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John Racener One Of Nine Remaining At 2010 World Series Of Poker Main Event

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John Racener One Of Nine Remaining At 2010 World Series Of Poker Main Event

The wait is almost over for the final nine players remaining in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event. In case you’re not familiar with the format, the massive field of poker players who pony up the $10,000 entry fee in July play all the way down to the final table. Then, for television purposes, the tournament goes on a multi-month hiatus before resuming this coming weekend. One of the 7,300+ entrants still vying for the  close to $9 million dollar first place prize is John Racener, a relatively anonymous professional poker player from down in Tampa. He’s no longer all that unknown though after making it to the final table of The Big One. Can he join the exclusive fraternity of Main Event champions, win his first bracelet and pocket millions? We’ll find out beginning on Saturday.

Racener joined The King David Show on WQYK in Tampa to talk about the scheduling format of the final table, the minimum amount the remaining nine players are guaranteed to earn, what his mindset and realistic expectations are each summer when he sets out to participate in the multi-event World Series of Poker, what he’s been up to this past several months while waiting for the final table, how he’s waiting for the completion of the event before making any really big purchases, and other entertaining and informative topics that poker enthusiasts might enjoy listening to.

On what the scheduling format is for the final table:

“Saturday we’ll play until it’s down to heads-up, we get Sunday off, then Monday is the big ceremony and presentation. Then we play heads-up. I’m expecting [Saturday] to go like 15, 20 hours for sure.”

On how much all nine final table players are guaranteed to earn just for having made it this far:

“We’re all guaranteed 800,000, and they paid us all that then, and when we go back, whoever gets 9th gets no more money. So there’s going to be a lot of pressure when there’s nine people left.”

On what his mindset and realistic expectations are at the outset of the World Series of Poker every summer:

“Well this is how I look at it: I’m out there for six or seven weeks every summer, and I probably play about 25 of the 50 events that lead up to the Main Event. I did pretty well in a quite a few of those events. I guess break even would be an alright summer considering all the partying going on. [laughter] I mean, going into the Main Event, you walk in and you see all these people, like 7,300 people. There’s four different Day 1′s. It’s an eight day tournament, so you’ve got to go eight days without getting unlucky. You might have to get lucky a handful of times. It’s like, wow, to get through this it’s going to be some ride. It actually went really smooth though. I got off to a good start and never looked back.”

On what he did in between the end of July and now – did he get a coach, stay away from poker, etc?:

“Well I didn’t get a coach because I’m self taught. All my success online and live I’ve all learned on my own. But I went out to this Cyprus/Greece event; I went out there, it was a fun trip, and I got to play poker for Full Tilt. And then I went out to the World Series of Poker Europe in London which was awesome. It was my first time out there, and it was probably the best place I’ve ever been and got to experience a lot of fun stuff out there and play a lot. I didn’t do any good in the Main Event out there. I got to Day 2 but that’s it. I got fifth in the Omaha Event so that was kind of cool, and I almost won my first bracelet, but I figure I’ll save my first bracelet for the Main Event.”

On if he’s like some other pros that want the bracelet more than caring about the money associated with winning:

“To me, the money’s more important. The bracelet’s nice, I mean, there’s only forty or so World Series of Poker Main Event Champions so that would be a nice elite group to belong to. But if you’re going to give me the money or the bracelet, you’d have to be stupid not to take the money unless you’re like Bill Gates and have all the money in the world.”

On if he’s bought himself anything nice the past few months:

“The last three or four months nothing real big or new. I’m waiting until after, then I’m going to go to the extent. I want to get a five or six bedroom house, something real big like that somewhere in Tampa.”

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