The ever-expanding World Poker Tour made its first ever stop in mainland China this week as 542 players ambushed Sanya for the $1,500 Main Event.
With an Asian backdrop Black Belt and recent APT Player of the Year Sam Razavi was naturally present, alongside poker legends Johnny Chan, David Chiu and 'Poker Brat' Phil Hellmuth.
Razavi's journey was far from smooth as he hit early hurdles in customary fashion, dropping from 20,000 to 7,000 within the opening level. Nevertheless, he rebuilt to 80,000 before doubling up in the last level and progressing to Day 2 sixth in chips.
On Day 3, Razavi shared a table with former WPT Champion McLean Karr, but despite the tough company was able to not just survive the day, but head into the final table first in chips with 2.7 million.
Sam slipped down the rankings after a couple of unfortunate pots, but made it to the final three where he open-shoved 14 big blinds with but was picked off by the of eventual winner Zheng Hua Lei.
"In China, players peel too much regardless of their hole cards and implied odds," revealed Razavi, "which is why I jammed. Hellmuth was commentating on the final, so I asked him for his thoughts about my exit hand. He said that the Internet Kids would definitely do it, but he wouldn't, although that didn't mean it was wrong."
Third place netted Razavi ¥300,000 ($48,101), thus bringing his total career winnings in live tournaments to just shy of the one-million mark. In just the last 12 months, he has won titles of the APT and ANZPT variety, and is third in the world for number of cashes with 33.
"I was disappointed not to win," he added, "as it would have been an unbelievable way to cap off the year, but I've had such a big share of the cake that I can't really be too upset. The top three received a package to the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, so that was a real sweetener."
WPT China final 10 results
|1||Zheng Hua Lei||¥1,200,000 ($192.406)|
|2||You Jia Wang||¥600,000 ($96.203)|
|3||Sam Razavi||¥300,000 ($48,101)|
|4||Yue Cao||¥200,000 ($32,067)|
|5||Lei Xu||¥150,000 ($24,050)|
|6||Li Fu Lui||¥120,000 ($19,240)|
|7||Xue Yi Lin||¥95,000 ($15,232)|
|8||Zhi Yong Li||¥80,000 ($12,827)|
|9||Ji Wei Deng||¥70,000 ($11,223)|
|10||Jia He Li||¥60,00 ($9,620)|