$2.5k Razz - Frankly Amazing, Kassela Wins Second Title!

Frank Kassela
Bracelet title number two for Frankie.

It was almost 5am when it finally happened. Maxwell Troy tried to come back several times during the heads up match but, in the end, it was Frank Kassela who persevered.

Both players looked exhausted. Frank Kassela constantly squinted at his opponent’s upcards while Troy stared blankly into the felt as the dealer shuffled.

On one hand near the end, Troy had 4-4-2-J up while Kassela had J-6-Q-4 up. Troy fired on fourth when he hit the deuce and Kassela tanked it. When the four hit Kassela on sixth he woke up and fired. Both players checked seventh and Kassela’s J-6 was plenty good to take it down.

Troy’s last hand would come just moments later. After tossing in the bring in with a 6 up, Troy reraised after Kassela completed. They ended up raising and reraising until all the money was in – about 300k each.

Both had fantastic starting hands:

Kassela: 3-4-2

Troy: 3-2-6

Kassela’s hand got considerably better when he hit the five on the turn to give him a wheel draw.

“Ace, ace, ace,” whispered one of Kassela’s railbirds quietly as he watched what came. Kassela wouldn’t hit an ace, but he got what he needed when he ended up with 7-5 on seventh against Troy’s 8-7.

Troy will have to make peace with his second place finish – his second one in two weeks. He’ll get $132,229 for his ‘so close yet so far’ effort.

Speaking of seconds, we have another duo of accomplishments coming at you.

Frank Kassela, who has the slight southern drawl that people can only get when they come from Memphis, TN, won his second bracelet of the Series tonight!

Just hours ago a dejected Kassela slumped back in his chair when he was down to less than 200,000 (just a couple of bets), and now he has his second bracelet of the series and an additional $214,485 to add to the pile.


Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Heads Up

Maxwell Troy
Put on dat game face.

The bracelet is on the table and we know what that means. It's heads up now between Maxwell Troy and Frank Kassela. Troy is sitting with almost a 2-1 chip lead with his 1.75 million to Kassela's 990k.

Tightest HORSE Players Ever

The HORSE event was busy tagging up chips and one of the floor officials went to retrieve the slips for the three that were still Razzing it up.

"How much I end with?" Frank Kassela asked.

"Ninety-six hundred," the floor man replied.

"Well how much did he end up with?" he asked as he pointed to Troy.

"Eleven-thousand, three-hundred," was the answer.

"You f$&%in' nit!" joked Kassela.

All three players survived the HORSE and can be seen there tomorrow (we'll be there covering it).

And Then There Were Two

Melville Lewis (who, we might add, was a complete gentleman from start to finish in this event), was the most recent player to be voted off the final table.

"I don't think we've had a hand go past fifth street since Schmelev busted," Frank Kassela said. Just as he was done saying that, a pot developed.

Kassela was dealt a deuce, while Maxwell Troy picked up an ace and Lewis picked up a trey. Lewis brought it in and Kassela completed.

"We're gonna play a pot in this one. I can feel it!" cried out Kassela as he looked down at his hand and insta-folded.

Lewis, on the other hand, decided to stick around. He called on fourth and then raised all in on fifth street. Troy snap called.

After all the cards were out, Troy had made an 8-7-5 which was just barely good enough to outrun Lewis' 8-7-6.

Lewis shook everyone's hand and headed off to collect his $85,284.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - An Elimination!

Vladimir Schmelev

It turns out that it wasn't just the Rio that experienced a power outage. One of the people on the rail said that he was driving down the strip when it happened and everything went pitch black.

Some on the rail speculated that an out of control car must have smashed into a transformer. One oher thought perhaps it was George Clooney making off with millions of dollars from a prominent strip property.

We're not sure what happened we just hope it won't happen again.


All of the players left are also blinding out in the $10,000 HORSE tournament that is raging just across the room.

One of the tournament officials went off to find out how many chips they had left as they had been blinding out for over 7 hours. The word came back that the stacks were all around the 20k mark.

Always a Bridesmaid

Despite having four close calls with victory at this year's WSOP, Vladimir Schmelev will go to sleep tonight bracelet-less.

An hour ago, Schmelev was on top of the leader board and now he is gone, just like that. His super aggressive style pays off in spades when the cards go his way; unfortunately, this last hour, they didn't.

He burned through his 1.1 million in chips until he was down to just a couple of bets. He got all in on third street against Frank Kassela.

