An interesting mix of players including one very big poker name came to the felt on Wednesday afternoon for the final table of the Event #20, the $2,000 Seven Card Stud High/Low (Eight-or-Better) tournament. The 340 players who started two days earlier had been whittled to the final nine, who lined up as follows for the 2pm start:
Seat 1: Steve Graboski — 373,000
Seat 2: Ryan Hughes — 341,000
Seat 3: Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer — 215,000
Seat 4: Adam Spiegelberg — 36,000
Seat 5: Doug 'Rico' Carli — 97,000
Seat 6: Jim Weir — 46,000
Seat 7: Min Lee — 66,000
Seat 8: Ron Ware — 167,000
The multiple short stacks meant that early action was all but assured, as the short players would need to double up or go to the rail. Jim Weir succeeded in that early, but not Adam Spiegelberg, who got the last of his chips in with an ace against both Steve Graboski and Ryan Hughes; Graboski though, made a wheel, scooped the pot and eliminated Spiegelberg in eighth place ($13,923).
Ryan Hughes then scooped a couple of pots amid other action to move into the lead, while Ron Ware would be the next to depart, this time at the hands of Greg Raymer. Ware collected $18,873 for his seventh-place finish.
While Min Lee stayed alive despite his short-stack status, Jim Weir's run at the final table ended, at the hands of Raymer once again. Raymer made kings up while Weir couldn't complete a low draw, and Weir was done in for $24,443. The knockout also moved Raymer into the chip lead.
From this point, however, Raymer's fortunes worsened. He doubled up Doug Carli and also added chips to the stacks of Hughes and Lee, though he did pick up a third knockout, that of Steve Graboski in fifth. Raymer hit trip sevens and Graboski couldn't complete either a flush draw for the high or his low draw, exiting with $32,178 for his efforts.
Hughes crippled Raymer when Raymer couldn't overcome Hughes' kings up; Raymer was eliminated in fourth place ($41,460) soon after Graboski's dparture. This gave Hughes the lead, and Carli fell next after making sevens up that came nowhere near topping Hughes' queens full. Carli third-place finish was worth $61,880 with six final-table knockouts occurring in just three hours of play..
Ryan Hughes had amassed a million in chips to Min Lee's 360,000 as heads-up play began, though Lee had come to the final table in seventh place and had made a nice charge of his own. However, it only took twelve more hands for Hughes to finish off Lee. Hughes won seven of the first ten hands, all for smaller pots. On Hand 11 of heads-up play, Hughes pushed his pair of eights to victory over Lee's K-high and on the next hand, Hughes smashed Lee's trip fours by making quad tens to take down the bracelet and the $176,358 payday in the $2,000 Seven Card Stud High/Low event.
PLAYER — EARNINGS
1. Ryan Hughes — $176,358
2. Min Lee — $97,461
3. Doug Carli — $61,880
4. Greg Raymer — $41,460
5. Steve Graboski — $32,178
6. Jim Weir — $24,443
7. Ron Ware — $18,873
8. Adam Spiegelberg — $13,923