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2010 World Series of Poker November Nine Profile -- John Racener

Seasoned Pro Trying to Make the Most of His Opportunity


John RacenerThe biggest storyline of the 2010 November Nine is clearly Michael Mizrachi, who has a chance to become poker’s all-time greatest tournament winner. But when the Grinder is asked about the significance of having a major pro at the final table, he makes sure to correct the record — there are two, not one, major live pros at this year’s final table.

John Racener, of course, is that second pro. Quiet and understated, Racener has flown into this year’s final table a little bit under the radar thanks to the Grinder’s stunning summer of accolades. The 24-year-old Florida pro hardly seems to mind.

“I just feel [appreciative] of the whole experience that I’m about to go through. It’s just amazing,” said Racener.

Further more, he speaks highly of his friend, competitor, and November’s feature attraction.

“I’d really like to see The Grinder do well,” said Racener. “He’s a good guy, a good kid, and I consider him a friend.”

At 24, Racener might not seem like a seasoned pro, but he is approaching nearly a decade of worth of bona-fide experience. At 16, he played online poker for the first time. Unable to play for money on his own because of the credit card required, he asked his mom if she could deposit money for him, and to his surprise, she agreed.

“Mom always helped me out, did everything for me,” said Racener. “My mom gave me $50 on a poker site with her credit card … and I ran it up to 30 grand in six months.”

Poker seemingly came easy for Racener, who was a good athlete growing up and by his own admission, fiercely competitive.

“I was always very competitive playing sports … It’s just in my blood, how much I want to compete,” said Racener. “I played everything, but mostly baseball, basketball, soccer, and tennis.”

After completing his associate of arts degree from Florida Southern, Racener couldn’t help but be caught up in a game he loved and a game at which he excelled.

John RacenerIn the very first big Sunday tournament he played online — the predecessor to what is now known as PokerStars Sunday Million, but was then a $500,000 guarantee — Racener won.

“I won it for $130,000 against 3,300 people. I was maybe 18 or 19 at the time,” Racener remembers. “I had a very good bankroll right off the bat.”

Since that initial success, Racener earned three more six-figure scores — a third-place finish at the 2006 WSOP Circuit – Atlantic City for $103,527, an eighth-place finish at the 2007 WPT Winter Poker Open for $166,161, and a first-place finish at the 2007 WSOP Circuit – Atlantic City for $379,392.

Although that 2007 result was his last big live six-figure result until this summer, he has collected a slew of impressive five-figure scores since then, accumulating over $1.7 million in tournament winnings (not including the 2010 main event).

Racener is no stranger to World Series of Poker final tables. Besides his circuit success, he finished sixth in an Omaha/seven-card stud high-low event in 2008, and seventh in a pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better event in 2009.

He hopes to use that experience and improve upon those results come November.

“This is a dream come true,” said Racener. “I’m going to give it 100 percent, and I know if I do that, I’m going to get the best results possible.”



almost 11 years ago

^ ^ ^ lol


almost 11 years ago

John, Go kick some azz for everybody at Derby. Just 2 months ago i was playing with you at the $1/$2 table. LOLOLOLOL GL