Fifty-seven of the most recognizable faces in poker returned to the Rio to attempt to play all the way down to the final table on Day 2 of Event #23, $10,000 World Championship No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw. They got close to that goal, busting the money bubble late in the evening, but play was finally halted with ten players remaining as the witching hour came and went in the Amazon Room. Vince Musso finished the day with a commanding chip lead, followed by Ville Wahlbeck, who logged yet another cash in yet another $10,000 World Championship Event after placing third in Event #6, 13th in Event #18, and taking home the gold bracelet in Event #12.
Play kicked off with a fast pace, as the shorter stacks shoved and the bustouts flowed steadily for the first few levels. Among the early eliminations were Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer, Shawn Sheikhan and Gus Hansen. Phil Ivey was another early casualty when he made a stand with a J-10 low and couldn’t come from behind to beat Steve Sung’s 10-9 low. Nick Schulman sent Greg Mueller packing with a 9-7-5-4-2 when Mueller missed his draw and could only come up with a jack-low.
As the evening wore on, more and more big names were ousted from the tournament, including Chris Bjorin, Greg Raymer and 2008 lowball champ Mike Matusow. Matusow found himself very short on chips and managed a triple-up before he got it in against Michael Binger for the last time. Binger raised predraw, and Matusow three-bet for half his stack. Tim Phan flat-called Matusow’s raise, and Binger moved all in over the top. Phan got out of the way as Matusow called all in. Matusow stood pat with a 10-8, and Binger went into the tank. He eventually stood pat as well, and showed 9-7-5-4-2. His nine was better than Matusow’s ten, and “The Mouth” was silenced.
Jean-Robert Bellande was the bubble boy when he and Vince Musso got all the chips in predraw. Each player took one card and Bellande tabled 9-7-5-2. Musso showed 7-6-3-2 and drew a nine to make a 9-7-6-3-2 low. Bellande was drawing to a three, four, or a six, but his draw card was an eight, sending him home with nothing to show for his efforts but the smiles on the remaining players’ faces.
Jason Gray was the first player to cash in the event when he busted in 14th place ($17,885). He went for a triple-up when he called all in against Steve Sung and Nick Schulman. Gray took two cards as Sung and Schulman each took one. Sung bet out after the draw and Schulman folded. Sung showed 9-8-5-3-2, and Gray could only muster a 10-8 low as he headed to the rail. Other in-the-money finishes included Dan Harmetz (13th, $17,885), Max Pescatori (12th, $17.885) and Hertel Zalewski (11th, $19,871).
With two tables of five remaining, play was halted for the evening. Vince Musso finished up with a solid chip lead over his remaining opponents, with a stack of 765,000. Ville Wahlbeck ended the day in second chip position on 481,000, with John Juanda in third with 387,000. Nick Schulman, David Benyamine, Michael Binger, Roland de Wolfe, and Las Vegas gambling legend Archie Karas are also still in the hunt for WSOP gold. Join PokerNews at 2PM local time as the ten men left standing play down to one bracelet.