Canadian poker pro wins $781,398, gold bracelet at WSOP

8 June 2012

Ashkan Razavi, a 30-year-old professional poker player from Maple Ridge, B.C., won $781,398 and his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event on Wednesday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Razavi’s victory was as challenging as it was well-deserved. He overcame the largest turnout for a $1,500-level buy-in event at the WSOP in four years, outlasting a monster-sized field of 3,404 entries in what turned out to be a grueling four day grind.

"It’s amazing with such a large field and being a $1,500 event – there are more mine fields to dodge to get to this place," said Razavi. "Also, being in the final 30 was unbelievable – especially for a $1,500 event. The field was really tough – there were a lot of good players, a lot of known pros. They were amazing. I feel very fortunate to have been able to go through the whole field. It’s amazing."

The ultimate payoff came on the last day, when Razavi defeated a formidable final-table lineup that included some seasoned veterans as well as hungry newcomers to the WSOP final table scene. One of the most notable of the nine finalists was Amanda Musumeci, who continues to solidify her reputation as one of tournament poker’s brightest up-and-coming new stars.

Musumeci burst upon the scene in last year’s WSOP Main Event Championship, when she finished 62nd. The Philadelphia poker pro then proved she was no flash-in-the-pan by cashing nine times on the WSOP Circuit during this past season. She collected a memorable consolation prize at this final table: a runner-up finish and a payday amounting to $481,643 in prize money in what many will consider to be another breakthrough advance for the young pro.

Other notable moments at the final table included dueling two-time gold bracelet winners, who came up short of what would have been their WSOP-victory trifecta. Brian Rast took sixth place to earn $137,632, while Greg Mueller finished seventh for $103,258

Indeed, the day, the night, and ultimately the gold bracelet belonged to Razavi, an Iranian-born Canadian, who has been around the poker scene for several years and is linked to many of the game's best players. He dragged the final pot of the tournament when he made two-pair -- kings and tens – which turned out to be the richest pot of his poker life. That put his rail of followers into ecstasy, as his barrage of backers leapt onto the stage, most wearing t-shirts made especially for the occasion – which said “Ash Can Do It.”

"(My friends Brian and Ken) went somewhere to the remote outskirts of Vegas to find a place that prints t-shirts and they did it this morning at
like 8 a.m., before the tournament started," said Razavi. "Everybody wore them, and it was awesome."

Razavi's victory gives him his first WSOP title, to go along with four cashes, and nearly $900,000 in total career WSOP earnings. He also rockets onto the leaderboard as a serious candidate in the 2102 “WSOP Player of the Year” race.

Other final table players included Derrick Huang, who finished third to win $347,228, Ryan Olisar, who won $252,379 for fourth, Duy Ho, who finished fifrth for $185,378, and Benjamin Reinhart, who finished eighth, and Dein Le, who was ninth.

The tournament was a first for the WSOP, as it had two starting days and allowed players who busted on Day 1A to reenter the event on Day 1B.

The top 342 finishers collected prize money. Multiple former WSOP gold bracelet winners cashed, with the most notable being Jonathan Duhamel, the 2010 Main Event champion, who finished 21st. Other notable players who cashed included five-time gold bracelet winner John Juanda (52nd), Main Event champ Jerry Yang (153rd), two-time bracelet winner Barry Shulman (166th), Men “the Master” Nguyen (257th) cashed for the 74th time in his career, which ranks second on the all-time list, and 2011 WSOP Circuit National Champion Sam Barnhart finished 326th. He also took 17th in last year’s WSOP Main Event Championship.

Modified from tournament notes provided by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla.

Related Links
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Details
Nevada Gambling
Ranked Online Poker Rooms

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