Event 33: Seven Card Razz World Championship. 15 Years After Making His First WSOP Final Table Appearance, James Richburg Defeats Carlos Mortensen In Heads-up Play.Official Results and Report from the 2006 World Series of Poker.
Event 33: Seven-Card Razz with Buy-in of $1,500.
Seven-Card Razz has developed a bad reputation. It's the proverbial step-child of poker games. While the rest of the world is playing Texas Hold'em, Razz is the quirky card game that pops up every now and then at a few major poker tournaments. The game attracts an admittedly older and more traditional crowd.
Razz gets a bad rap, which is unfair. After all, the game is full of subtle nuances and razor-thin margins. Perhaps one reason Razz will never rival Hold'em in terms of popularity is because it lacks excitement and drama. No-limit Hold'em is a test of courage. Razz is a test of patience. No-Limit Hold 'em rewards the brave. Razz punishes the daring.
Few spectators were left in the audience to witness James Richburg's resounding 1st WSOP victory. He won his first bracelet precisely at 4:45 am early on a Monday morning in front of hundreds of empty seats and poker tables which had been filled to capacity only hours earlier. Richburg won the tournament in typical Razz fashion - by simply outlasting everyone else, waiting for the right moments, and pushing small advantages which produced large gains.
The Razz championship at the 2006 World Series of Poker, presented by Milwaukee's Best Light, attracted 409 entries. The final table consisted of three former WSOP gold bracelet winners - "Miami John" Cernuto (with 3 wins), Carlos Mortensen (with 2 wins), and Cliff Josephy (with one win).
This was the "oldest" final table so far at this year's WSOP, other than the seniors championship. The youngest player was age 38. In fact, the finalists ranged from 38 up to 62 years - in dramatic contrast to most hold'em final tables which have been dominated by twenty-somethings.
SEAT 1 - Carlos "The Matador" Mortensen 118,000
SEAT 2 - James Richburg 115,000
SEAT 3 - Ron Ritchie 80,000
SEAT 4 - "Miami" John Cernuto 55,000
SEAT 5 - Steven Diano 50,000
SEAT 6 - Chad Carpenter 30,000
SEAT 7 - Richard Sklar 35,000
SEAT 8 - Cliff Josephy 27,000
SEAT 9 - Jamie Brooks 22,000
After Chad Carpenter busted out ninth, the eight finalists took seats at the final table upon the Rio poker stage. Soon thereafter, the low-stacked Jamie Brooks went out in eighth place. The table games manager from Phoenix received $13,957.
"Miami John" Cernuto was making his second final-table appearance this year, but once again fell short of winning gold bracelet Number Four. Instead, Cernuto earned $19,540 for seventh place. Richie Sklar, who hangs out on golf courses and at race tracks as much as poker rooms, failed to either make par or win, place, or show in this event. Sklar, a longtime gambler and golfer went out of bounds when his queen-low was bested by a jack-low. Sklar went to the clubhouse with $25,123 for a sixth-place finish.
Ron Ritchie went out next. The owner of a construction company in Atlanta, Ritchie busted out with several bricks on his final hand, and had to settle for fifth place. Ritchie collected $30,706.
Cliff Josephy, a.k.a. "Johnny Bax" took a hit and was eliminated in fourth place. The pro poker player, who won a gold bracelet in last year's $1,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud event, admitted later that he had never played a hand of Razz prior to this tournament. His intuitive poker knowledge allowed him to outlast all but the final three players en route to a $39,080 payday.
Steve Diano, a professional sports bettor from Las Vegas, wasn't able to cash a winning ticket. But he did come out well financially with a third-place finish. Diano was out stacked by his two opponents when play became three-handed. He finally went out when the limits were raised. Diano received $61,411.
It took a few hours before James Richburg finally defeated his last rival. Carlos Mortensen put up a fight. But he was never able to seriously threaten Richburg for most of his chips. The 2001 world poker champion finally went out, losing to a 9-8 low shown by Richburg. Mortensen's cards were not seen. Mortensen earned $94,908 as the runner up.
The Razz champion, James Richburg has a long history of play at the World Series of Poker. He finished second in the 1991 Stud Eight-or-Better championship. Little did he know it back then, but that would be his last WSOP final table in 15 years. The past would be forgotten at this early morning hour. After all, it was the beginning of a new day. Richburg collected $139,576 in prize money and his first WSOP gold bracelet as the sun peaked over the horizon.
It's important to note that this year's Razz world championship attracted an all-time record of 409 entries. That's the most players ever in history for a Razz-only poker tournament. Contrast that number with 291 entrants in 2005 and 195 entrants in this same event back in 2004. Considering a 37 percent growth rate for Razz over last year, versus hold'em which is only up 24 percent, could that possibly mean that Razz is emerging as the fastest-growing poker game?
James Richburg certainly hopes so.
1. James Richburg Long Beach, CA $139,576
2. Carlos Mortensen Las Vegas, NV $94,908
3. Steve Diano Las Vegas, NV $61,411
4. Cliff Josephy Muttontown, NY $39,080
5. Ron Ritchie Marietta, GA $30,706
6. Richie Sklar Northridge, CA $25,123
7. "Miami John" Cernuto Miami, FL $19,540
8. Jamie Brooks Phoenix, AZ $13,957
9. Chad Carpenter Las Vegas, NV $7,258
10. Eric Froehlich Springfield, VA $7,258
11. Christopher Fargis Brooklyn, NY $7,258
12. Robert Turner Downey, CO $7,258
13. Randy Haddox Houston, TX $7,258
14. Perry Friedman Las Vegas, NV $7,258
15. George Rechnitzer Beverly Hills, CA $7,258
16. Nick Charman Nepean, ON, Canada $7,258
17. Russ Salzer New York, NY $4,466
18. Chris Parsons Deerfield Beach, FL $4,466
19. Jeffrey Lisandro Santa Barbara, Italy $4,466
20. Stanley Lewkowicz Manchester, CT $4,466
21. Frank Henderson Houston, TX $4,466
22. John Strzemp Las Vegas, NV $4,466
23. Peter Costa Leicester, UK $4,466
24. Drew Bentley Tuscaloosa, AL $4,466
25. Graham Duke Vancouver, Canada $2,791
26. Tommy Reynosio Sacramento, CA $2,791
27. Hassan Kamoei Indio, CA $2,791
28. Richie Ming Waiwong Las Vegas, NV $2,791
29. Rod Pardey, Sr. Las Vegas, NV $2,791
30. Danny Walker Wasilla, AK $2,791
31. Sio Nong Phoenix, AZ $2,791
32. Chris Bjorin London, UK $2,791
33. Eskimo Clark New Orleans, LA $2,233
34. Ross Mallor New York, NY $2,233
35. Maurice Schwartz Philadelphia, PA $2,233
36. Bhupinder Kohli London, UK $2,233
37. Thomas Hufnagle Downey, CA $2,233
38. Scott Silverman Lone Pine, CA $2,233
39. Nick Niergarth NA $2,233
40. Ali Eslami NA $2,233
Source: www.WorldSeriesOfPoker.com, by Nolan Dalla
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