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John Gorsuch Makes Improbable Comeback To Win Millionaire Maker Bracelet

Virginia Native Scored $1.344 Million For His First World Series Of Poker Bracelet


John Gorsuch became the third millionaire crowned at the 2019 World Series of Poker Wednesday afternoon.

The Virginia native earned his first bracelet in the $1,500 ‘Millionaire Maker’ no-limit hold’em. He defeated Kazuki Ikeuchi heads-up to finish off the massive 8,809-entry field to earn $1.344 million in the largest-ever millionaire maker field.

“I started a company and got over 100 people, $15 million in revenue, and this is still the biggest day of my life,” Gorsuch told WSOP reporters. “Not only that. All my friend that I’ve played with, this is for all them too.”

He joined ‘Big 50’ winner Femi Fashakin and $50,000 high roller champion Ben Heath as the three players who have earned seven-figure scores so far this year. Of the three, Gorsuch was the most improbable to secure a million dollar payday.

With nine players remaining, Gorsuch was a longshot to earn the title. Even that may be an understatement. He was under the gun with less than two big blinds due to an unfortunate error that cost him a massive flip.

“I actually got jacks when someone hit the card as it was coming out,” said Gorsuch. “So, instead of getting jack-three, I got jacks.”

He lost the flip and moved all in blind from under the gun, made two pair and picked up pocket nines the next hand in the big blind. He tripled up and the comeback began.

Kazuki Ikeuchi“I think it just kind of freed me to loosen up,” said Gorsuch about his triple up. “I think that helped catapult me.”

The final table played down to the final six players Tuesday, who came back on Wednesday at noon to finish off the event. Even with a 20-big blind stack, he was still the second-shortest stack remaining, while eventual runner-up Ikeuchi was leading the way.

Ikeuchi knocked out Cory Alertson in sixth and Joshua Thibodaux in fifth, which gave him an unbelievably huge lead. At the outset of four-handed play, Ikeuchi had 183.9 million in chips, compared to Gorsuch, who was second, with 14.4 million.

After Vincas Tamasaukas busted in fourth, Gorsuch was the short stack again. He doubled up twice and left Lokesh Garg as the short stack.

Garg busted in third and by the time heads-up play started, Ikeuchi only held about a 1.5:1 chip advantage over Gorsuch. Gorsuch doubled up early in the heads-up match with pocket kings against Ikeuchi’s K-3 to take the chip lead.

They battled for another 33 hands before Gorsuch finished the job by turning two pair with Q-7 against Ikeuchi’s pocket aces. Ikeuchi earned $830,783 for his runner-up finish.

Gorsuch netted 1,320 points in the Card Player Player of the Year race for his win. It’s his seventh qualifying cash and first final table, which puts him in 100th place in the 2019 POY race, sponsored by Global Poker.

Final Table Results:

Place Player Winnings (USD) POY Points
1 John Gorsuch $1,344,930 1320
2 Kazuki Ikeuchi $830,783 1100
3 Lokesh Garg $619,017 880
4 Vincas Tamasauskas $464,375 660
5 Joshua Thibodaux $350,758 550
6 Cory Albertson $266,771 440
7 Bob Shao $204,306 330
8 Fabian Gumz $157,565 220
9 Joshua Reichard $122,375 110

For more coverage from the summer series, check out the 2019 WSOP landing page, complete with a full schedule, results, news, player interviews, and event recaps.