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2012 World Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Day 1b: John Racener Leads the Way

John Racener

Day 1b of the 2012 World Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble took place Saturday with 263 players putting up the $3,500 buy-in, bringing the total number of entrants to 477. After adding up the entries and re-buys, the prize pool was $1,526,400 — more than triple the guarantee — with $402,970 going to the eventual winner on Tuesday.

Florida native John Racener finished Day 1b as the chip leader, bagging up 250,300 chips after 11 levels of play. Racener, the former WSOP Main Event runner-up, doubled up on the very first hand he sat down with pocket aces against {A-}{K-} and never looked back from there. He joins Mark Rose (245,300), George Sinishtaj (205,200), Raj Vohra (202,400) and Paulos Sauovidakis (194,200) near the top of the Day 1b leaderboard.

Some of the notables who survived Day 1b with a healthy stack were Daniel Negreanu, Todd Terry, Brian Hastings, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Jonathan Little, Matt Waxman, Lisa Hamilton, and Nick Grippo. Negreanu finished well above the average stack on Saturday, but he turned the $3,500 entry fee into $14,000 after busting and re-entering the event three separate times during the two Day 1s. He was able to use his final bullet effectively, though, building a stack of 117,000 (average is 94,000).

Negreanu picked up a nice pot late in the day to start the upward trend. With the board showing {Q-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{A-Spades}, the player in the small blind checked and Negreanu bet 3,100. His opponent called and the {9-Hearts} hit the river. Another check prompted Negreanu to bet 9. The small blind then check-raised all in for 21,675 and Negreanu called and tabled {K-Spades}{J-Hearts} for Broadway, which bested the other player's {A-Spades}{Q-Diamonds} for two pair.

Negreanu then avoided disaster by making a big laydown against Dwyte Pilgrim:

Among the less fortunate on Saturday were Jason Mercier, Faraz Jaka, Andy Frankenberger, Tony Dunst, Matt Glantz, Chad Batista and Jeff Gross, all of whom failed to advance to Day 2.

Here's a look at the top 10 stacks from Day 1b:

1John Racener250,300
2Mark Rose245,300
3George Sinishtaj205,200
4Raj Vohra202,400
5Paulos Sauovidakis194,200
6Shon Mekyten188,200
7Hiren Patel186,100
8Paul Rushing171,700
9Lisa Hamilton168,800
10Taylor Moore165,000

Day 2 kicked off at 12:00 p.m. ET at bestbet Jacksonville. The remaining 157 players will attempt to play through the 45-player money bubble and down to the final 27. You can find the end-of-day recap right here at

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