The thing about the class clown is that sometimes you don't notice that he is the smartest guy in the room because he is too busy cracking jokes. The funny faces, wise cracks, and general goofiness distract from the fact that the guy making the jokes is in complete control of his audience.
Poker has always had its class clowns. Gavin Smith and Mike Matusow come to mind, as does some of the long list of actual comedians with a love of the game. The old guard has plenty of them, but in the new school of serious online poker players, there is one jokester who stands out above the rest: Scott Seiver. The jig is up on Seiver now though. He is far more than a jovial prankster or a fun guy to have at the table. He is a World Champion.
Seiver's poker prowess has long been obvious, but, on the WPT especially, sometimes his happy personality overshadowed his results. That is the case no longer though, as Seiver masterfully controlled a tough final table to pick up the WPT's most prestigious title, $1,618,344, and bring Season IX of the tour to a spectacular close.
Seiver began the final table virtually tied for the chip lead with Galen Hall, but he hit a rough stretch early and dropped to the middle of the pack during a long stretch of 45 hands without an elimination. It didn't take too long at all for Seiver to find his footing though and he righted the ship to climb back to the top and pull out to the chip lead.
Hall closed that gap by eliminating Justin Young in sixth place when Young's AJ failed to improve against Hall's AK, but Seiver fired right back. The very next hand after Young's elimination, Tony Gargano and Scott Seiver got it all-in preflop with Gargano holding KJ to Seiver's AK. Once again, Big Slick prevailed, and the field was quickly cut to four.
That pot put Seiver near the 10-million chip mark and gave him a more than comfortable lead, so when Hall eliminated Roger Teska in fourth place a couple of orbits later, he still had only around half the stack Seiver did. Hall shoved from the small blind on the short-stacked Teska with J9 and Teska called all-in with A10. Hall flopped a jack and Teska hit the rail.
While Hall may have had half the stack Seiver did, it was short stack Farzad Bonyadi who was in the worst shape. The Iranian poker pro was not only the only non-American at the table, he was the lone representative of the old guard amongst a line-up of players all under the age of 30. Bonyadi more than held his own though, doubling up early to stay alive and then doubling up through Hall not once, but twice during three-handed play.
The first double up was a lucky catch for Bonyadi, whose A3 binked a trey against Hall's AQ. The second time around, it was Bonyadi with AQ and Hall held the inferior AJ. That hand left Hall on the short stack and it only took a few orbits before Hall open-shoved the small blind with J7. Seiver called from the big blind with K10 and flopped trip tens to take play to heads-up.
Seiver held a 3-1 chip advantage over Bonyadi, but the patient pro would not make it easy on Seiver. He doubled up when his top pair and straight draw held up against Seiver's gutshot and flush draw combination to pick up some chips, but Seiver whittled Bonyadi back down to stack that left him little room to maneuver.
On the final hand of play, Seiver min-raised the button and Bonyadi called. the two players checked it down on the flop and turn as the board ran out 1062QK. The action blew up on the river as Seiver bet, Bonyadi raised, and Seiver moved all-in. Bonyadi thought for three minutes before calling with Q10 for two pair, but Seiver had J9 for the straight to take the pot and the victory.
For Seiver, the win is more than just the last laugh. It is a marquee victory on an already impressive poker resume that allows him to tell people, "I am a WPT World Champion."
Here are the final table results from the Season IX WPT World Championship:
Hand #154: Scott Seiver Wins the WPT World Championship ($1,618,344)
Level 30: 100,000-200,000, 20,000 ante
Scott Seiver min-raises to 400,000, and Farzad Bonyadi calls. Both players check to the river on a board of 1062QK, Bonyadi checks, Seiver bets 600,000, and Bonyadi check-raises to 1,600,000.
Seiver thinks for about 15 seconds before he moves all in. Bonyadi tanks for three minutes before he calls.
