Canadian pro takes down $8.9 million first prize
It’s all over. Four months after 7,319 runners stumped up $10,000 for poker’s biggest showpiece, Jonathan Duhamel has been crowned champ for $8,944,310 and become the first Canadian winner of the Main Event.
Millions of spectators around the world watched on as the November Nine returned to the Rio for a two day final table, but Duhamel was the only player to hold his nerve amidst all the drama, sending big names Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi and Joseph Cheong to the rail along the way.
Duhamel, a college-dropout turned online poker pro from Quebec, built a staggering 6-1 chip stack over second place finisher John Racener before heads-up play had begun, and was in no mood to let his lead slip when they returned to the Rio on Monday.
Barely an hour had passed when Duhamel pushed Racener all-in with AJ, raising his hands to the sky as his opponent’s K8 failed to connect on a nine-high board.
‘Thank you to everybody for being here, it’s a dream come true,’ Duhamel said as he was swamped by his army of supporters. ‘I don’t know what to think, I don’t know what to say.’
The final table payouts were as follows:
1. Jonathan Duhamel $8,944,310
2. John Racener $5,545,955
3. Joseph Cheong $4,130,049
4. Filippo Candio $3,092,545
5. Michael Mizrachi $2,332,992
6. John Dolan $1,772,959
7. Jason Senti $1,356,720
8. Matthew Jarvis $1,045,743
9. Soi Nguyen $811,823