If you make any attempt at all to follow the poker world, then you’ll know that the November Nine took their seats around the World Series of Poker Main Event final table over the weekend, and battled it out until there were just two players remaining. Jonathan Duhamel and John Racener were those two, and tonight they sat across each other once again to play heads up for the millions, the bracelet and the fame.
Coming into it we had seen a very aggressive Jonathan Duhammel amass a mighty stack of chips, eventually building an enormous chip lead as he eliminated Joseph Cheong in third place. Racener had been taking a more conservative approach, being careful about when his chips ended up in the middle. This strategy served him admirably, carrying him into head-up play, but did leave him somewhat short of chips as Duhammel enjoyed an over 6:1 chip advantage as the two sat down.
When heads up play got underway we didn’t see too many surprises, Duhammel continued his aggression raising most buttons, whereas Racener knew he had to protect his chips and tended to just call preflop. The times that Racener raised over Duhammel’s bets and got folds made up for his folded big blinds, and the chips stayed roughly equal until one hand in which, as usual, Racener just limped preflop. Duhammel checked his option, and both players checked down to the river on a board that read J934T, the river Ten completing both straight and flush draws. Duhammel bet, Racener raised and Duhammel called, flipping over J4 for two pair, enough to beat Racener’s lone pair of fours which he had turned into a bluff.
This hand left Duhammel up nearly 11:1 in chips, and things were starting to look pretty dire for Racener until he picked up pocket queens in the big blind. Duhammel moved all in preflop and Racener quickly made the call, flipping his queens and seeing he was up against King Four offsuit. The board played out with neither player improving, allowing Racener to double-up and be sitting roughly back where he started.
Duhammel continued to press his chip advantage and apply aggression, and was able to slowly but surely get the better of Racener, whittling down his chip stack until the first scheduled break. As play resumed Racener found himself with only around ten big blinds and Duhammel started open shoving most hands, pushing his now nearly 12:1 chip lead. Shove, fold, shove, fold, was the established pattern until Racener found a hand he was willing to go with, shoved, and was met by a fold from Duhammel.
The very next hand, however, Duhammel shoved yet again and was called by Racener who showed King Eight of diamonds. Duhammel’s Ace Jack offsuit was in good shape, and the two would see a board. The 944 flop sported one diamond, but beyond that was no help to Racener. The offsuit Six on the turn was equally as innocent, and finally the Five on the river was enough to seal the deal and eliminate Racener in second place, for which he received $5.5 Million.
With this win Jonathan Duhammel wins $8.9 Million in first place prize money, plus the millions of further dollars in sponsorships and other deals that a first place World Series of Poker Main Event inevitably brings. In addition to the money he will walk with the title of 2010 World Champion of Poker, the gold and diamond World Series of Poker Bracelet, and the fame and glory that can only be achieved by a massive win of this nature.