Touched by an
Wins $2,500 Buy-In Razz Championship
Gold Bracelet Number Two – Previous Win Was in 2008
Pro Rakes-In $210,615 in Pot
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP -- Tournament Attendance Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
Bracelets Won – 14 More Still to Go
than Hold’em, the game with the longest and richest tradition at the World
Series of Poker is most certainly Seven-Card Razz -- sometimes called
“Razz,” for short.
It’s a peculiar game. For
instance, you don’t want to be dealt any Royal Flushes in Razz. You’ll go
broke quickly, if you do. In fact, the object of the game is to make the worst
(or lowest) possible ranked hand.
That’s right. You want bad
cards. Trash. Garbage. Bricks. But the game is
hardly for losers.
The illustrious list of former
Razz champions reads like a “Who’s Who” of poker. Former gold bracelet
winners include -- Billy Baxter, Doyle Brunson, Eskimo Clark, T.J. Cloutier,
Ted Forrest, Linda Johnson, Berry Johnston, O’Neil Longson, Lakewood Louie, Tom
McEvoy, Huck Seed, Barry Greenstein, Jeffrey Lisandro, Frank Kassela and others
ho have pretty much written the history of poker by themselves.
first-ever Razz champion was legendary Sam Angel, one of the most (how does one
phrase this?) colorful personalities ever to burst upon Las Vegas.
He won the inaugural event held at Binion’s Horseshoe, in 1973. Angel was
a complete contradiction of his given name (he was hardly “angelic”), and is
often remembered as a surly, abrasive figure. He often wore loud
checkered jackets and slurred ceaseless profanities. And, that was his
good side. When he was at the poker table, things usually got
part due to Angel’s two early victories in Razz and his undeniably cantankerous
demeanor, the poker variant developed (an undeserved) reputation as the perfect
game for sour-faced nits. It’s certainly changed since the early days of
Angel's antics. Yet the game remains as a bone fide WSOP tradition, with
as interesting a history of any tournament held annually, other than the WSOP
championship was televised by ESPN once, back in 2004. That was one of
the most interesting tournament final tables ever shown. There were
several interesting personalities among the eight finalists and lots of table
chatter. However, the game was never broadcast again, presumably
because it was difficult for viewers to follow and confusing (to novices) since
the object of the game was the make the worst/lowest hand. Which is a
real shame, as the following years would prove to be just as unusual.
has also been particularly kind to the ladies. Two women have won this
event in the past – former Card Player magazine owner and editor, Linda Johnson
(1997) and German poker pro Katja Thater (2007).
The 2005 Razz championship was
one of the longest final tables in WSOP history. That finale clocked in
at a mind-numbing 16 hours – which set a WSOP record at the time. The
Razz mark stood for three years until the 2008 WSOP Europe Main Event final
table, which lasted 19 hours.
Perhaps 2007 included the oddest
episode of any Razz tournament in history. Late in the tournament when
players finally reached the money, ex-champ “Eskimo” Clark sat alone as the
chip leader. Then suddenly, he suffered a heart attack in the middle of
the tournament, hitting the floor at the Rio while paramedics rushed to the
rescue. Incredibly, Clark not only brushed off medical assistance, he
demanded being allowed to continue to play. Half a pack of smokes and a
dozen hot wings later, Clark did indeed continue and ended up finishing in
fourth place, while an emergency stretcher was conspicuously parked near
After an Angel, a marathon, and
even a heart attack – it’s hard to imagine what might come up next in the wild
wacky game of Razz.
The answer appears to be – Rep
Rep Porter (a.k.a. Ralph Porter)
won the most recent tournament held at the 2011 World Series of Poker.
The event was a $2,500 buy-in Razz championship, which attracted 363
entries. Porter won $210,615 in prize money for finishing first. He
was also presented with his second WSOP gold bracelet, symbolizing the ultimate
achievement in the game. Porter's previous win took place in Six-Handed
No-Limit Hold'em, in 2008.
Porter's path to victory was not
easy. It took four days and every bit if skill and energy in his
reservoir to achieve a most satisfying win. Among those who tested Porter
were runner up Stephen Su, and two former gold bracelet winners who made it to
the final table – Robert Williamson III (who finished 4th) and Chris Bjorin
(who finished 6th).
other former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament were:
John Monnette (13th), David Sklansky (21st), Chau Giang (25th), Dan Idema
(28th), David Warga (31st), Perry Friedman (34th) and Chris Viox (37th).
Porter may not have very much in common with the late Sam Angel. Porter
seems like a nice enough guy. But Porter does share at least two
similarities with the legend from WSOP past. Both players have double
gold bracelets. And both players have proven themselves to be outstanding
For a comprehensive recap of Event
#44, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE
EVENT #44 CHAMPION – REP PORTER
World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in Seven-Card Razz champion is Rep Porter,
from Woodinville, WA.
