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2015 46th Annual World Series of Poker

Monday, June 13, 2016 to Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Event #20: $10,000 Razz Championship

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  • Buy-in: $10,000
  • Prizepool: $940,000
  • Entries: 100
  • Remaining: 0
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EVENT UPDATES

06/16/16 01:43:22 AM PST
 
RAY DEHKHARGHANI WINS $10K RAZZ CHAMPIONSHIP
 

 

There was a lot more on the line than just a World Series of Poker gold bracelet and more than a quarter-million dollars in prize money when Jason Mercier and Ray Dehkharghani became engaged in the fiercest heads-up duel of any gold bracelet competition played thus far at this year’s series.

The focus of pretty much the entire poker universe focused on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas where Mercier and Dehkharghani tangled in a knock-down, drag-out lowball battle that reportedly could tip the scales in favor of a potential seven-figure swing should Mercier’s tournament rampage at the 2016 WSOP continue.

Just three days after winning his fourth career gold bracelet in the $10K buy-in Deuce-to-Seven No-Limit Draw Lowball Championship, Mercier was back onstage again hoping to win a fifth WSOP title and second victory this week.

However, Dehkharghani had his own ambitions and sights set on a different final outcome that some might have anticipated.  The Iranian-born poker player from Leawood, KS won the $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Razz Championship tournament, which was played over three days and nights and just concluded at the Rio in Las Vegas, while a near record viewership watched the action on a delayed live-stream.

Dehkharghani collected $273,338 in prize money, making this the biggest tournament win of his career.  Perhaps just as interesting as the thrilling heads-up finale was the story behind Dehkharghani’s long journey to get here.

Born in Iran in 1971 to two medical doctors, the Dehkharghani family immigrated to the United States when Ray was young.  He aspired to become a doctor as well, but while attending medical school at the University of Kansas, he discovered a passion for poker.”

“I took a leave of absence from medical school to play poker, and then went back,” Dehkharghani remembered.  “I went back for one day, and quit.  I’ve been playing poker since.”

Dehkharghani quickly outgrew the local games in Kansas City and began taking road trips more often to Las Vegas.  He began playing in higher-stakes games at the Mirage, and continues to play Mixed Games around the city.

Dehkarghani won his victory by ultimately conquering a final table which included several notable stars, including Jason Mercier, John Racener, Brian Hastings, Rich Zhu, and Bart Hanson.  However, Dehkharghani fully expected to get into a one-on-one duel with Mercier, which is exactly what happened.  Oddly enough, the added pressure of Mercier’s well-publicized side bet, which could conceivably pay him close to $2 million should he accomplish what some might say is an extraordinary longshot – winning three WSOP gold bracelets in a single year, might have been his downfall, at least according to Dehkharghani, who had the best seat in the house in order to express such a direct observation.

“Jason and I were at this final table and I kept telling him, ‘it’s going to be me and you,” Dehkharghani said.  “It played out that way.  He started off as an underdog, and did very well early, and had me down about 2 to 1. Then, when he lost his chip lead, it was really clear the stress really set in and affected him.  It wasn’t a matter of my capitalizing on that, but I do believe the weight of (the side bets) affected him negatively in the match.  It was palpable.”

Dehkharghani continued: “I wish the best for him, but I also wanted to win, of course.  Jason is not one to become frustrated.  But he did become frustrated.  If it weren’t for that added pressure, the final table would have turned into a party.  We would have been high-fiving each other and drinking beers.  It still would have meant a lot to win, but I think the distraction of that side action was significant.”

While Mercier finished as the runner up, the $168,936 consolation prize seemed to be the last thing on his mind.  That said, he’s clearly primed for more deep runs and potentially another sweat as a final table finalist with so many events still to play (49 as of this writing).

Meanwhile, Dehkharghani was thrilled with his victory, particularly given his own history in WSOP events.  In his first cash 18 years ago, Dehkharghani played heads up for a gold bracelet against poker legend Doyle Brunson, and lost.

“At the (1998) final table it was me, Doyle, and Berry Johnston, and Harry Thomas.  I remember it well,” Dehkharghani recalled.  “Then, it got down to Doyle and myself – and Doyle was the superior player.  His skill and experience was superior.  It was something like this (tonight), to be candid.”

Tonight, some two decades later, Dehkharghani reversed the tables on another great player and this time walked away with his first WSOP gold bracelet.  With this victory, Dehkharghani now has 13 cashes and 6 final table appearances.

