Saturday night cherry popping in Vegas! Two more events and two more bracelet winners. This time, both pros notched their first-ever win with John Racener and Anthony Marquez locking up their first-ever WSOP bling. John Racener, former November Niner and 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up, finally binked a WSOP event. The win in Event #17 pushed Racener over the $8 million career mark in WSOP earnings. He now has $9.2M in total tournament winnings with the 2010 Main Event score worth $5.5M. Anthony Marquez, a high-stakes limit hold'em player from Southern California had to adjust to the evaporation of LHE in L.A.-based casinos. He shifted his focus from limit to no-limit and added more tournaments to his poker diet. And it worked so good that he won his first-ever bracelet. Marquez took down Event #16 $1,500 NL 6-Handed for a $393K score.
Event #16 $1,500 NL 6-Handed - Final Results
Anthony Marquez, a cash-game player from Los Angeles, descended upon Las Vegas with one goal: win a bracelet. The limit hold'em high-stakes reg faded a field of 1,748 short-handed donks to step into the winner's circle at the Rio Casino. Marquez survived a Legionnaire's Disease scare and a tough 6-handed final table that also featured Matt Berkey and Daniel Weinman. Alkin Amirov, representing Azerbaijan, made the final table but busted in sixth place. Berkey went out in fifth and Weinman was dunzo in third place.
Marquez defeated Canada's Demoesthenes Kiriopoulos heads-up for the win. That's a mouthful, but Marquez bested Demo for the bling and $393K in cash. Marquez added more tournaments to his poker regimen, but could never get over the Day 2 hump... until now.
Royce Matheson bubbled off the final table in seventh place. Blast from the past Layne Flack went deep, but he busted in 23rd place. Maybe this is the year that Back-to-Back Flack finally breaks thru to the other side?
Notables who went deep included Matt Stout, Brett Murray, James Mackey, Vinny Pahuja, Dietrich Fast, ZeeJustin, Steve Gross, Louis Linard, Sylvian Loosli, Hayg Badem, Remi Blanc, Men the Master, Alexandre Fradin, Amit Makhija, JC Tran, Allen Kessler, Faraz Jaka, Bart Hanson, Cate Hall, Terrence Chan, Elky, and Darren Elias.
2017 WSOP - Event #16 $1,500 NL 6-Handed
Event #17 $10,000 Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship - Final Results
Win it for mom! John Racener sported a simple white t-shirt with a message scribbled in a black marker: FOR MOM. Both the shirt and message were hidden underneath his hoodie for the duration of Day 3 in the $10K Dealers Choice Championship. Racener unzipped the hoodie to reveal the heartwarming message: FOR MOM. His mother died in 2013 after complications from liver cancer.
John Racener cashed 49 times in various WSOP events over the last decade. He also made 12 final tables in that stretch. But he had never won a bracelet... until now. Racener waited until his 50th cash to ship the bracelet. Racener went deep in Event #17 $10K Dealers Choice Championship. It was also his 13th-career final table. In this case, Event #17's final table was Lucky 13. Racener faded a field of 102 runners and outlasted a final table that also included the thorny Mike Matusow, Chris Klodnicki, Schuyler Thornton, and Denis Eichorn.
Mike the Mouth... denied! Over the last year or so, the tumultuous Mike Matusow took his verbal abuse to the hyper-politicized and divisive realm of social media. Depending on where you land on the political spectrum, the vocal Matusow is a right-wing patriot or purveyor of free speech, or frog-meme-loving lefty-troll. Matusow had not made a final table since his last bracelet win in at the 2013 WSOP, but he ended that four-year drought with a final table appearance in the 6-Max Championship. Alas, Matusow had to wait another day to return to the winner's circle, because the Mouth was dunzo in fifth place.
Eric Crain bubbled off the final table in seventh place. James Obst a.k.a Andy McLEOD nearly bubbled off the final table in eighth place. Shawn Buchanan went out in tenth place. Also cashing... Ben Yu, Tommy Hang, Matt Kelly, Zack Freeman, Lyle Berman, Todd Brunson, and Dave Prociak.
Racener beat two-time bracelet winner Viacheslav Zhukov heads-up for his first bracelet. The Russian tok home $169,323 for second place. Racener earned $274K and his total WSOP earnings surpased $8 million. Racener won the bracelet for his mother.
In his post-victory interview, Racener explained: "I always said to myself that I wanted to win my first bracelet for my mom. She's always been my biggest fan. She would always stay up and sweat me online all night. Even if she had to get up for work at eight 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."