Porter is a
40-year-old professional poker player and financier.
born in Edmonds, WA.
first name is Ralph. However, his
initials are R.E.P. So, he goes by “Rep
married to wife Lisa. They have two
graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in information systems.
in Wall Street for six years before settling down in the Seattle area.
playing poker in 1977 when he was in grade school.
first WSOP cash was in 2005. His
breakthrough victory in poker took place in the 2007 WSOP Main Event. Porter finished in 39th place, out
of 6,358 entries. Porter collected
nearly a quarter million in prize money.
attended the WSOP the following year, where he won his first gold
bracelet. Porter won the $1,500 buy-in
Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em title, which paid $372,843.
victory, Porter collected $210,615 for first place.
official records, Porter now has two wins, 5 final table appearances and 16
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
Porter currently has
$961,600 in career WSOP winnings.
event, Porter entered 15 events at the 2011 WSOP. This was his second time to cash this year.
Porter is to be
classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he
has been a full-time player the last four years. However, he has also invested in various
On what’s happened to him since his
first WSOP victory in 2008:
“After I won,
I started a business. So, I did not play
much poker in 2009 or 2010. I still came
to the WSOP both years. I played like 22
or 23 events each year. I made two final
tables in 2009, both in Limit Hold’em.
Last year was a very rough WSOP for me.
I had just one cash for the entire series. Outside of the WSOP, I did okay….but this
year I came back focused. I went deep in
one event. I was chip leader when we
reached the money. But you know how
tournaments are. You lose one or two
pots, and that was that.”
On how the game is changing and
evolving in recent years:
necessarily think the online players coming out of the dark have made things
tough. Many of the better online players
came to the WSOP anyway. I do think that
in the last five years, the quality of play in all the games has gone up
drastically. I do not think it’s
necessarily because of Black Friday or any of the stuff that’s going on. I just think there is an enormous amount of
educational material out there and people are serious about poker have the
ability to read and learn things that were not available when I first started
victory of the two is more meaningful:
“The gold bracelet I won a few years ago means more. I had just gotten back into poker from
working on Wall Street. I played a lot
of poker tournaments in 04, 05, 06 and 07.
I had two seconds and two fourths, plus a lot of top-20 finishes. But I had never won anything. I wanted to win the gold bracelet so bad, and
I fulfilled that. I have now had some
wins since then, so the first one is always the most special.”
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top eight finishers.
table contained three former gold bracelet winners – Chris Bjorin, Robert
Williamson III and Rep Porter.
nations were represented at the final table – including Great Britain (1
player), South Africa (1 player) and the United States (6 players).
began, Tommy Chen was the chip leader.
He was ahead by more than 2 to 1 in chips over everyone, except Robert
Williamson III (who began play in second place).
The runner up
was Stephen Su, from Houston, TX. He is
a 31-year-old accountant. This was his
second final table appearance and seventh time to cash at the WSOP. Second place paid $130,075.
bracelet winner Robert Williamson III hoped to win his first WSOP title in nine
years, but ended up in fourth place.
Williamson made a monster move on the last day, going from 15,500 in
chips to more than 600,000 within a one hour span.
Chris Bjorin finished
in sixth place. He cashed in this event
last year as well, finishing in 10th place. The Swedish-born two-time gold bracelet
winner (now living in London) now has 60 career cashes, which places him alone
in eighth place on the all-time cashes list at the WSOP.
play began Monday evening at 9:15 pm. Played
concluded about 7 hours and 45 minutes later (playing time wise) at 5 pm the
following day. The finale was
interrupted during heads-up play because the hard-stop deadline was
reached. The maximum number of levels
played each day is ten (about 12 hours of play from start to finish).
table was played on ESPN’s secondary stage.
The main stage was used for the conclusion of the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit
Hold’em finale (Event #43) which took place at the same time. The new final table set this year is getting
raves in terms of design and appearance.
No stage in the history of poker has ever looked as spectacular. Viewers will be able to see ESPN’s coverage
again once the WSOP Main Event begins in July.
streamed live over WSOP.com. Viewers can
tune in and watch most of this year’s final tables. Although hole cards are not shown, viewers
can follow an overhead camera as well as a pan-shot of the table. The floor announcer provides an official
account of the action.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS
The top 40
finishers collected prize money.
champion of this event was Frank Kassela.
Last year, he won his second gold bracelet of 2010 playing Razz, which
led to his “WSOP Player of the Year” victory.
Kassela did not cash in this event this year.
Among the former
gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament (aside from the three
players at the final table) were the following:
John Monnette (13th), David Sklansky (21st), Chau
Giang (25th), Dan Idema (28th), David Warga (31st),
Perry Friedman (34th) and Chris Viox (37th).
With his 25th-place
finish, Chau Giang now has 59 career cashes, placing in ninth place on the
“Speedy” Israelashvili finished in 20th place. This marked his sixth cash at this year’s
WSOP. The all-time record for most
cashes in a single year is ten.
Sklansky -- a three-time gold bracelet winner and one of poker’s foremost
theorists -- finished in 21st place.
Mariani, part-owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, finished in 27th
are to be included in all official WSOP records. Results are also to be included in the 2011
WSOP “Player of the Year” race.
of the Year” standings can be found at WSOP.com HERE.