Dehkharghani is married and has one child.  He spends much of his time playing poker on the road in high-stakes cash games in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.  In fact, he plays regularly with Brunson locally in Mixed Games.  Demonstrating how oddly tight-knit the poker community can be sometimes, he’s also good friends with Mercier.

This exciting tourney attracted 100 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $940,000.

 

Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

 

Second Place:  Jason Mercier, from Hollywood, FL was the runner up.  He owns four gold bracelets and barely missed latching on number five.  Mercier, fresh off his last win in a lowball event three days early, had to settle for a $168,936 payout.

 

Third Place:  Yueqi Zhu, originally from Benxi, China and now living in Rowland Heights, CA cashed for the third time at the 2016 series, which now includes a second- and third-place showing.  Zhu was runner up in the $1,500 buy-in Dealers Choice tourney.  He’s pocketed more than $200,000 during the first two weeks of events this summer after adding $116,128 to his poker bankroll.

 

Fourth Place:  Brian Hastings, from Hanover Township, PA took fourth place.  This was his fourth cash of the summer and deepest run in 2016, so far.  Last year, Hastings won two gold bracelets and now has three WSOP wins to his credit.  This deep run paid $82,078 in prize money.  He now has more than $1.8 million in career earnings as the WSOP.

 

Fifth Place:  Robert Campbell, from Berwick, Australia, made his third final table appearance at the WSOP with this fifth-place finish, which paid out $59,694.  Last year, the Australian poker player finished as the runner up in the $1,500 buy-in HORSE tournament. 

 

Sixth Place:  John Racener, from Tampa, FL posted his second final table showing of this year’s series.  Sixth place paid $44,712.  Racener, a former November Nine finalist, now has $7.1 million in career WSOP earnings.  However, he has yet to win the elusive gold ring, despite 39 in-the-money finishes.

 

Seventh Place:  Bart Hanson, from West Hollywood, CA came through with his fourth cash in 2016, paying out the sum of $34,521.  Hanson now has 27 career cashes at the series, including five final table appearances.  This tied his best showing, to date.

 

Eighth Place:  Jyri Merivirta, from Helsinki, Finland, has now cashed five times at the WSOP, but three of those deep runs placed him at a final table.  This first cash of the year for Merivirta paid $27,499 in prize money.

06/15/16 10:33:04 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Wins the $10,000 Razz Championship ($273,338)
 


Ray Dehkharghani Wins the $10,000 Razz Championship

Ray Dehkharghani:     /    
Jason Mercier:     /    

Ray Dehkharghani brings it in, Jason Mercier completes, and Dehkharghani calls. Mercier bets on fourth street, Dehkhargani calls, and Mercier bets again on fifth street. Dehkharghani gives it some thought before he raises and Mercier calls all in for his last half bet.

Ray Dehkharghani:     /    
Jason Mercier:     /    

Mercier needs help to survive and catches a   on sixth street. Dehkharghani receives a   to clinch the hand, ending Mercier's run in second place for $168,936.

Ray Dehkharghani wins his first World Series of Poker bracelet and the first-place prize of $273,338.

 


Jason Mercier finishes as runner-up

06/15/16 10:25:19 PM PST
 
Jason Mercier Doubles Up
 

Jason Mercier:     /   
Ray Dehkharghani:     /  

Jason Mercier is all-in for 195,000 on third street and holds a slight lead against Ray Dehkharghani.

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Mercier locks up the pot on sixth street with an 8-7-6-4-A to double up.

Jason Mercier - 430,000 (2 BB)
Ray Dehkharghani - 4,570,000 (28 BB)

06/15/16 10:25:16 PM PST
 
Level 28 Started
 
Level: 28
Limits: 80k/160k Bring-in: 20k Ante: 20k
06/15/16 10:24:37 PM PST
 
Jason Mercier Runs Out of Green Chips
 

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in with a  . Ray Dehkharghani completes with an  , and Mercier defends.

Mercier picks up the lead on fourth street, and he bets. Dehkharghani calls. Mercier checks to him on fifth street, and Dehkharghani bets. Mercier calls, but he's out of green 25,000 chips, so he has to stack out a long string of pink 5,000 chips to match the bet. He check-calls another bet on sixth.

"I check in the dark," Mercier says as the last cards are dealt. "Go ahead. Just bet in the dark."

Dehkharghani appears to look at his river card, then bets. Mercier calls. Dehkharghani hasn't quite seen his last card yet, though. "I have a two-to-one favorite," he says, lifting up a corner of his card for a squeeze.