Kassela: A-4-7

Schmelev: A-6-8

It was pretty even on third but when the dealer tossed eight, after eight, after eight in front of Schmelev's stack, he was drawing dead. Apparently quad eights in stud pretty good - in razz? Not so much.

As he began to leave the table, Schmelev muttered a string of unintelligible Russian words at the dealer.

We can only wish we knew what he was saying but we're sure it's not anything along the line of 'thank you kind sir for your dealing efforts this fine evening'. Just a guess though.

Troy Regains Lead

Almost everybody got a taste of Schmelev's chips but it was Maxwell Troy that dug his claws in the deepest. After his triple up a little while ago, he's kept the momentum going. He went from last in chips all the way to the top.

We're down to three handed now and Troy has more than double second place's Frank Kassela. Melville Lewis is just managing to hang on in third place.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Power Outage!

Vladimir Schmelev
Schmelev's wild ride.

Moments ago we had a bit of unexpected excitement. The Rio went pitch black for a few moments as the power failed casino wide.

For about five seconds all there was pitch darkness in the Amazon Room, the casino floor, and the htoel. After those seconds passed, auxiliary lights lit up, shortly after lights started to come back on.

The corner where the Razz tournament was being played out was still fairly dark. The primary light for the table wasn't on but there was enough ambient light available to play out the remaining couple of minutes in the level.

The decision was then made to move the players to one of the main final tables across the room that still had adequate lighting.

Back to the poker.

We're seeing some insane reversals of fortune in out there.

Frank Kassela was chip leader not too long ago and he saw his stack nosedive from the million mark down to just a couple of hundred thousand. He miraculously managed to bounce back and now has a few hundred thousand.

Then Vladimir Schmelev, who made it up to 1.3 million or so plummeted to 350,000 before rocketing back to over a million - in a span of twenty minutes!

Melville Lewis is the short stack right now. The way things are going, he shouldn't be too worried. People seem to be bust-proof.

From The Rail

"I keep sitting in this broken chair hoping it breaks so I can go to the hospital and spend the night in the ER instead of here."

-Employee who will remain nameless.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Troy Triples, Pispala Out

Maxwell Troy
Nice triple up, son.

Vladimir Schmelev has jumped into the lead. He has 990,000 which is about 200k more than second place Frank Kassela.

It's been an impressive run for the Russian who is at his fourth final table of the WSOP so far.

Mikki Dunzo!

Mikko Pispala imploded and went out in fifth place. Frank Kassela ended up getting a couple of pots back from him after the last level, and he made them count.

Kassela was even the one to hammer the final nail in the coffin, something that surely must have made him a little warm inside.

The final hand for Pipasla came when paired on seventh and failed to improve his 9-8 against Kassela's.

Pispala's fifth place win gets him just over $45k in cold hard cash. The money is getting bigger folks!

Troy Triples

Maxwell Troy was thought to be the next one on the hit list. He's been on a bit of a roller coaster as of late, winning chips and then losing them only to win them back.

"I started with ABC," Troy said just a few minutes ago after showing the A-2-3 he had to start.

He had just scooped a monster pot against Vladimir Schmelev and Melville Lewis that had him tripling up to over 500,000.

Schmelev and Lewis couldn't beat Troy's 8-5-3 though here is what they had showing before they mucked:

Schmelev: 5-T-K-K

Lewis: 7-2-9-Q

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Pispala On Ropes

Frank Kassela
Wake up! Time to get back in it!

We still have our same five players hanging in there since the end of dinner break though it looks like Mikko Pispala is going to have to get pretty lucky if he's going to stay in.

After dragging a couple of pots from Frank Kassela, he's been busy spewing off his chips to anyone else that wants them.

Kassela Kracking?

Frank Kassela lost a couple of pots right after the dinner break and it seems the pressure may be finally getting to him.

In Razz, it only takes a few bad hands and even the strongest willed players will begin to crack under the pressure. This is what we believe has happened with Kassela.

First he lost a hand against Mikko Pispala when he had 2-9-J-3 showing to Pispala's 4-Q-T-A.

Pispala fired on sixth street when he hit the ace causing Kassela to laugh and shake his head as he slipped in the call.

Then Pispala fired again on seventh and Kassela called.

"I paired the ace. And you've got a?" Kassela asked.

"Nine-five," replied Pispala and took it down.

