WSOP Event #26: $10,000 Razz Championship (Live Updates)

4 years ago
WSOP Event #26: $10,000 Razz Championship (Live Updates)
11 Jun

Day 3

Kurtzman Out in Second, James Obst Takes Down The Razz Championship

Slowly but surely Obst set to work chopping out small stacks of chips from Kurtzman’s lead. By the time the betting limits had risen to 80,000-160,000 Obst was dominating with 4,560,000 to just 290,000.

With the antes of 20,000 representing over 1/15th of his stack Kurtzman got it all in on 6th street with 4-4 / 4-A-3-2 versus Obst’s A-8 / 3-2-5-5 for a made 8-5 low. Kurtzman needed to hit a five, six, seven or eight without Obst redrawing to better.

Obst paired his ace leaving all of Kurtzman’s outs still live. But none of them came. Instead a jack ended the tournament. Kurtzman took $163,876 for coming in first of the losers, while James Obst lift the bracelet on arms weighted with the $265,138 first place.

Obst came across as eminently level headed, saying:

"I guess it's a new experience to win a bracelet. When you win one and it's online I'm probably– I'm obviously not celebrating wildly like some people might, because that's just my nature. Online when no one's around you can probably be a bit more excited and get pumped up a bit more. But at the moment I'm just a bit– I don't know how to process it just yet. It's awesome."

He’s well on his way to being a serious contender in the landscape of poker. This is his first bracelet but he’s already cashed five times now this WSOP and this latest win brings him to over $2.5million in tournament winnings.

Given how Vegas is treating him, and Oz’s plans to make poker illegal, it’ll be a wonder he ever leaves.

He’ll be one to watch, and we’ll be doing the watching.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Rio Farah Galfond talked Twitter and giraffes.

Down to Heads Up

8:18 PST, 15th June 2017

Threeway play continued for roughly an hour when, with the betting at 50,000-100,000 Kurtzman and Baker tangled in the following pot.

Kurtzman completed with a x-x / 7 and Baker raised with x-x / 6. They went to cap which put Baker all in with 7-4 in the hole. Kurtzman showed 5-3.

The boards ran out as follows:

Baker: 7-4-J / 6-9-3-7

Kurtzman: 5-3-2 / 6-T-8-4

Baker grabbed his coat and 3rd place, winning $112,645 and leaving behind his hopes for today’s bracelet.

Head up play begins between Eric Kurtzman with 3,700,000 and James Obst who is trailing by about 3-1 with 1,150,000.

Down To Three Handed Play

19:19 PST, 15th June 2017

Nick Shulman was the first out in a threeway showdown with Brandon Shack-Harris and Jyri Merivirta. He gets $21,946 for his 9th place finish. Jack Duong followed just minutes later, for $26,674 in a similar showdown with James Obst and David Baker.

Jyri Merivirta was beaten for his last chips by Shack-Harris with a 6-5-4-3-2 who was beaten in turn by Zhigalov’s 6-5-4-3-A. Shack-Harris survived to bemoan his luck, but Merivirta was sent packing with a $33,485 pay-out. And then there were six.

Crippled by the previous hand, and with the bets now at 20,000-40,000 Brandon Shack-Harris moved all in for 15,000. Less than the small bet and got the wonder board: x-x-x / 4-2-4-3

Obst and Baker stayed in with him but Obst mucked when Baker showed 9-8-K / 3-J-6-5 for a 9-8 low. Shack-Harris had paired his three with A-3 and a face card. He gets $43,370 for 6th.

With the betting levels up to 30,000-60,000 Zinno was next out (5th - $57,903) and  everyone started to gear up towards the bracelet which was now so close the whole air smelled of gaudy jewellry and fame. 


Not that Zhigalov remained long enough to get any of that smell on him; he stayed around just long enough to see the blinds go up to 40,000-80,000 before going out in 4th with a jack-low beaten by Baker’s 7-6. Still there was $79,616 waiting on the rail for Zhigalov. We hope they will be very happy together.

Play Begins on Razz Champ Final Table

14:15 PST, 15th June 2017

James Obst is on a roll this year, sitting pretty at the the top of the chip count today with 34 big bets going into the third and final day of the $10,000 Razz Championship. But it will be a long day of poker as even the short stack, Jack Duong, is sitting behind a rather uncomfortable – even for so late in a tournament at least – 6 big bets.

He’s up against a tough table Antony Zinno with 508,000 chips, Nick Shulman with 238,000 chips, Brandon Shack-Harris with 587,000 and David “ODB” Baker who is close on Obst’s tail with 757,000 chips.

