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 [AdJh] failed to improve against Hall’s [AhKc], 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 [KhJh] to Seiver’s [AdKd]. 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 [Js9s] and Teska called all-in with [Ad10d]. 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 [Ad3h] binked a trey against Hall’s [AsQh]. The second time around, it was Bonyadi with [AdQs] and Hall held the inferior [AcJh]. That hand left Hall on the short stack and it only took a few orbits before Hall open-shoved the small blind with [Jd7d]. Seiver called from the big blind with [Ks10h] 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 [10c6d2sQcKs]. 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 [Qs10h] for two pair, but Seiver had [Js9d] 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:
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