Campanello wins razz title, $178,052 at WSOP

21 June 2013

A 21-year-old poker pro attending the World Series of Poker for the first year sits down in a game he knows almost nothing about. Three days later, he collects the gold bracelet.

What are the odds?

If you're Bryan Campanello, your odds are 100 percent. The young poker pro and college student from the Dallas area won the $2,500 Razz event on Friday morning at the WSOP at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Campanello collected $178,052 in prize money and his first career WSOP bracelet.

Remarkably, Campanello had never really played much razz, a lowball form of seven-card stud. He knew the basics of the rules. However, he understood almost nothing about strategy.

Over the course of the three-day tournament Campanello refined his craft slowly. He observed other players and began to catch on to what they were doing. Campanello says he watched players he respected and managed to pick up various tactics while the tournament was going on.

"I got lucky enough to sit with George Danzer on day two, who is a brilliant player," said Campanello. "Just watching him I was like, 'That makes sense,' and once those things start to click in poker you are like, 'Ah, so this is what I should do.' I felt like each day my game was improving tremendously. I may have been a dog when I entered, but by the time I made the final table I felt I really understood the game of razz."


After three days of nights of intense poker playing, the young poker pro was lining up for winner photos after doing what might have been unthinkable a day or two earlier: Beating a field of 300 other players well-versed in a game Campanello had barely played before.

Campanello attends college at North Texas University. He transferred there last year after previously attending George Mason University in the Washington, D.C. area. He's studying political science and hopes to work in some sphere of government someday. But for now, poker is paying the bills. A lot of bills can be paid after this night. In fact, college tuition shouldn't be a problem either from this moment forward.

David Bach finished second for $110,098. Other final table finishers included James Wheatley (third), Sebastian Pauli (fourth), Ivan Schertzer (fifth), Brent Keller (sixth), Rick Fuller (seventh), and Ismael Bojang (eighth).

The top 32 players finished in the money. Notable players who finished in the money but did not make the final table included Max Pescatori (22nd), Billy Baxter (24th), Mike Wattel (25th), Archie Karas (26th), and Huck Seed (28th).

Tournament summary modified from a report by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla, reprinted by permission.

Related Links
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Details
Nevada Gambling
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