After a long 14 hours of play at this Saturday’s November Nine final table, Jonathan Duhamel has once again proven he can outlast the best of the best. On Monday night, the 23-year old Duhamel will put his unprecedented chip lead on the felt against John Racener, the 24-year old from Florida who is the only other man left standing.
In a series of big raises, 3 and 4 bets from Cheong against Duhamel and other players, which saw Duhamel’s stack chipped away at, at one point Cheong appeared to be dominating the table. “Joseph Cheong: Korean for raise,” one of his fans said from the rail. An important hand between Cheong and Duhamel, was Hand #197 where Duhamel turned over :Ad :Kh to win a monster pot with paired kings while Cheong mucked. It became apparent that Duhamel may have exposed Cheong’s Achilles heel (an extended bluff raise pattern).
Cheong appeared to continue this betting pattern with some confidence unsuspecting that the Canadian was setting a trap for Cheong, and Cheong took the bait in the all-important hand.
Racener who appeared to be the next man out, watched as Duhamel and Cheong pounded at each other in a historic hand which made the largest pot in WSOP history. Racener sat on the sidelines with a big smile as both players shoved all-in, knowing he would likely be safe another day and stood to make at least an additional $1.5M, the prize jump between 3rd and 2nd place.
John Racener has the button.
Joseph Cheong raises to 2.9 million from the small blind after Racener folds his button. Jonathan Duhamel reraises from the big blind to 6.75 million. Cheong doesn’t buy it and four-bets to 14.25 million. Duhamel comes back with a five-bet to 22.75 million.
Cheong goes back and checks his hand while thinking about his decision. The room is completely silent while Cheong tanks. The crowd grows a bit restless after a minute or so, but settles back down before Cheong takes some more time. Cheong moves all in and Duhamel makes the call!
Duhamel: :Qc :Qd
Cheong: :As :7h
The flop is spread, :9h :3d :2c and Cheong still needs to hit while Duhamel stays in front.
The turn brings the :6s and everyone in this room in on the edge of their seat awaiting the river card.
The river completes the board with the :8s and that’s it! The sea of red Montreal Canadians jerseys swarms Duhamel on the stage and begins the chant of, “Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!” Cheong sits back in his chair to assist with the final and official count of the stacks. His cheering section stands stunned, many shaking their heads.
Following this crippling Hand #213, Cheong who is now the short stack at the table, managed to pick up chips during a couple of hands but once again on Hand #219 the hooded pair locked horns once again and move all in. It’s Cheong’s Qs :Tc against Duhamel’s :As :2c. Duhamel’s Ace held up to seal the final two spots for him and Racener.
With an unprecedented 6 to 1 chip advantage over Racener, Duhamel is definitely holding the cards.
The battle will continue on Monday night at 8 PM where an entire Nation of Canadian poker fans hope to celebrate Canada’s first World Series of Poker Main Event Champion. First place will take a WSOP Bracelet, $8,944,138 plus many sponsorship opportunities. Second place is worth $5,545,855.
Play will resume tonight at 8 p.m.