ODDS AND ENDS
attracted 363 entries. This was down by
a tiny fraction from last year, which attracted 365 entries.
Razz is a
variant of lowball. It is dealt out in
a Seven-Card Stud format. The objective
is to make the lowest five-card poker hand.
Ace-to-five is the best possible hand in Razz.
age of entrants was 39 years, which is considerably older than the average age
of most tournaments.
There were 13
females who played in this tournament, representing 3.3 percent of the field.
This is the 936th
gold bracelet awarded in World Series of Poker history. This figure includes every official WSOP
event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were
no actual gold bracelets awarded. It
also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010). Moreover for the first time ever, one gold
bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National
WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s
victory (or some hours later when the tournament ends very late). The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion,
which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this
year. The ceremony begins at the
conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament. The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 p.m. The national anthem of the winner’s nation is
played. The entire presentation is open
to the public and media. Video and
photography is permitted by both the public and members of the media.
bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Wednesday, June 29th. The national anthem of the USA will be played
in honor of his victory.
first introduced onto the WSOP schedule in 1973. It has been included on the tournament
schedule every year since then, except in 1976.
illustrious list of former winners in this event reads like a “Who’s Who” of
poker. Former Razz champions include --
Billy Baxter, Doyle Brunson, Eskimo Clark, T.J. Cloutier, Ted Forrest, Linda
Johnson, Berry Johnston, O’Neil Longson, Lakewood Louie, Tom McEvoy, Huck Seed,
Barry Greenstein, Jeffrey Lisandro and Frank Kassela.
have won this event two times in WSOP history.
This exclusive club of repeat Razz winners includes -- Sam Angel, Gary “Bones”
Berland, Mike Hart and Huck Seed.
first-ever Razz champion was by legendary Sam Angel, one of the most colorful
personalities ever to be part of the Las Vegas gambling culture. He won the inaugural event held at Binion’s
Horseshoe in 1973. Angel was a complete
contradiction of his given name (hardly “angelic”), and is often remembered as
a surly, abrasive figure. He often wore loud
checkered jackets and slurred ceaseless profanities. Perhaps in part due to Angel’s two early
victories in Razz and his cantankerous demeanor, the poker variant developed
(an undeserved) reputation as a game for nits and tightwads. It’s certainly changed since the days of Sam
Angel, and remains as an event with arguably as interesting a history of any
tournament held each year at the WSOP, other than the Main Event.
have won this event in the past – Linda Johnson (1997) and Katja Thater (2007).
championship was televised by ESPN once, back in 2004. It was one of the most interesting tournament
final tables ever shown. There were
several interesting personalities among the eight finalists and lots of table
chatter. However, the game was never
broadcast again, presumably because it was difficult for viewers to follow and
confusing (to novices) since the object of the game was the make the worst/lowest
The 2005 Razz
championship was one of the longest final tables in WSOP history. That finale clocked in at a mind-numbing 16
hours – which set a WSOP record at the time.
The Razz mark stood for three years until the 2008 WSOP Europe Main
Event final table, which lasted 19 hours.
tournament was played over three consecutive days/nights – which extended into
a fourth day.
Day One began
with 363 players.
resumed with 166 players.
resumed with 24 players and played down to heads-up.
unscheduled fourth day played from two players down to the winner.
officially began on Saturday, June 25th at 5 pm. The tournament officially ended early Tuesday
afternoon, June 28th at 5 pm.
2011 WSOP STATISTICS
Through the conclusion
of Event #44 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 50,128 combined total entries. $91,144,185 in prize money has been awarded
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet
winners has been:
conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has
conclusion of this tournament, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (3)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt
Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler
Bonkowski, Brian Rast, John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason
Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payon, Mark Radoja, Chris
Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein,
Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock,
Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb and Rep Porter
Semi-Pros (5): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis
(4): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James
Hess, Kirk Caldwell
tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of
professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so
far – with 39 out of 43 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 8 of the 43 winners (18
percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP. (Note, at the time of this report, Event #43
had yet to conclude).
held over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet
champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year). The last year the WSOP was comprised
exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999. The record for most multiple gold bracelet
winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two
or more titles. So far this year, no
player has yet won two gold bracelets.
The streak of
consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 203 consecutive
events. Aside from the annual Ladies Poker
Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both
sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008. The
longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996,
when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players. Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in
No-Limit Hold’em). Kim Nguyen also
finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).
finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who
after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball
World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.
world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their
victory. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the
last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in
2001. Perhaps it’s due to the increasing
size of the fields. But there’s also
great pressure on the champions to do well.
What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold
bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:
players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November
Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years. Consider that last year, three former Main
Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch, and Scott
Montgomery. This year, Matt Jarvis won
his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine in 2010.
tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3157 entries) – Event #18
live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3175 entries) – Event #20
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries)
– Event #18 and Event #20
live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22
Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23
Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) –
single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Largest consecutive-days starting field
sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke
Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)
Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in
poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32,
34, June 16-19, 2011
Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) –
Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history
($3,393,400) – Event #42
records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most
recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP
history. He accomplished this in
Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).
Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (82)
and final table appearances (42).