An Unsurprising End to WSOP 2010: Duhamel

After all the ceremonies of the final night, it took only 43 hands to determine whose wrist would wear this year’s championship bracelet. The tournament results for the 2010 WSOP Main Event now read:

Buy-in: $10,000

Prizepool: $68,799,059

Entries: 7,319

Remaining: 1

That “1” is none other than Canadian Jonathan Duhamel. Duhamel went into the event as the overwhelming favorite thanks in large part to his big stack. He lost that lead a couple times to Michael Mizrachi and Joseph Cheong only to later take both players out. Going into heads-up action, Duhamel’s stack was more than six times larger than his heads-up opponent John Racener’s.

The heads-up portion of the evening was relatively short, but those 43 hands were probably some of the tensest in WSOP history. Racener had proven his abilities with a short stack throughout his run in the Main Event, and there were many moments where it looked like he might indeed overcome his handicap. The final night began at Hand #220, and the remaining players made it to their first showdown on Hand #229. Duhamel won, taking his stack past the 200 million chip mark and reducing Racener’s to less than 20 million.

In the very next hand, Racener rallied by shoving all in with a pair of pocket queens. His ladies held true through the draw, and Racener doubled up for the first and only time. Racener went all in five times Monday night; the first time he doubled up, the next three times Duhamel folded, and on the fifth time Duhamel caught him out.

Racener again went all in in Hand #262 with Kd-8d and Duhamel met him in the middle with As-Jh. The flop showed 4c-4d-9s. Racener was looking grim, and Duhamel was dancing in place. It was a good indication of how both men played their games – Racener quiet and steady and Duhamel fast and fierce. The turn was 6c. Every member of the crowd was on their feet and leaning toward the table. The river came up 5c. The year’s biggest event was over, and Duhamel won it with a high card.

Racener was no doubt disappointed, but not too disappointed to limp into a $5,545,955 payout. The usual festivities followed. Duhamel posed behind his pile of winnings – $8,944,310 in total – was showered in confetti, and accepted his championship bracelet from 2009 winner Joe Cada. Duhamel was understandably short on words, though we’ll surely hear more from him in the days that follow.

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