The $1,500 Razz event at the 2014 World Series of Poker saw history made, but it wasn’t the kind of history that Phil Hellmuth would’ve wanted. After battling tooth and nail for hours heads-up, Ted Forrest defeated Hellmuth heads-up to capture his sixth career WSOP bracelet, his second Razz title and $121,196.
It was Forrest’s first WSOP victory in more than 10 years, and it puts Forrest in a hallowed group that just 13 players can claim membership to – one where a minimum of six bracelets is the price of admission. Handing Hellmuth his fourth second place finish in four years and denying him a record-extending 14th bracelet was not an easy task by any means, and he has the same kind of appreciation for this victory that Hellmuth would have.
“This wasn’t really about money for myself, or for Phil,” said Forrest. “I mean, the bracelet means more than any of the money [I’ve won], for myself and for Phil.”
After exchanging the lead half a dozen times over their heads-up match, Forrest all but clinched the victory by making a well-concealed six-five low with bets going in on every street to leave Hellmuth with half of a big bet. Hellmuth’s last 35,000 went into the middle, and the cards were turned up.
Forrest: [9x] [3x] / [Ax]
Hellmuth [2x] [7x] / [Tx]
Hellmuth caught a three on fourth street, but it was all bad from there as he paired a two and then got running queens to make a queen-low. Forrest got a six and a seven to lock up a nine-low after fifth street, and that’s all he needed to seal the victory. Hellmuth was gracious in defeat, congratulating a worthy adversary immediately after his victory.
Congrats to my old friend Ted Forrest on winning #WSOPRazz tourn. If I had to lose to someone, I'm glad it was Teddy….2nd place for me
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) June 2, 2014
Forrest was one of the shorter stacks when the final table started Sunday afternoon, but Kevin Iacofano entered the final table with less than four big bets, and he’d get them in with a chance to triple up against Hellmuth and Pappas. Pappas called the bring-in with an 8, Hellmuth completed with a 2 and Iacofano three-bet with a 6. Pappas called in between, but Hellmuth and Iacofano raised back and forth until Iacofano was all in. Pappas caught a 3, Hellmuth got a 9 and Iacofano got a Q, causing Pappas to lead out and Hellmuth to call, and the same action was repeated on fifth street when Pappas got a 2, Hellmuth got a 7 and Iacofano caught a 4.
Hellmuth took the lead on sixth when he got a 3, Pappas received a K and Iacofano got an A, and he bet again on seventh street. Pappas raised, Hellmuth called, and the hands were tabled.
Pappas: 8 3 2 K / A 4 6
Hellmuth: 2 9 7 3 / A 3 5
Iacofano: 6 Q 4 A / 8 4 A
Iacofano double-paired and his queen-low couldn’t save him from going out in eighth, but Hellmuth was seemingly more mad than Iacofano was as his seven-five low lost out on a major pot to Pappas, who picked up a six-four low on the final card and extended his chiplead in the process.
Just before the first break of Day 3, Yuebin Guo lost a significant pot to Hellmuth that left him with less than a single big bet. He got it in with the A up against Brock Parker – who had the 4 up – on the first hand back. It looked as if Guo would get his double after he caught the 5 on fourth street, but it ran out poorly for him from there.
Parker: 4 T 2 3 8 Q
Guo: A 2 6 5 6 Q
Parker’s downcard 4 paired him, meaning that Guo needed a ten or better to beat Parker’s ten-eight low. The Q was his final downcard, though, and Guo made his exit in seventh. Brandon Cantu was similarly short-stacked, and despite taking down the bring-in and antes once Cantu quickly found himself all in against Pappas.
On Cantu’s final fateful hand, Parker was the bring-in with the K, Forrest completed with the 3, Helluth called with the 9 and Cantu called with the 6. Pappas got the T, Hellmuth received the Q and Cantu got the K on fourth street, with Pappas betting out, Hellmuth calling and Cantu putting in a raise. Pappas put in a third bet to shut Hellmuth out, which eventually worked, and Cantu put the last of his chips in.
Pappas: 2 6 / 3 T
Cantu: 7 8 / 6 K
Pappas paired with the 3 and Cantu improved significantly with the 2, giving him a draw to an eight-low. Pappas paired again with the 2 on sixth street, but Cantu also paired with the 7 to stay behind. On the final card Pappas improved just enough to put the pressure on Cantu with the Q, giving him a queen-ten low, but Cantu only needed to avoid pairing his card in order to double and survive. After sweating his hole card for some time, Cantu finally peeled it up and flung the K across the table, leaving him with a king-eight low and resigning him to a sixth place exit.