Seiver turns over Js9d for a king-high straight -- the second nuts. Bonyadi shows Q10 for two pair, but it's not enough. Bonyadi is eliminated in second place, earning $1,061,900.
Scott Seiver wins the pot -- and the WPT World Championship -- with a king-high straight. Seiver earns $1,618,344, a WPT bracelet, a Bellagio bracelet, and his prize money includes entry into next season's WPT World Championship.
1st: Scott Seiver - $1,618,344
2nd: Farzad Bonyadi - $1,061,900
3rd: Galen Hall - $589,355
4th: Roger Teska - $371,665
5th: Tony Gargano - $278,749
6th: Justin Young - $225,654
Hand #146: Farzad Bonyadi Doubles Thru Scott Seiver
Level 30: 100,000-200,000, 20,000 ante
Scott Seiver completes the small blind to 200,000, and Farzad Bonyadi checks his option. The flop comes 987, Bonyadi checks, Seiver bets 400,000, Bonyadi moves all in for 2,270,000, and Seiver quickly calls with J4 for a heart flush draw with a gutshot straight draw.
Bonyadi turns over 109 for a pair of nines with an open-ended straight draw, and he'll need to hold to stay alive.
The turn card pairs the board with the 9, the river is the A, and Farzad Bonyadi wins the pot with trip nines to double up in chips.
Hand #120: Scott Seiver Takes a Pot Worth 3.4 Million
Level 29: 80,000-160,000, 15,000 ante
Scott Seiver min-raises to 320,000, and Farzad Bonyadi calls. Both players check to the turn on a board of 8427, Bonyadi bets 450,000, Seiver raises to 1,400,000, and Bonyadi thinks for about 30 seconds before he calls.
The river card is the 5, Bonyadi checks, Seiver bets 2,050,000, and Bonyadi thinks for nearly two minutes before he folds. Scott Seiver takes the pot.
Pot Size: 3,470,000
Scott Seiver - 18,240,000
Farzad Bonyadi - 3,760,000
Hand #113: Galen Hall Eliminated in 3rd Place ($589,355)
Level 29: 80,000-160,000, 15,000 ante
Galen Hall moves all in from the small blind for about 2.4 million, and Scott Seiver asks for a count from the big blind before he calls with K10. Hall turns over J7, and he'll need to improve to stay alive.
The board comes KKQ96, and Scott Seiver winst he pot with trip kings to eliminate Galen Hall in third place.
Seat 1. Galen Hall - Out in 3rd Place ($589,355)
Seat 5. Scott Seiver - 16,265,000
Seat 6. Farzad Bonyadi - 5,735,000
There will be an extended break for the money presentation before heads-up play begins.
Farzad Bonyadi raises under the gun to 210,000, Galen Hall calls from the button, and Scott Seiver calls from the big blind. All three players check to the turn on a board of 101064, Seiver bets 480,000, Bonyadi folds, and Hall calls.
The river card is the J, Seiver bets 1.4 million, and Hall folds. Scott Seiver takes the pot.
Seat 1. Galen Hall - 4,350,000
Seat 4. Roger Teska - 2,845,000
Seat 5. Scott Seiver - 10,870,000
Seat 6. Farzad Bonyadi - 3,935,000
Scott Seiver raises from the button to 200,000, and Farzad Bonyadi calls from the small blind. The flop comes J87, Bonyadi bets 225,000, Seiver raises to 645,000, and Bonyadi thinks for a minute and a half before he calls.
The turn card is the 3, Bonyadi checks, and Seiver asks for a count of Bonyadi's stack. Seiver then moves all in, and Bonyadi thinks for nearly two minutes before he folds. Scott Seiver takes the pot.
Seat 1. Galen Hall - 5,445,000
Seat 2. Justin Young - 1,280,000
Seat 3. Tony Gargano - 2,880,000
Seat 4. Roger Teska - 4,390,000
Seat 5. Scott Seiver - 5,660,000
Seat 6. Farzad Bonyadi - 2,345,000