"What suit?" Mercier asks.

"Diamond. Three across." As he says that, Dehkharghani reveals his first two down-cards, showing    for a draw to a winning nine-low. He knows his last card is either a six, seven, or eight, and Mercier confirms that he doesn't block any of those cards.

Dehkharghani is looking for the six or the seven. "It's not a seven," he realizes, now fifty-fifty to draw the six he needs to win the pot. A few seconds later, he peels over the   like a band-aid, winning the pot with a nine-low.

"Tragedy," Mercier says quietly. He has just over two big bets left.

Ray Dehkharghani - 4,725,000 (39 BB)
Jason Mercier - 275,000 (2 BB)

06/15/16 10:14:24 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Regains Lost Ground
 

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in with a  . Ray Dehkharghani completes with an  , and Mercier defends.

Dehkharghani bets his lead on fourth street, and Mercier calls. Dehkharghani bets again on fifth street, and Mercier takes a little pause. "This reminds me of that hand...," Dehkharghani begins, but he cuts himself off when Mercier calls his bet. Dehkharghani bets sixth and seventh streets as well, and Mercier calls him all the way down.

Dehkharghani shows    , winning the pot with a jack low. That victory erases Mercier's profit from the previous hand, setting him back down to just a handful of big bets.

Ray Dehkharghani - 4,230,000 (35 BB)
Jason Mercier - 770,000 (6 BB)

06/15/16 10:07:07 PM PST
 
Jason Mercier Makes a Seventy-Five
 

Jason Mercier:     /      /   
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in, Ray Dehkharghani completes, Mercier raises, Dekharghani three-bets it, and Mercier calls.

Dehkharghani has the lead on fourth and fifth street and bets both. Mercier calls both, then takes the lead on sixth street, and bets. Dehkharghani calls. Mercier bets on seventh street, and Dehkharghani calls.

Mercier shows     for a 7-5-4-3-2, Dehkharghani flashes     for an 8-6-4-3-A, and Mercier collects the pot.

Jason Mercier - 1,250,000 (10 BB)
Ray Dehkharghani - 3,750,000 (31 BB)

06/15/16 09:57:08 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Seizing Control?
 

Most of the last ten hands have ended on third street, but this one goes to fifth.

Jason Mercier:     /    
Ray Dehkharghani:     /    

Jason Mercier brings it in with a  . Ray Dehkharghani (pictured) completes, Mercier raises, and Dehkharghani makes it three bets for 180,000 total. Mercier calls.

Dehkharghani bets his lead on fourth street, and Mercier calls. Mercier pairs on fifth, and he can't call another bet. Dehkharghani wins the pot right there with a bet on fifth, knocking Mercier down below the million-chip mark.

Ray Dehkharghani - 4,220,000 (35 BB)
Jason Mercier - 780,000 (7 BB)

06/15/16 09:48:01 PM PST
 
Jason Mercier Below Ten Big Bets
 

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in, Ray Dehkharghani completes, and Mercier calls. 

Mercier bets his lead on both fourth and fifth street, Dekharghani calls, and both players proceed to check sixth and seventh street.

Dehkharghani shows     for a 9-8-7-4-2, Mercier mucks, and Dehkharghani wins the pot.

Ray Dehkharghani - 3,950,000 (33 BB)
Jason Mercier - 1,050,000 (9 BB)

06/15/16 09:33:49 PM PST
 
Quick Break
 

The final two players are on a short, unscheduled break.

Ray Dehkharghani - 3,640,000 (30 BB)
Jason Mercier - 1,360,000 (11 BB)

06/15/16 09:27:53 PM PST
 
Jason Mercier Gets One Back
 


Jason Mercier

Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  
Jason Mercier:     /      /  

Ray Dehkharghani brings it in, Jason Mercier completes, and Dehkharghani calls.

Dehkharghani takes the lead on fourth street and bets. Mercier calls, the action repeats on fifth street, Mercier takes the on-board lead on sixth street, and Mercier bets. Dehkharghani calls and Mercier bets on seventh street.

Dehkharghani mulls it over for about two minutes. He takes his sunglasses off and talks to himself a bit before he calls.

Mercier tables     for a 7-6-4-2-A low, Dehkharghani mucks, and Mercier wins the pot.

Jason Mercier - 1,800,000 (15 BB)
Ray Dehkharghani - 3,200,000 (26 BB)

06/15/16 09:17:53 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Wins a Big One
 

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in with a  . Ray Dehkharghani (pictured) completes with an  , and Mercier defends.

