The World Series of Poker $10,000 Razz Championship returned nine Mixed Game heavyweights for the final day of play. In the field were two-time bracelet winners Brandon Shack-Harris and Nick Schulman, Anthony Zinno and David “ODB” Baker. But James Obst returned with the chip lead, battled his way to heads-up with Eric Kurtzman and broke through to win his first bracelet and $265,138.
Obst has long WSOP resume but he kept narrowly missing out on a big win. He’s made six final tables since 2014, he bubbled the final table of the $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship twice, finished 10th in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and finished in 13th in the 2016 Main Event.
“I guess it’s a new experience to win a bracelet. It was great to get a win – I’ve had some close calls,” Obst said following his win. “When you win one, I’m obviously not celebrating wildly like some people might, because that’s just my nature.”
James Obst doesn’t show much emotion at the table. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Obst lost his chip lead at the start of the day and was short-stacked starting heads-up. “He [Kurtzman] was a really interesting player – he played very, very tough on the final table,” Obst said. “I had to really adjust my game plan against him.”
“The structure was pretty amazing, we had so much play on the final table,” he added. “When we got to heads-up with these one-hour levels, the play was quicker than yesterday. I decided that heads-up, I was basically going to play as fast as I could.”
“I tried a few different things – acting fast was a strategy, I did manage to pick up a few things that helped me in terms of assessing his game throughout the final table,” said Obst. “When it got heads-up, I just had to try to be as zoned as possible, try to be flexible with my strategy, but also be fast and put some pressure on my opponent when I’m that big of a chip underdog.”
The Razz final table was Obst’s fifth cash of the Series – he finished runner-up in the $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball event for $80,922 and settled for eighth place in the $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship.
His success so far landed him in the second spot in the WSOP Player of the Year Rankings with 415.77 points. “I’m interested in trying to contend for it but at the end of the day, I’m not going to be multi-tabling or doing anything crazy to try to get it,” said Obst.
Anthony Zinno is making his own WSOP POY run. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Zinno made his second $10,000 Final Table of the summer after he also got seventh in the Omaha HiLo Championship. Shack-Harris earned his third cash of the summer – he previously finished ninth in the $1,500 HORSE event and 92nd in the $1,500 Omaha HiLo event.
Final Table Payouts
1. James Obst – $265,138
2. Eric Kurtzman – $163,867
3. David “ODB” Baker – $112,645
4. Andrey Zhigalov – $79,616
5. Anthony Zinno – $57,903
6. Brandon Shack-Harris – $43,370
7. Jyri Merivirta – $33,485
8. Jack Duong – $26,674