been wanting to win so bad. I didn’t even look at the prize pool. I didn’t even know what first place was. I just wanted to win the bracelet. It’s all I really care about.”
The $10k Dealers Choice 6-handed event featured a $930,600 prize pool. Notable players who grabbed a piece of it include: Todd Brunson (15th, $14,783), Lyle Berman (14th, $14,783), Tommy Hang (11th, $18,880), Ben Yu (9th, $24,546), and James Obst in (8th, $32,474).
Racener was the chip leader to begin the final table. He knocked out Dennis Eichhorn (4th) and Chris Klodnicki (3rd) to solidify his lead before facing Russia’s Viacheslav Zhukov heads-up.
The two played back and forth for a while, until Zhukov went all-in with pocket 7s. But Racener called with A-J and improved his combo through the board to win.
After triumphing, Racener revealed a white undershirt that “For Mom.” The message was meant to signify whom he wanted to win the tournament for.
“I always said to myself that I wanted to win my first bracelet for my mom,” he said. “She’s always been my biggest fan, and she still is from up above.
“No matter what time of the day it was back home, with three-hour time [difference], she would always stay up and sweat me online all night. Even if she had to get up for work at 8 a.m. She would stay up and sweat me until she had to go to work. I just really wanted to win the first one for her.”
2017 WSOP Event #17: $10k Dealers Choice 6-handed Championship
1: John Racener – $273,962
2: Viacheslav Zhukov – $169,323
3: Chris Klodnicki – $117,786
4: Dennis Eichhorn – $83,263
5: Mike Matusow – $59,827
6: Schuyler Thornton – $43,707