John Racener Spins Shortest Stack Up to WSOP Gold in LHE Championship

John Racener

It wasn't quite a chip and a chair scenario but John Racener did come into Day 3 of Event #19: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship at the 2024 World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas at the bottom of the chips list, in a field that contained nine WSOP bracelet winners, and a former champion.

The result? His second gold bracelet to go along with $308,930 for first place.

"I am so blessed and grateful to be here" Racener said shortly after defeating Chad Eveslage in heads-up play to secure the win. "I am just so happy to be out here, being able to play and grind."

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Event #19: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (USD)
1John RacenerUnited States$308,930
2Chad EveslageUnited States$205,954
3Marco JohnsonUnited States$142,245
4Anthony MarsicoUnited States$101,062
5Shyamsundar ChallaIndia$73,922
6Justin KusumowidagdoUnited States$55,715
7Ronnia BardahUnited States$43,311
8Andrew KelsallUnited States$34,759

Racener attributes much of his success so far this summer to his wife, who takes care of their two sons, allowing him to be focused when he is on the road.

Another woman he made sure to mention was his late mother. "I know she is watching above me right now...she is happy as shit right now." When Racener won his first bracelet in 2017 in the $10,000 Dealer's Choice, he wore a shirt reading 'for mom' as a tribute. At the time, he said he "really wanted to win one for her" and today he doubled down.

Within the context of his poker career, Racener says this victory will help motivate him to pursue his main goal, the accolade of WSOP Player of the Year. He came close in 2017, finishing second to Chris Ferguson but with a win under his belt so early in the series, another golden opportunity has presented itself. "It's a huge start for me. Every day I'm in Vegas I'll be playing ."

Despite his goal, Racener was clear that family comes first and, above all else, "being with my kids is the most important for me."

Final Day Action

Maxx Coleman
Maxx Coleman was the first out of the final table.

Several notable players fell early in the day, including Nick Schulman (13th-$21,992) and the winner of this event in 2019, Juha Helppi (10th-$24,740). The latter's elimination set the stage for the unofficial final table of nine.

Maxx Coleman was the first casualty of the final table after being on the wrong end of a nasty cooler against Marco Johnson.

Next to go was Andrew Kelsall, who had been hovering towards the lower end of the chip counts for much of the day before succumbing to the nines of Anthony Marsico. Not long after, Ronnie Bardah got his money in good with jacks but Johnson turned trips to send the player responsible for the infamous Miss Finland hand out in seventh.

Justin Kusumowidagdo had avoided large confrontations for much of the day but eventually the limits caught up to him and he was ultimately finished off by Eveslage.

One of the early chip leaders in the day was Shyamsundar Challa. He even came into the final table with a stack comfortably north of average, but from that point on, struggled to maintain his earlier momentum. The end came in fifth when his dominating ace was outflopped by Marsico.

Marsico was next out the door, first crippled by one of his opponent's nut flush, the rest taken soon after by Racener.

That left Johnson, Racener and Eveslage to battle it out, all starting with relatively even stacks. Due to the deep stack depth at that point, three handed play continued for quite a while. However, Johnson did end up busting in third, when his flopped open ender failed to hit.

Heads-Up Play

John Racener
John Racener plays heads up.

Both Racener and Eveslage still had plenty of big bets to work with but with the time getting late, they agreed to reduce blind lengths from 90-minutes to 45-minutes.

Racener proceeded to seize control of play, eroding Eveslage until eventually he was forced all in on the flop with bottom pair against Racener's top pair. Everything seemed poised for a Racener victory, that is until Eveslage turned two pair to double.

The next few hands also went in Eveslage's favor and it suddenly looked as if Racener was in danger of coming tantalizingly close to the bracelet only for it to be snatched away at the last moment.

Those concerns were allayed, however, when Racener managed to get Eveslage all in and at risk again, this time making two pair himself to secure the victory and condemn Eveslage to a runner-up finish and a healthy $205,954 consolation prize.

This concludes coverage of Event #19: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship. Be sure to follow PokerNews as it continues to provide comprehensive coverage of the 2024 World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas.

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