James Obst Wins 2017 WSOP Bracelet in $10,000 Razz Championship


The third time was the charm for James Obst. The Australian poker pro had already made it down to heads-up play in World Series of Poker event’s twice, and in both the 2016 $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. and this year’s $2,500 mixed triple-draw lowball he ultimately finished in second place. The 26-year-old entered his third heads-up battle in the 2017 World Series of Poker $10,000 Razz Championship, and this time around he overcame a sizable chip disadvantage to emerge victorious with his first gold bracelet and the $265,138 first-place prize.

“I guess it’s a new experience to win a bracelet,” said Obst after finally coming out on top. Known by many in the poker community by his online handle ‘Andy McLEOD’, Obst has been a top tournament player for quite a while, but this is his first major live tournament win.

“When you win one and it’s online I’m probably… I’m obviously not celebrating wildly like some people might, because that’s just my nature,” said Obst. “Online when no one’s around you can probably be a bit more excited and get pumped up a bit more. But at the moment I’m just a bit… I don’t know how to process it just yet. It’s awesome and I’ll try to win another one before the series is out.”

This year’s World Series of Poker Razz Championship drew a field of 97 players. James Obst was the chip leader heading into the final day with nine players remaining. He survived to short-handed play, where it started to appear like Eric Kurtzman was going to run away with the title. Kurtzman held 75 percent of the chips in play going into three-handed action, and then eliminated David Baker in third place ($112,645) to take an even larger lead into heads-up play.

The betting limits were high and every hand that went to seventh street was impactful. Obst won a few key pots to even the counts, and then went on a tear. By the time the final hand arose Kurtzman was down to around only 2.5 big bets. Obst made an 8-5-3-2-A low by fifth street and while Kurtzman’s up cards showed the 4-A-3-2 he could only produce the 4-4-J for his down cards for a jack-low. With that Obst locked up the title and his first WSOP gold bracelet while Kurtzman was eliminated in second place, earning $163,867 as the runner-up.

Final Table Results of Event #26

1James ObstAustralia$265,138
2Eric KurtzmanUnited States$163,867
3David “ODB” BakerUnited States$112,645
4Andrey ZhigalovRussia$79,616
5Anthony ZinnoUnited States$57,903
6Brandon Shack-HarrisUnited States$43,370
7Jyri MerivirtaFinland$33,485
8Jack DuongUnited States$26,674
9Nick SchulmanUnited States$21,946


Original article published on cardplayer.com