There may not have been as many entrants in Event #18, $5,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw w/ Rebuys, as some other events, but the 85 players that showed up built a prize pool of well over $1 million. 39 of those players returned to the Amazon Ballroom for Day 2, including 10-time World Series of Poker champion Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Erick Lindgren, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow and Day 1 chip leader Tom "durrrr" Dwan.
No-limit 2-7 draw is an action game, built for betting and raising. Players must open the pot for a raise; there is no limping into the action. This format made for some quick exits on Day 2. Phil Ivey was an early elimination, heading to the rail before his first massage of the day could finish. Eli Elezra, Howard Lederer, Mickey Appleman and Todd Brunson joined him on the rail early. The younger Brunson moved all in before the draw with J-9-7-6-3 against David Grey. Grey stood pat, and Brunson drew one. Brunson paired his nine and Grey took down the pot with J-9-8-7-3.
Other early exits included Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Robert Mizrachi, Layne Flack, Shawn Sheikhan and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. Ferguson found himself caught in the middle after calling a raise from Barry Greenstein and facing a re-raise from Tom Dwan. Ferguson called all in and drew one against Dwan, who stood pat. Ferguson made only a Q-9 on the draw, not good enough to survive against Dwan's pat 9-8.
A few hands later, the money bubble burst, with living legend Doyle Brunson the unfortunate bubble boy. Brunson moved his short stack all in before the draw, and Tom Schneider called. Both men stood pat on the draw, and Schneider tabled 9-8 to Brunson's 10-8 to send the living legend to the rail and burst the money bubble.
With the level of players in the field, no one was content to shove blindly once the money bubble burst, so play actually slowed after Brunson's elimination. Michael Binger was the next to fall when he moved all in and found one caller in Tom Dwan. Dwan stood pat with Q-8-6-5-4. Binger drew two and tabled 9-7-5, but when his first draw card was an ace, he didn't bother looking at the second one, knowing he was done in 14th place ($26,025).
Nikolay Evdakov was the next short stack to shove it all in, and he was called by Erick Lindgren. Evdakov stood pat, and Lindgren discarded a king. Evdakov's J-10-7-5-3 was not good enough to top Lindgren's J-8-6-3-2, and he was busted in 13th ($26,025). This marked Evdakov's fourth cash in the 2008 WSOP.
Nick Schulman was all in on his big blind, and found action from Dario Alioto and Chad Brown. Schulman drew two cards, Brown took one, and Alioto stood pat. Alioto and Brown checked the side pot, and Alioto showed J-9-6-5-3. Brown mucked, and Schulman squeezed his cards to reveal four cards to a 10-low. The fifth card was an ace, and he collected $26,025 for 12th place.
Chad Brown was next to fall, heading to the rail in 11th place ($34,700) for his second consecutive cash in this event. Brown moved all in over the top of Tony G's raise, and Tony G made the call. Brown stood pat with Q-9-7-6-3, and Tony G drew one, tabling 9-5-4-3. Tony G picked up a deuce on his draw to bust Chad Brown in 11th place.
David Grey headed to the rail in 10th ($34,700) when he ran a J-8 into Barry Greenstein's 10-7, then Dario Alioto got all his chips in against Erick Lindgren and Tom Dwan to go home in ninth place ($34,700). Lindgren opened for a raise, and Dwan called. Alioto re-raised all in, and Lindgren called. Dwan re-raised once more, and Lindgren made the call.
Lindgren and Dwan stood pat, while Alioto took two cards. Lindgren showed 10-5-4-3-2 for a smooth 10, while Dwan was behind with his rough 10 of 10-7-6-4-2. Alioto was eliminated when he showed A-J-9-7-6. Tom Dwan was crippled after that hand and was eliminated shortly afterwards in eighth place ($45,110).
With Dwan's elimination, the final table as set, with Erick Lindgren the dominant chip leader as he tries for his second bracelet of the 2008 World Series of Poker. The final table is as stacked as any in recent memory, and the seat assignments and chip counts looked like this at the end of Day 2:
Seat 1: Jeffrey Lisandro (Salerno, Italy) 461,000
Seat 2: Mike Matusow (Las Vegas, Nevada) 520,000
Seat 3: Tom Schneider (Scottsdale, Arizona) 162,000
Seat 4: Erick Lindgren (Las Vegas, Nevada) 1,104,000
Seat 5: Barry Greenstein (Rancho Palos Verdes, California) 541,000
Seat 6: Tony 'G' Guoga (Melbourne, Australia) 394,000
Seat 7: David Benyamine (Las Vegas, Nevada) 410,000
Join PokerNews at 3PM PDT for this star-studded final table.