While other players are scrabbling for each other’s chips out in the Brasilia room proper, and cash is flowing back and forth in King’s Lounge, our nine players will be gathering in the Thunderdome to play for the $265,138 up top for the bracelet winner.

After the current level the clock goes back to one-hour per level.

It’s anyone’s game as of now.

Day 2

End of Day 2 James Obst Leads Again

Owais Ahmed was the last bust out of the day (10th for $21,946) bringing the field down down to the official final table of nine players.

James Obst, an Australian for who this is turning out to be a bumper year, led the way with 818,000 in chips. But it is tight at the top with Andrey Zhigalov (782,000), David “ODB” Baker (757,000) and Eric Kurtzman (737,000) not far behind.

Obst is currently 15th on the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard and has already cashed four times this year including two final tables.

Play will resume tomorrow, 15th June 2017, at 3 PM PDT, when they will finish up the 12,000-24,000 betting level.

End-of-Day 2 Chip Counts

1James Obst818,000
2Andrey Zhigalov
3David "ODB" Baker
4Eric Kurtzman
5Brandon Shack-Harris
6Anthony Zinno
7Jyri Merivirta
8Nick Schulman
9Jack Duong

To The Final Table

03:00 PDT, 15th June 2017

With everyone in the money most fields loosen up a bit, but you wouldn’t expect that in a field of of wheat like this one. They’re here for the bracelet and you don’t win those by holding on for a $5,000 profit on your buyin.

Still it only took 20 minutes before Roland Israelashvili took the min-cash of $15,000 for 15th. 

He was followed out by Ted Forrest in a four way hand with Obst, Merivirta and Zhigalov. No bracelet number seven for him, instead he got $16,437 and the warm glow of having participated.

Three more eliminations brought the field down to the unofficial final table of ten players and with the betting limits at 12,000-24,000Owais Ahmed, Anthony Zinno and Brandon Shack-Harris got involved on seven streets leaving Ahmed all in and at risk on the final card.

Zinno showed the A-6-6 / 7-4-8-7 for a 8-7 low, Shack-Harris mucked his x-x-x / T-T-4-4 and Ahmed showed the 5-8-7 / 9-A-T-Q for a 9-7 low and 10th place.

In The Money

19:04 PDT, 14th June 2017

There was blood in the water soon enough. Connor Drinan was the first to the rail in 38th and was followed over the next couple of hours by plenty more.

Erik Seidel went out in 26th when his K-low was pipped by a Q low on seventh street. Phil Hui set the mood when he cried, “This is so frustrating,” when his A-3-4-6 low failed to catch.

That’s Razz for you.

Before long the field was whittled down to the final sixteen and play went hand for hand on the bubble.

Randy Ohel managed to get his 42,000 chip stack in on fourth street against Eric Kurtzman. With 2-4/3-6 Kurtzman was looking strong against at risk Ohel’s 3-5/8-Q. But this is razz and all it takes is one card.

Unfortunately that card was the ace and it went to Kurtzman, giving him the second nut-low and rendering Ohel’s hand dead as a coffin-nail.

Day 2 Begins for Razz Championship

15:03 PDT, 14th June 2017

Day 2 of the razz tournament started on Twitter where “Texas Dolly” Doyle joined in the assault on the WSOP’s choice of cards. And while one appreciated that the sheer volume of decks required makes some cost cutting sensible, for the $10k events perhaps a little more of the vig could go into some nice Copags.

Debate also continues about the new player of the year points system.

Daniel Negreanu also filed his report on day one of the event, as well as Phil Hellmuth’s 30 minute book launch.

At the actual tables though the game is looking decidedly tough. There’s a lot of sharks  out there – Erik Seidel, Tedd Forrest, James Obst and ODB, to name a but a few – and not enough chum to go round. So all eyes will be on the short stacks like Bryan Rast (28,000) and Matt Smith (31,000) to bust on the way to the money.

Top 15 players are paid. Play will start with betting levels of 5,000-10,000 and antes of 1,000 and will rise every two hours. Play will continue until the final table of nine is reached.

Day 1

Day 1 Ends 38 Remain

02:30 PST, 14th June 2017

38 players have bagged up at the end of Day One in the $10,000 Razz Championship, the rest of the 97 entrees have gone home empty handed.

Notable busts include Hellmuth, Negreanu and last year’s Razz champ Dehkerghani. They’ve left behind a pretty creamy five tables though, Frank Kessela leads the field at the moment. But he seemed far more chuffed with his own poker-casual bedhead than the 364,500 chips he had accumulated by bagging time.

