Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship

Doyle Brunson Through to $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Final Day

will_shill • Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante
Billy Baxter, Phil Hellmuth, Todd Brunson, Doyle Brunson

Day 2 of Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship was all about one player: Doyle Brunson. Announcing his final return to tournament poker earlier today, and then his subsequent retirement to spend more time with his wife, Brunson enjoyed his moment in the spotlight and showed that he is still a force to be reckoned with at the felt.

“Deuce to seven has always been my favorite game,” the WSOP Hall of Famer said at the start of the day. “And today is just an opportunity.”

Brunson was joined by his son Todd, and together the pair forged a path; at one stage the pair were first and second in chips. Towards the latter stages of the day, the pair were seated first at the same table, and then side by side - father and son.

Just eleven players remain in the tournament including Doyle, and the ten-time bracelet winner is by no means the shortest heading into the final day. A total of 24 bracelets have been won by the remaining eleven players, with just four players — Shawn Sheikhan, Galen Hall, Dario Sammartino and James Alexander — yet to achieve poker's biggest goal.

The chipleader is Mike Wattel, who scooped some vital pots to be the only player bagging over one million, well clear of his nearest competitor. The seating and chip counts as players head into the final day is as follows.

SeatTableNameCountryChip CountTableNameCountryChip Count
1439Brian RastUnited States477,000447Dario SammartinoItaly394,000
2439--empty--  447John HenniganUnited States87,000
3439--empty--  447James AlexanderUnited States21,000
4439Farzad BonyadiUnited States440,500447--empty--  
5439Mike WattelUnited States1,293,000447Todd BrunsonUnited States185,000
6439Shawn SheikhanUnited States645,500447Doyle BrunsonUnited States470,500
7439Galen HallUnited States517,000447Ray DehkharghaniUnited States195,500

There was a veritable selection of poker royalty at the start of the day; in addition to the Brunsons, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Ben Yu, Brian Rast, Robert Mizrachi, James Obst and Matthew Ashton all joined the field. In fact, the final eleven players are made up of five players who registered at the start of Day 2.

Doyle Brunson and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel
Doyle Brunson and WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel

Doyle Brunson formed, quite rightly, the center of attention at the start of the day. He eliminated Cary Katz and Nick Schulman before the first level to establish a foothold in the tournament and moved on to head the chip counts; a sight that will remain in the memory of everyone who followed and tracked Brunson last-ever WSOP tournament over the course of the day.

Once entry closed at the start of the day, the payouts were confirmed. A total of 15 players would be in the money, with a min-cash worth $14,691. The winner would take home $259,670.

Play would reach the final three tables of 21 players relatively quickly, by the second break, with defending champion John Monnette finishing in 21st place. Monnette was looking good after standing pat with a {9-}{7-}{6-}{3-}{2-}, but Farzad Bonyadi drew one to a {9-}{5-}{4-}{3-} and peeled a {7-} to complete a better nine-seven and send Monnette to the rail.

It wasn't smooth sailing for the other Brunson the entire day; Paul Volpe would double through him, and four-time bracelet winner John Hennigan would apply pressure as well, leaving him in need of a chip up. And he got it.

After raising to 13,000 from under the gun, Brunson got two calls from Bonyadi and Volpe, before Hennigan three-bet to 80,000. Both Brunson and Bonyadi called, with Volpe getting out of the way. Hennigan stood pat and both other players drew one.

Hennigan checked and Brunson counted out his stack and moved all in for 95,500. He got a quick call from Bonyadi and Hennigan passed.

Brunson tabled {7-}{6-}{5-}{4-}{2-} for a seven-six, a very strong hand, and only just beat Bonyadi's {8-}{5-}{4-}{3-}{2-} - the next best hand.

This double meant that Brunson held a sizeable chip advantage heading into the all-important bubble portion of the day. Mike Wattel and Shawn Sheikhan weren't in any danger of busting, but that didn't stop them going to war with two pat eights, with Wattel soaring into the chip lead in the outcome.

There were doubles and triples for Illya Trincher, Ben Yu and Max Kruse, but in the end, it was German soccer star Kruse who would succumb to Sheikhan.

After the bubble burst, three players would hit the rail with Yu, Volpe and Robert Mizrachi eliminated, all netting themselves a $14,691 payday.

Play resumes at 2 p.m. local time tomorrow, with Doyle's final WSOP tournament live-streamed on PokerGO. His status as a poker legend is assured, but can he write one final chapter in his long and storied career here at the World Series of Poker?

Tags: Ben YuBilly BaxterBrian RastDario SammartinoDoyle BrunsonFarzad BonyadiGalen HallJames AlexanderJohn HenniganMax KruseMike WattelPaul VolpePhil HellmuthRay DehkharghaniRobert MizrachiShawn SheikhanTodd Brunson