Texas native scores first bracelet and $287,987 in first triple draw tournament he enters
Las Vegas, NV (June 24, 2018) - Before three days ago, Nicholas Seiken had never entered a standalone 2-7 triple draw tournament. In the early hours of Sunday morning, Seiken won the most prestigious 2-7 triple draw tournament on the planet.
Seiken won his first World Series of Poker bracelet by winning the $10,000 2-7 triple draw championship. At the end of the three-day event, Seiken came out on top of a 109-entry field and earned $287,987 for his efforts.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said the 29-year-old Texan. “I was glad I had such a massive chip lead, so I didn’t have to try and battle them shorthanded. I think that’s really the only thing that gave me a shot was having so many chips because I was playing against such good players.”
Most of Seiken’s tournament cashes have come in big bet games – no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha. Many of the limit games aren’t spread in his home casino, so most of the mixed games that he gets to play come at the WSOP.
Despite the lack of experience, Seiken put up some solid results thus far this summer. Before his win on Sunday morning, he finished 12th in the $10,000 seven card stud championship and just missed a final table in the $1,500 eight-game mix with a ninth-place finish.
It was during his deep run in the eight-game where he began his love affair with 2-7 triple draw. After cashing the seven-card stud championship, he decided to take a gamble and take a shot at the triple draw championship event.
“This is my first standalone triple draw tournament,” said Seiken. “I played the eight-game four or five times, but I haven’t even played a $1,500 triple draw tournament, just cause of the timing. I loved it in the eight-game and I cashed the $10K stud so I had a little money to shoot at it.”
Most WSOP $10,000 championship events are smaller fields with most of the game’s best in it. They always end up with stacked final tables. This one was no different. Seiken was joined at the final table by three-time bracelet winner Farzad Bonyadi, high-stakes regular Kristijonas Andrulis, Matt Glantz and he defeated winner of the 2012 $2,500 2-7 triple draw, Randy Ohel heads-up.
Seiken knew he was a dog coming into the final table, which factored into his game plan when he came into the final table with the chip lead.
“I was playing pretty tight at the beginning just because I had so many chips and didn’t want to take marginal spots,” said Seiken. “I folded some two-three-eights and some hands that I should be playing just because I didn’t want to get out of line and get out of line with some guys like Randy … so, I played pretty darn tight at the beginning where it was probably not good plays to fold.”
With his plan being to play tight early and hope to gamble it up a little more shorthanded, Seiken was fortunate that there were a few knockouts early on at the final table. Ohel busted both Jason Gray in sixth and Glantz in fifth.
Ohel made a wheel against Gray and a number two against Glantz. They battled four-handed for just under two hours before Andrulis took care of Bonyadi in a three-way pot where the lone Lithuanian at the table made an eight-six, Bonyadi made a 10-low and Ohel flashed a jack at showdown before mucking.
Seiken was able to stay out of the way while the first three eliminations happened, but they battled three-handed for several more hours and Seiken was forced to get involved.
When he got involved three-handed, the pots were usually going to him. He opened up a commanding lead with 3.8 million to Ohel’s 1.2 million and Andrulis’ 570,000.
Despite being the shortest stack by a wide margin, Andrulis hung around for a while. He scored a double before being whittled back down. Seiken scored the blow that sent him home in third when he made an 8-7-4-3-2 against Andrulis’ 8-7-6-4-2.
“It was pretty difficult,” said Seiken about battling three-handed with two experienced high-stakes pros. “I wouldn’t say I panicked when Randy kind of evened it up, but three-handed wasn’t too bad. I still played pretty tight but opened it up when I needed to.”
Anrulis’ elimination left Seiken heads-up with Ohel and a 3-to-2 chip lead.
Heads-up play didn’t last very long. Seiken won nearly every showdown and certainly every key pot. Before long, Ohel was short and got it in with one draw remaining against Seiken. Both players stood pat and Seiken won the pot with a 7-6-5-4-2.
Seiken wrapped up his Vegas trip on a high note as he is scheduled to head back to Texas on Sunday. Seiken and his wife, Katie, run their own business flipping houses in the Dallas area. She’s back home taking care of their three children and Seiken knows he wouldn’t be able to do this without his better half.
“We have two twin daughters and a three-and-a-half-month-old son, so I’m very lucky to be able to come out here at all,” said Seiken. “She’s amazing … She’s an amazing wife for letting me play at all.”
He’s heading back home on Sunday and planning on coming back in July when everybody will be returning to play the Main Event. Seiken won’t be playing that event, however. He’s coming back to play more mixed games.
“I am, for sure,” said Seiken with a laugh when asked if he was hooked one the mixed games. “For sure. I don’t think I’ll play no-limit hold’em again. I know those are all my previous cashes, but I wasn’t planning on playing it at all anymore. I just don’t enjoy it anymore … I didn’t really like the way no-limit hold’em was heading with the tanking and that kind of stuff.”
If the early returns are any indication, Seiken will be just fine without no-limit hold’em.
Final Table Results:
1st: Nicholas Seiken - $287,987
2nd: Randy Ohel - $177,992
3rd: Kristijonas Andrulis - $125,190
4th: Farzad Bonyadi - $89,078
5th: Matt Glantz - $64,131
6th: Jason Gray - $46,722
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