June 12, 2019 - (Las Vegas) - Every poker player has probably dreamed about playing at a final table for a World Series of Poker bracelet. John Gorsuch, 42, was one of those players. He just won the 2019 Millionaire Maker for $1,344,930 after beating a record field of 8,809.
“I started a company and got over 100 people $15-million in revenue and this is still the biggest day of my life. Not only that, all my friends that I’ve played with, this is for all them too.”
He got close to winning a bracelet once before. He finished fifth in 2017 in the $3,000 6-Max. He entered today with $452,021 in tournament winnings, without ever booking an official tournament win.
“I haven’t won a tournament outright since maybe 2013 and it was a little bar tournament”
His story might have been a little different than he dreamed when he found himself under-the-gun with less than two big blinds. He was left short after an exposed card led to him getting pocket jacks. He lost a flip for almost all his chips and was left short with the big blind and the big blind ante looking him in the eye.
“I actually got jacks when someone hit the card as it was coming out, so instead of getting jack-three, I got jacks,” Gorsuch said.
After losing the hand, he wanted to get full value for his chips. Instead of waiting to pay the ante and half the big blind, he did something that few people in poker have probably done. If they have done it, they probably haven’t done it eight spots away from winning $1,344,930 and their first bracelet. He went all-in blind.
He shoved under the gun and won the hand with two pair. The next hand, he was in the big blind with pocket nines. He got in a three-way all in pot and flopped a set. Turned out that was the launching pad he needed to go on to win the 2019 Millionaire Maker and become a millionaire.
“I think it just kind of freed me to loosen up. I think that helped catapult me.”
Gorsuch has been part of planning his parent’s 50th anniversary celebration cruise. Now that he’s won this tournament, he’s decided to pay for everyone to go. He also plans on putting an addition on his parent’s house before upgrading some of his own stuff.
Gorsuch wins the largest-ever Millionaire Maker tournament. He defeated Kazuki Ikeuchi heads up after five days of play. Ikeuchi entered the final day of play with the chip lead. At one point, Ikeuchi had a more than ten-to-one chip lead with four players left. Gorsuch found a few doubles and managed to enter heads up play with the stacks a little closer. He eventually took the lead and then the win.
This was Gorsuch’s 20th WSOP tournament cash. He recently sold a company and is debating whether or not to take a shot at playing poker full time.
“I’m a poker player for right now. I’ve talked to other people who’ve bought companies, sold companies. You always have that itch to figure out what’s next. Poker is awesome. I can play poker all day and all night long. This kind of helps figure out whether I want to keep doing it. Which I think I do.”
Gorsuch took a big chip lead after heads up play started, continuing his good luck streak, by doubling up again. He eventually defeat Ikeuchi to win his first WSOP bracelet and the $1.3-million first prize.
Final table payouts: (Click here for a list of the full results)
1) John Gorsuch ($1,344,930)
2) Kazuki Ikeuchi ($830,783)
3) Lokesh Garg ($619,017)
4) Vincas Tamasaukas ($464,375)
5) Joshua Thibodaux ($350,758)
6) Cory Albertson ($266,771)