A few hands later, they were at it again and Pispala once again got the best of him.

Kassela walked over to his rail muttering about the hands he had lost and commenting on Pispala's play.

Maxwell Troy

We just saw a pretty interesting (by Razz standards) hand go down between Maxwell Troy and Mikko Pispala.

Pispala, who had just lost a hand, may have been steaming a little bit when he went up against Maxwell Troy.

Troy had a board of 9-7-T showing against Pispala's 3-2-2. Troy bet and was called. Sixth street brought a 9 for Troy and a 6 for Pispala. This time Pispala bet and was called quickly. Troy called even quicker after seventh street was dealt.

What's amazing here is that despite Pispala having board showing 3-2-2-6, Troy didn't even have to think about it.

"Three pair," Pispala said dejectedly.

Try turned over his T-9-8-7-5 and dragged the pot. He turned around and gave his buddies on the rail a thumbs up and then another thumbs up to Cyndi Violette who was cheering him from across the way.

"Nice call," Frank Kassela said, perhaps taking just a little bit of pleasure in Pispala's pain.

With that hand, Pispala became the short stack on campus.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Welcome Back

vlcsnap 2010 06 23 03h21m50s174.png Windows Picture and Fax Viewer 6232010 32957 AM
Shannon Elizabeth with machine gun.

We're back from dinner break.

The players sauntered in to retake their seats in the $2,500 Razz. As we mentioned before, Harman was eliminated on the last hand before the break.

We knew she wasn't happy about her finish, but we found after the break from one of the staff that she let out a quiet tirade of f-bombs. We wish her luck on the next one. It's clear she's tired of coming up short.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Chow Time!

Jennifer Harman
Better luck next time.

It's time for dinnarrr!

A couple of the players will be getting their meals to go. Their primary focus is to go get some hands in over at the $10,000 HORSE.

Players have been dropping out of this event at a fast clip and they're showing no signs of slowing down.

Stuart Rutter's run ended a little while ago. He went out in seventh place earning $25,646.

We're down to just five players and, unfortunately for you Jennifer Harman fans, she ain't one of 'em.

Harman Falls Short

Jennifer Harman busted on the last hand before the dinner break.

She got her money in on fifth street showing 2-3-4-5-9 to Lewis' A-3-5-6-J.

Unfortunately for Jen, while she caught a queen on sixth, Lewis caught a seven to pull ahead.

Harman paired on the seventh, missing everything. She did not look like a happy camper as she packed her belongings up and headed over to the HORSE event.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Get Us Outta Here!

Chris Bjorin

We just had some excitement in the Razz event and (obviously) it didn't have anything to do with the poker.

There is a $10,000 HORSE tournament that was just about to start and some of the players at this table are very keen to play in it.

Someone suggested that they should halt Razz play and push it forward until tomorrow. Another person suggested a seven way chop.

The floor interjected and put the kibosh on pushing back play until tomorrow while Jennifer Harman and Frank Kassela both objected to any chops.

"I win bracelets, I don't buy them," Harman was overheard saying.

Kassela, who already has won a bracelet this year, was opposed to any chop suggesting that his bracelet wins must be pure.

So, no chop, no postponement of play. No matter how hard some of the players tried to get out of it, they will have to play out this Razz tournament to the end, fair and square like it or not.

They did agree to take a break so that some of the players could register for the HORSE. Jennifer Harman, Stuart Rutter, Maxwell Troy, and Frank Kassela all went to go register.

Dee Tilled

Dee Tiller is our final table bubble boy. The end came when he was up against Mikko Pispala.

Tiller made a 7-6 but was unlucky to see his opponent suck out on the river to make a superior 6-5.

Bjorin Busted

After getting whittled down to nearly no chips, Chris Bjorin became the most recent casualty at the table.

He got all in against Vladimir Schmelev on third street and was behind right from the beginning. By sixth, not only had Bjorin failed to catch up, but Schmelev had made an unbeatable wheel.

Bjorin's eight place finish earned him $19,686 - just another cash to add to his pile of WSOP cashes.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Razztastic!

Stuart Rutter
Can't contain his excitement.

The Razz tournament just took its first twenty minute break of the day.

Razz has a reputation of being a brutal game; it's the redheaded stepchild of the poker world. Look for the table filled with the most miserable looking people in the joint and it'll probably be a Razz game.

