Event #16: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No-Limit)
Event #16: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No-Limit)
Day 2 completed

Ashby Leads a Stacked Final Nine

• Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante
Phil Hellmuth - 8 away from #12
Phil Hellmuth - 8 away from #12

Well, what a showcase of poker this $10,000 2-7 Draw Championship turned out to be!

Our starting field of 126 was reduced by a third after one day of play, and the survivors returned to the felt today for a brisk day of lowball action. From top to bottom, the field was stacked thicker than any event we've seen yet at this Series. Steve Zolotow, Dan Smith, Ville Wahlbeck, Steve Billirakis, Michael Mizrachi, Bill Chen, Erik Seidel, Joseph Cheong -- those were just the players eliminated in the first couple levels of this star-studded Day 2. Also falling by the wayside were the likes of Eli Elezra, Daniel Alaei, Shaun Deeb, Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, and 2011 bracelet winners Matt Perrins and Eugene Katchalov. Jason Mercier, David Williams, and Huck Seed also went out today, those three all missing the money by just a couple spots.

When the field combined to two tables of seven, everyone was guaranteed a paycheck. The layout of the field was ridiculous -- more fitting adjectives escape us at this twilight hour. The final 14 players had a combined 33 bracelets spread among them, and they included three former WSOP Main Event Champions (Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Greg Raymer), a WSOP-E Main Event Champion (John Juanda), and the last two winners of this event (Nick Schulman, David Baker).

Even after Chino Rheem and Brandon Cantu hit the rail, that bracelet count was still strong at 31, but the next elimination dashed that number to bits. Johnny Chan was riding the short stack when his {9-}{7-}{4-}{3-} paired on the draw to fall to Baker's queen-low. The end of Chan's bid to tie Hellmuth with eleven bracelets reduced the field to eleven players, but only nine of them hung on for the rest of the level. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Benjamin Parker were cut down in the final few hands, and the Day 3 field is locked with nine players set to return.

Richard Ashby will take the big stack of 700,000 into the final day, and he'll be looking for his second final table of this young 2011 WSOP. Everyone in the field is well accustomed to WSOP final tables, though, and there's really no clear betting favorite. Baker and Schulman are still alive in their bids to win a second bracelet in the same event, and a victory from either of those men would make for fantastic headlines. Perhaps no headline would be bigger than Phil Hellmuth snagging bracelet number twelve, though.

This 2011 WSOP badly needs a big story to rush to the presses, and they may well get one here tomorrow. There are a total of 21 bracelets between the final nine, and of the group, only Joe Cassidy has yet to add his name to the list of WSOP champions.

Day 3 commences at 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, and we won't stop until we hand out the bracelet. Until tomorrow, all that's left is goodnight!

Seating Assignments

• Level 16: 2,500-5,000, 1,500 ante
TableSeatPlayerChips
3751Steve Sung441,000
3752Hasan Habib437,000
3753David Baker492,000
3754Nick Schulman306,000
3755--empty----
3756--empty----
3757Phil Hellmuth339,000
    
3761Greg Raymer355,000
3762--empty----
3763John Juanda171,000
3764--empty----
3765Joe Cassidy540,000
3766Richard Ashby700,000
3767--empty----

End-of-Day Chip Counts

Richard Ashby 700,000
Joe Cassidy 540,000
David Bakes Baker 492,000
Steve Sung 441,000
Hasan Habib 437,000
Greg Raymer 355,000
Phil Hellmuth 339,000
Nick Schulman 306,000
John Juanda 171,000

Benjamin Parker Eliminated in 10th Place ($27,928)

• Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante

Joe Cassidy opened the pot to 22,000, and Richard Ashby three-bet to 60,000 from the cutoff. On the button, Benjamin Parker called all in for 59,000, and Cassidy elected to fold out of the way and let the other two duke it out.

They both patted, and Parker showed {9-}{8-}{7-}{5-}{2-} Ashby had a ninety-eight, too, but his {9-}{8-}{6-}{4-}{3-} was better, and it was good enough to eliminate Parker in 10th place on the final hand of the night.

Ashby is going to be your overnight chip leader with about 690,000.

Tags: Benjamin ParkerRichard AshbyJoe Cassidy

Bertrand Grospellier Eliminated in 11th Place ($27,928)

• Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante

From the cutoff, Bertrand Grospellier moved all in for around 40,000. Joe Cassidy made the call from the button, as did Richard Ashby in the small blind and Benjamin Parker in the big blind. Ashby and Cassidy stood pat, Parker took one, and ElkY drew two cards.

Ashby and Parker checked the action to Cassidy who led out for 80,000. Ashby went into the tank for a solid three to four minutes, keeping the crowd around the table in suspense before finally throwing his cards away. Parker folded and Cassidy turned up {9-}{6-}{5-}{4-}{2-} causing ElkY to toss his cards into the muck, finishing the tournament in 11th place.

This pot brings Cassidy up to around 510,000 in chips.

Tags: Benjamin ParkerBertrand GrospellierJoe CassidyRichard Ashby

Three More Hands

• Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante

The clock has been paused with ten minutes left on the clock, and we'll play three more hands at both tables before bagging up for the night.

Hellmuth Makin' Moves

• Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante

Under the gun, Nick Schulman opened to 21,000, and Phil Hellmuth three-bet to 67,000 from the cutoff seat. Schulman called, and both players took one card. After the draw, Schulman check-called a bet of 46,000, and Hellmuth announced his hand.

"Ten," he said.

"Ten what?" Schulman asked.

"Ten-nine-seven," came the response as the Brat showed {10-}{9-}{7-}{5-}{2-}. It was good, and that pot propels Hellmuth back up to 375,000, while Schulman falls to 385,000 -- both men still above average.

Tags: Phil HelllmuthNick Schulman

Hellmuth Pulls an Eighty-Six

• Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante

Phil Hellmuth, the shortest stack in the tournament at the time, raised to 24,000 from the hijack and was called by David Baker from the small blind. Baker took one card while Hellmuth opted to take two.

Baker checked to Hellmuth who counted out a bet of 60,000, more than half of his stack. After a bit of pondering, Bakes made the call only to hear Hellmuth say "Eighty-six!", tabling {8-}{6-}{4-}{3-}{2-}. Bakes dejectedly mucked his cards and Hellmuth stack is back up to around 210,000.

Tags: David Bakes BakerPhil Hellmuth

Habib Stands Pat, Gets the Job Done

• Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 2,000 ante

Nick Schulman made it 21,000 from under the gun only to be three-bet to 66,000 by Hasan Habib from the small blind. David Baker called from the big blind and Schulman decided to opt out and muck his hand.

Habib stood pat while Bakes took one card. The action went check-check and Hasan turned up {10-}{9-}{8-}{6-}{5-}, causing Baker to muck his cards.

"Ten what?" asked Hellmuth feverishly, possibly still reeling from the three-bet Habib put on him earlier.
"What do you want? I had nowhere to go" responded Habib.

Tags: David Bakes BakerHasan Habib