Razz is a polarizing game. World Series of Poker Main Event commentator Norman Chad has led the hate parade and many people have jumped on his bandwagon. Many view it as a game based too much in luck; the best starting hands aren’t huge favorites over decent starting hands and so much of the result is dependent on the run-out. Others love it – it can be fun to try to get the worst hand for a change and to not worry at all about straights and flushes. And those with some skill in Razz have massive advantages over novices, even if said novices are skilled in other poker variations. Of course, in the $10,000 Razz Championship at the 2019 WSOP, the field of 116 entrants was conspicuously absent of novice Razz players, but that mattered none to Scott Seiver, who triumphed over all to win his third career WSOP bracelet.
In fact, while many players would prefer to be playing against crap competition, Seiver relishes the opportunity to go up against a stacked field.
“I love these events, I love these tournaments,” he said to WSOP.com after his victory. “These limit events at the World Series are really the only time all year you get to play these tournaments for a real buy-in against good players. It’s like really fun to get to do.”
He even saw opportunity at an insanely deep final table, saying, “Honestly, when we got down to nine players, I was pretty happy with the table draw. There were some unbelievably difficult players at that table and I was separated far enough away from some of the best that I was hopeful that I could find the spots and do what you can.”
There were six players who had bracelets to their name other than Seiver at the final table: Andrey Zhigalov, Chris Ferguson, Daniel Zack, Daniel Negreanu, Andre Akkari, and David Bach. So that’s a mixed-game expert who made this same final table a couple years ago, a former Main Event champ who is a finalist for the Poker Hall of Fame (and who I am rooting heavily against), the current WSOP Player of the Year leader at his fourth final table of the summer, a six-time bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Famer, one of the Brazil’s toughest players, and a three-time bracelet winner who is second-to-none in mixed games. The only one at the final table who had never won a gold bracelet was George Alexander.
Seiver nearly didn’t make it to heads-up, as he was down to fewer than two big bets as Day 3 drew to a close, but he was able to triple-up, then knock out Ferguson in third place. Seiver was still down about 4-to-1 going into heads-up against Zhigalov, but quickly scooped big pots to take the chip lead. The goal was to finish the tournament by the end of the night, but the two men had to come back for Day 4.
And Day 4 was all Seiver. He dominated the proceedings, nearly eliminating Zhigalov a couple times only to see Zhigalov come back, but after about an hour and a half, he finished off his opponent, eeking out the final hand with a 10-8 versus Zhigalov’s 10-9.
Seiver now has almost $5 million in lifetime WSOP earnings and almost $24 million in total live tournament winnings.
2019 World Series of Poker $10,000 Razz Championship – Final Table Results
- Scott Seiver – $301,421
- Andrey Zhigalov – $186,293
- Chris Ferguson – $131,194
- Daniel Zack – $94,305
- Daniel Negreanu – $69,223
- Andre Akkari – $51,911
- David Bach – $39,788
- George Alexander – $31,185
Lead photo credit: WSOP.com