The players at this table are barely saying a word. The tournament director isn't even bothering with the announcing of the hands, and the rail is nowhere to be found. This is the effect Razz has on people. Fortunately there are still a few bright things to look forward to.

For starters, Jennifer Harman is still in. She started the day on the upswing and hasn't looked back. She's clawed her way up to third place. She's a favorite of many and you know she has a strong contingent rooting for her to take it down.

Chris Bjorin is still in, if just. He has over fifty WSOP over a long career but he recently got a taste of how brutal this game can be. Back to back hands decimated his stack, knocking him down to just 60k in chips.

They're settling into nine handed play at the moment. Just one more needs to go before we get our official WSOP final table.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Final Table...Kind Of

Steve Diano
Unlucky number 13.

It's final table time - well, kind of.

They're down to nine players which means that they're going to consolidate to one table. The table will not be official until they drop one more player.

We lost four players in rapid fire succession during the last level.

Steve Bounced

Steve Diano was the first to go. He lost back to back pots to Jennifer Harman.

He collected $9,687 for his thirteenth place finish. His kind donation to Harman boosted her chip count to right around 200,000.

Scott Packed

Scott Packer was the next to go. He got the last of his chips in against Frank Kassela and was drawing dead by sixth street.

He just scraped his was into the next pay jump which is good for a little more than $12,000.

Ospina Eliminated

Daniel Ospina followed Packer out of the door. He gave up the last of his chips to Mikko Pispala. Ospina was looking good with a 9-8 by fifth street but Pispala managed to catch good to make an eithy-six.

One more elimination and they'll be down to the final table.

Cobb Boiled, Buttered

Arthur Cobb won't be getting his fifth WSOP bracelet today. He clung to his short stack for as long as possible until he made his last stand against Maxwell Troy. Despite being ahead on fifth Troy caught a three on seventh to make a 9-6 while Cobb paired up.

The money keeps getting bigger. Cobb will be getting a check for $15,329 - his biggest score in seven years.

The remaining players are bagging their chips right now to move to a quiet corner across the room where they will play until one more player is eliminated to make the final table of eight.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - And, They're Off

Frank Kassela
Going for number two.

Two eliminations came during the first level of the $2,500 Razz. Nick Helm and William Wood both ran out of steam early when they failed to hold on with their short stacks. Both earned $7,857 for their efforts. Little consolation for the three days of Razz but a good showing nevertheless.

Cobb Doubles

Arthur Cobb has four WSOP bracelets which is pretty amazing since if you ask around, pretty much nobody has heard of him.

His last recorded cash was for $440 in an O/8 Event in early 2009. He's back in the hunt today looking for bracelet number five.

He just recently doubled up in a key hand against Dee Tiller. There was some confusion at the end of the hand. Tiller had made an 8-7 while Cobb had made a 7-6.

"Boom, baby!" Tiller said as he stood up and fist bumped the dealer.

"You know you didn't win right?" a player asked.

Frank Kassela also thought Dee had won.

"You mucked the wrong hand, he had eight-seven," Kassela said to the dealer.

"I have seven-six," Cobb replied.

"Didn't you win a tournament Frank? Are you sure you won a tournament? How did you win a tournament when you can't even read the hands?" Cobb needled.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

$2.5k Razz - Lowballers Rejoice!

Jennifer Harman
In the hunt!

Everyone put your hands together! It's day three of the $2,500 Razz! Lowballers worldwide have their eyes on this one.

Fifteen players are going to fight it out today until we have a winner. We have Jennifer Harman coming into today in the middle of the pack.

Razz is a stud game so naturally Vladimir Schmelev is still hanging around.

Frank Kasella will be here as well trying to snag his second bracelet of the series.

They're starting up in at 3:30pm and it's anyone's game so keep it locked in. We'll be bringing the action as it goes down.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment
Event Name Event 40 - $2,500 Razz
Date 21 June 2010
Final Day 26 June 2010
Buy In $2,500
Entrants 365
Prize Pool $839,500
First Prize $214,085

Frank Kassela

Event 40 - $2,500 Razz

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Frank Kassela $214,485
2. Maxwell Troy $133,229
3. Melville Lewis $85,284
4. Vladimir Shchemelev $61,795
5. Mikko Pispala $45,433
6. Jennifer Harman Traniello $33,890
7. Stuart Rutter $25,646
8. Chris Bjorin $19,686
9. Thomas Tiller $15,329
10. Artie Cobb $15,329