Dehkharghani bets his lead on fourth and fifth streets, with Mercier calling both bets. The lead changes hands on sixth street. Mercier checks, then calls another bet from Dehkharghani. That action repeats on seventh, with Mercier check-calling the last bet.

Dehkharghani shows    , winning the pot with a ten-low. He's now opened up a lead of more than 3:1 over Mercier.

Ray Dehkharghani - 3,860,000 (32 BB)
Jason Mercier - 1,140,000 (10 BB)

06/15/16 09:10:40 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Wins a Small One
 

Jason Mercier:     /    
Ray Dehkharghani:     /    

Jason Mercier brings it in, Ray Dehkharghani completes, Mercier raises, and Dehkharghani calls.

Dehkharghani bets on fourth street with the better board and Mercier calls. Dehkharghani bets again on fifth street, and Mercier folds.

Ray Dehkharghani - 3.200,000 (26 BB)
Jason Mercier - 1,800,000 (15 BB)

06/15/16 09:02:24 PM PST
 
Level 27 Started
 
Level: 27
Limits: 60k/120k Bring-in: 20k Ante: 15k
06/15/16 08:56:12 PM PST
 
Break
 

The players are in the midst of a ten-minute break.

06/15/16 08:55:49 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Takes a 3:2 Lead
 

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in and Ray Dekharghani calls.

Dekharghani bets on fourth, fifth, and sixth street and Mercier calls each time. Both players check seventh street.

Dekharghani shows     for a 7-6-3-2-A low, Mercier mucks, and Dekharghani wins the pot.

Ray Dekharghani - 3,005,000 (30 BB)
Jason Mercier - 1,995,000 (20 BB)

06/15/16 08:51:29 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Retakes the Chip Lead
 

 

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in with a  . Ray Dehkharghani completes, and Mercier defends.

Mercier bets his lead on fourth and fifth streets, with Dehkharghani calling both. Dehkhargani checks on sixth street, Mercier bets, and Dehkharghani calls. Both players check seventh street.

Mercier shows    , and it appears from Dehkharghani's reaction that jack-ten is good. It takes another few seconds before Dehkharghani realizes he has something better, and he tables     for a superior jack-ten-seven. Mercier takes offense in jest.

"Come on, bro," Dehkharghani says. "You know that wasn't a slowroll." He retakes the chip lead as he stacks that pot.

"Just make sure you have someone with you on the way to your car," Mercier laughs.

Ray Dehkharghani - 2,835,000 (28 BB)
Jason Mercier - 2,165,000 (22 BB)

06/15/16 08:41:43 PM PST
 
Nearly Even
 

Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  
Jason Mercier:     /      /  

Ray Dehkharghani brings it in, Jason Mercier completes, and Dehkharghani calls. Mercier bets fourth and fifth street, Dehkharghani calls, and Mercier checks sixth street. Dehkharghani bets, Mercier calls, and the action repeats on seventh street.

Dehkharghani shows     for a 7-6-4-3-A low, Mercier mucks, and Dehkharghani wins the pot.

Ray Dehkharghani - 2,350,000 (23 BB)
Jason Mercier - 2,650,000 (26 BB)

06/15/16 08:33:50 PM PST
 
Ray Dehkharghani Claws Some Back
 

Jason Mercier:     /      /  
Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  

Jason Mercier brings it in with a  . Ray Dehkharghani completes with an  , and Mercier defends.

Mercier checks his lead on fourth street, Dehkharghani bets, and Mercier raises. Dehkharghani calls. Mercier bets fifth, sixth, and seventh streets as well. Dehkharghani calls through sixth before raising on seventh street. Mercier shakes his head, scowls, and calls.

Dehkharghani forcefully tables    , winning the pot with a eighty-six.

Ray Dehkharghani - 2,045,000 (20 BB)
Jason Mercier - 2,955,000 (30 BB)

06/15/16 08:28:36 PM PST
 
Jason Mercier Extends
 

 

Ray Dehkharghani:     /      /  
Jason Mercier:     /      /  

Ray Dehkharghani brings it in, Jason Mercier (pictured) completes, and Dehkharghani calls. Mercier bets the rest of the way and Dehkharghani calls up until seventh street, where he opts to fold.

Jason Mercier - 3,500,000 (35 BB)
Ray Dehkharghani - 1,500,000 (15 BB)

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