Two hundred and thirty-eight players descended upon the Amazon Ballroom at the Rio for Event #40 of the 2008 World Series of Poker, $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw. This event replaced last year's $1,000 2-7 Triple Draw w/ Rebuys event, and drew a significantly smaller field. The small field played quickly down to 30 survivors on Day 1, with Greg "Fossilman" Raymer finishing the day near the top of the pro-heavy field.
2-7 (deuce-to-seven) triple draw, also known as "Kansas City" lowball, is a draw variant where the lowest hand wins. In 2-7 Triple Draw, unlike razz, aces always play high, straights are bad, and flushes count against you. Players are dealt five cards, a round of betting takes place, and there are three drawing rounds. Betting takes place after each draw, and the best possible hand is 2-3-4-5-7.
Among the big names taking the field for this event were Terrence "Not Johnny" Chan, John Juanda, Mike Caro, Doyle and Todd Brunson, Gavin Smith, Carlos Mortensen and David Sklansky. Also in the field were Tom Schneider, Andy Block, Daniel Negreanu and lowball legend Billy Baxter. Baxter holds seven WSOP bracelets, sixth on the all-time bracelet list, and all seven are in a variation of lowball. Five of his bracelets came in 2-7 variants, one in A-5 lowball, and one in razz. Baxter survived Day 1 in his quest for his eighth bracelet, albeit just barely.
As in all limit events, the tide of eliminations started off at a trickle, and grew into a flood by the end of the night. Tom Schneider was among the early bustouts when he couldn't catch up to his opponent's pat 9-low. He was joined on the rail early by John Caldwell, Mark Gregorich, Jon "Pearljammer" Turner, Daniel Negreanu and Jimmy "gobboboy" Fricke, who started the day in awkward fashion at the same table as Howard Lederer. Other notable bustouts in the early rounds included Chris Ferguson, Marcel Luske, Mel Judah and Todd Brunson.
Steve Zolotow picked up almost the perfect card on his final draw against Mike Wattel, except for the suit. Zolotow had all his chips in the middle holding , needed anything lower than a 10 to win the pot. Anything except the , which made his flush and sent him to the rail just before the dinner break.
The pace of eliminations picked up after dinner, with Erick Lindgren, Gavin Griffin, Nick Schulman and Kirill Gerasimov heading to the rail. James Copland took on the role of table executioner for a while, sending Chad Brown and Phil Hellmuth to the rail in quick succession. Brown had a strong draw with a 7-4-3-2, but missed his five and headed home. As the hours waned on Day 1, Shawn Sheikhan busted just short of the money, and Freddy Deeb got all his chips in the middle for the last time. All of Deeb's chips went in before the draw against Von Altizer, and both players drew one card each draw. Deeb tabled 8-6-4-3 before dramatically revealing another six for a pair. Altizer followed suit tabling 6-4-3-2 before she revealed another deuce. Altizer's pair of deuces was better than Deeb's pair of sixes, and he was eliminated just before the end of Day 1.
30 players finished Day 1 with chips, just six off the money bubble. The top ten players are as follows:
Shun Uchida 79,200
Gioi Luong 72,300
Raymond Davis 67,700
Greg Raymer 64,600
James Copeland 62,700
Richard Chase 59,200
Mike Wattel 57,200
Chris Vitch 54,500
Robert Mizrachi 54,200
Luis Velador 49,400
Also still in the field were Billy Baxter, David Sklansky, Chau Giang, Robert Mizrachi and Dario Alioto. Join PokerNews at 2PM PDT on Monday for all the live updates as the final table is set.