When Randy Clinger began playing the main event of the 46th World Series of Poker (WSOP), an event that attracted a 6,243-strong field, he was determined to enjoy every bit of the poker play.

The 45-year-old resident of Upper Arlington finished in the 33rd position and took home a prize of $211,821. He busted only after playing the NL Hold’em event for six days.

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He was eliminated on Monday, but his style of playing attracted quite some attention. He said: “I just clowned it up the entire time. I hammed it up. I was thrilled to be there. It was something I always wanted to do.”

Stating that he was quite comfortable with displaying his emotions, he said: “Some of these poker players are just not likable. They wear hoodies or dirty T-shirts. They look like Unabomber or a guy who just robbed the 7-Eleven.”

But Clinger was determined to enjoy the event by performing clownish acts such as taking off his shoes and running around the table when he won a big hand and mimicking snow angels when he won again. An ESPN worker referred to him as “a breath of fresh air.”

Clinger, a retired physical education teacher, is now the co-owner of UA Fitness in the Tremont Center. A divorcee and father of two, Clinger stayed away from poker for nearly five years because he wanted to spend time with his sons. He decided to start playing poker again when his friend told him, “You’ve got to play poker again because you’re really good at it and you hate golf.”

In February, he played a weekend poker tournament at Shark Tank Club and won it. This made him the member of a weekly league, as part of which he won the year-end event and collected a prize package to the WSOP. The prize package included the buy-in of $1,000 to the main event and $2,000 spending money.

Clinger’s last hand was quite interesting. He had two queens and dramatically said: “Sir, I would like to wager all of my betting units.” He then ran around the table two times. While waiting for the turn, he chanted the names of Urban Meyer, the coach for OSU, and Ezekiel Elliott, the OSU player.

Unfortunately, Clinger had to leave the table as one of his opponents held a couple of aces, but he said that he will take part in next year’s WSOP Main Event.

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