Don Zewin (303,000) and Anthony Zinno (254,000) follow him in second and third, with James Chen in the small stack position with just 23,000.

Mike Leigh on the other hand managed to bag up in two tournaments today. So he’ll be getting plenty of exercise running between this event and the Marathon.

The 97 entrants this year made for a $911,800 prize pool which will be split by the top 15 finishers, with the min-cash in fifteenth place being $15,000. The big prize up top will be $265,138, not including the bracelet.

They played ten levels today rather than the scheduled eight. So play will pick up tomorrow at the 5,000-10,000 betting level. From here on out, the levels run for two hours. Get the full story here.

1Frank Kassela364,500
2Don Zewin303,000
3Anthony Zinno254,000
4Andrey Zhigalov241,000
5Konstantin Maslak216,500
6James Obst210,000
7Russell Clayton 200,000
8Mike Watson190,000
9Viacheslav Zhukov187,500
10Jared Talarico185,000

Last Call For Late Reg

21:01 PST, 13th June 2017

In the 2,000-4,000 level Negreanu completed with a queen up against Russell Clayton. "You know what? I'm feeling lucky, so I'm going to defend the queen,” said Negreanu, instantly picking up another Queen on fourth street and having to fold.

Phil Hellmuth has joined the field, so maybe if Negreanu can hold on, the old frenemies will be racing for the bracelet together.

A few hands later the, blinds went up to 1,500-3,000 and the first player of the tourney doubled his starting stack. Ben Zamani passed the 100,000 in chips after taking a massive pot with a 9-8-7 low against a J-T-7-A board for his opponent Randy Ohel.

Ohel mucked his hand on the river when he saw Zamani’s and the pot brought Zamani exactly up to the nice round 100,000 mark.

The rise in blinds marked the end of the registration period and so with the count in, there are 97 players in this years event. Down from the 100 last year.

Slowly, Slowly Catch A Monkey - The Early Stages

18:00 PST, 13th June 2017

Limit games play rather slower in the early stages of the tournament and it took a fair while before the first eliminations started to roll in.

Some of the players are pretty pleased about their progress starting out. Others not so much. 

Ultimately it was Katherine Fleck who was first to lay her stack to rest after running a bluff and getting caught with a full-house on seventh street and being left with a desperate 2,300 which went in on fourth street the next hand but lost to Eric Kurtzman.

We may have to wait a while for the next person to snuff it.

Day 1 Begins

15:40 PST, 13th June 2017

Right off the bat we’ve got some huge names in the starting field. Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, David Benyamine, David “ODB” Baker, Donnacha O’Dea, Shaun Deeb, POY threat James Obst and defending champ Dehkerghani have all ponied up the $10,000 to run this race.

Allen Kessler already has a $1,000 last longer pool going with the other players in the event. He’s already got 20 stacks of cash in the pool for whoever busts last.

Matt Glantz is back at the heart of controversy after Choicegate, he’s now boycotting the $10k events until they change the type of cards they use. His concern is about how easily the current cards pick up scratches, as was embarrassingly discovered at the $111,111 One Drop final table.

Welcome to opposite day at the World Series of Poker, where there are no straights or flushes and the best hand loses every time. We’re playing razz

Razz is a great game for the more psychological player. With the simplified hand structure (see the video below for the rules of the game) players are often repping a simple good/bad hand. Plus everyone being on a draw until card seven makes for some crazy action and a whole bunch of swings, so tilt control is as important as pot odds.

These high-stakes non-hold’em games are great bracelet games with the deep stacks and lower turnout. So expect a ton of big names to buy-in for a shot at the glory.

We know Phil Hellmuth has been working on his non-hold’em games lately and he did win this event back in 2015, so we’d expect him to show. Along with the big bracelet bet of the year Daniel Negreanu who is still looking for #7 after two second place finishes. It also seems likely that last year’s $10k Razz bracelet winner: the Iranian pro Ray Dehkerghani, will be showing to defend his title and chase his second bracelet.

The $10,000 Razz Championship will start out at 3:00 PM PST on the  13th June 2017. The first of the 60 minute levels will start out with ante’s of 100, a bring in of 200 and limits of 500-1,000. Which will make the 50,000 starting stacks nice and deep. But don’t expect that to affect the game much. Razz is a brutal high-variance game and fifty big bets can disappear pretty quickly.

We’ll be here with updates from day one of the action in this lowball high-roller jamboree.

If you’re playing, or just spectating, you might want a quick refresher on basic strategy. Daniel Negreanu is there for you with his guide starting hands, common draws and what exactly a ‘banana’ is.

Articles 278

Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more


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