Despite picking up an elimination earlier in the level, Parker was still among the shortest stacks. He was left with 2.5 big bets after calling Hellmuth all the way down to the end, only to be shown 9 9 2 / 7 3 6 8 for an eight-seven low. On the very next hand, Parker was the bring-in with the T, Forrest called with the 4 and David Bach called with the T, putting the wheels in motion for Parker’s demise.
Parker got the 7, Forrest received the 8 and Bach got the 6, with Forrest leading out, Bach calling and Parker raising to 20,000. Forrest called, Bach folded and they went to fifth street, where Parker caught the Q and Forrest got the 5. Parker’s called off his last few chips and the cards were turned over
Forrest: 9 7 / 4 8 5
Parker: A 6 / T 7 Q
Parker needed two good cards on sixth and seventh, and caught good with the 2 – though Forrest got a 2 of his own, improving to an eight-seven low. Parker peeled the K on the last draw, though, and though Forrest failed to improve with the J, his eight-seven was good enough to send the two-time bracelet winner out in fifth.
Bach finished second in the $2,500 Razz event in 2013, but his hopes of improving on that finish by one spot looked bleak when four-handed play began. His stack got shorter and shorter, and then Bach got himself involved with a seemingly unstoppable Hellmuth. Forrest brought in with the Q, Hellmuth completed with the 6, Bach raised with the 3 and Hellmuth called. Hellmuth caught the 3 and checked, Bach bet after catching the 9 and Hellmuth called.
On fifth street Hellmuth got the 7 and Bach caught the 2, which led to a bet from Hellmuth, a raise from Bach, a reraise from Hellmuth and a call all in from Bach.
Hellmuth: 8 T / 6 3 7
Bach: 6 4 / 3 9 2
Bach was ahead with a nine-low to Hellmuth’s ten-low going into sixth street, and it stayed that way as Hellmuth caught the Q and Bach got the J. Hellmuth quickly turned over his final card, a 4 that gave him an eight-seven low, and Bach had to improve too to stay alive. The 2 paired him, though, and Bach headed to the rail in fourth place.
Hellmuth continued to run up his stack up from there, until he had almost two-thirds of the chips in play three-handed. Forrest took his fair share of pots too, and that left Pappas as the odd man out. After Hellmuth made the bring-in with the Q, Pappas completed with the 2 and Hellmuth called. Pappas got the 6 on fourth street and Hellmuth matched him with the 6, with Pappas betting out and Hellmuth almost beating him to the punch with a call.
On fifth street Pappas was dealt a Q while Hellmuth improved with a 4, and the last of Pappas’ chips went into the middle.
Hellmuth: 5 7 / Q 6 4
Pappas: 8 T / 2 6 Q
Pappas needed to improve to survive, and Hellmuth needed just one good card to have him drawing dead. While the K was not what Pappas was looking for, the 5 paired Hellmuth and kept Pappas drawing live. The 4 double-paired Hellmuth on seventh street, meaning Pappas needed a jack or better to double, but the 8 paired Pappas and sent him out in third.
Hellmuth seemed to have all the momentum in the world going into his heads-up showdown with Ted Forrest, and with a 2-to-1 chiplead to boot it looked like number 14 would be his for the taking. Forrest kept churning away, though, and a big pot that saw Forrest make an eight-five low put him into the chiplead for the first time all day. While Hellmuth did pull even once, Forrest pipped him in another big pot with an eight-six low against Hellmuth’s eight-seven low to head into the dinner break with a lead of 900,000 to 700,000.
Things grew darker still for Hellmuth as Forrest came out of the gate firing, and with the big limits kicking in the two significant pots Forrest took down right after they returned put Hellmuth on the ropes. Just as he has many times before, though, Hellmuth dug deep and grinded it out, winning a series of small pots and taking down a big pot without showdown on seventh street to flip the lead yet again.
Their battle stretched well past midnight, but when the dust settled Forrest simply couldn’t be beaten in the key pots. With his victory, he joined an elite group of players with at least six WSOP bracelets and captured his first WSOP title in 10 years.
2014 World Series of Poker – $1,500 Razz – Final Table Results
- Ted Forrest – $121,196
- Phil Hellmuth – $74,848
- Greg Pappas – $48,275
- David Bach – $34,979
- Brock Parker – $25,717
- Brandon Cantu – $19,183
- Yuebin Guo – $14,517
- Kevin Iacofano – $11,143
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