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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | WSOP2009 Tournaments

Event 23 $10K Deuce to 7 Lowball - Nick shulman Claims First WSOP Bracelet

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The players who came to the tables for the Deuce to 7 lowball event were a select group, mostly long-time pros who have diversified their games over the years to include a number of different games, but also a number of players who have picked up Deuce to 7 with the same voracity as hold’em. While that mix existed, the majority of the faces were recognizable ones, making it an interesting game to view from the rail or behind a press badge. And when it came to the last few players standing, there were two 2009 WSOP bracelet winners - Steve Sung and Ville Wahlbeck - in the mix going for second titles and some well-known faces.

A total of 96 players entered the world championship event, which created a prize pool of $902,400. The first day found nearly half of them felted, and the remaining 57 returned for Day 2. The hour turned late before the money bubble was reached, and Jean-Robert Bellande became the player who busted to allow the last 14 players in the tournament to make the money.

After several more exits in the early hours of the morning, concluding with Hertzel Zalewski in 11th place, the final ten returned on Day 3 to play to the final table and the ultimate winner. Vince Musso was the chip leader with 765,500, and Ville Wahlbeck was going for his second bracelet with a solid second place chip position of 487,000. Steve Sung was also in the pack looking for a second gold, but it was Michael Binger and Roland de Wolfe sitting on the short stacks.

And it was de Wolfe who pushed out of the starting gate, moving all-in from the big blind, and he was called by Ville Wahlbeck. It was the J-10-8-4-2 that did it for de Wolfe while Wahlbeck took the pot with J-8-5-4-3. That send Roland de Wolfe out in tenth place, and Justin Smith followed when his 9-7-4-2-J lost to the 9-6-5-3-2 of Benjamine. That gave Smith a ninth place finish. Both de Wolfe and Smith took home $19,871 for their efforts.

After some discussion about how many should be seated at the final table, it was decided that the eight remaining players would play at one table on the ESPN stage, and their chip counts were reported as follows:

Seat 1:  Ville Wahlbeck        740,000
Seat 2:  Nick Shulman    295,000
Seat 3:  Vince Musso        799,000
Seat 4:  Michael Binger    59,000
Seat 5:  John Juanda        248,000
Seat 6:  Steve Sung        155,000
Seat 7:  David Benyamine    265,000
Seat 8:  Archie Karas        384,000

On the first hand at the new table, Binger pushed his ultra-short stack and was called by Juanda. Binger ended up with 9-9-K-7-2 to the 10-8-6-4-2 of Juanda, and Michael Binger had no choice but to leave in eighth place with $24,545.

Soon after, Sung was able to double through Benyamine, putting the latter down to a short stack. He moved that 86K all-in, and Sung was the caller who ended up with J-8-7-3-2, while Benyamine had 9-6-5-4-9. David Benyamine ended his tournament in seventh place with $30,492.

Musso ran into some rough terrain as he lost his chip lead a few rounds into the final table. After Juanda doubled through him, Musso was able to come back and double through Juanda, but he finally made his move against Wahlbeck. Wahlbeck stood pat with 7-5-4-3-2, and Musso drew one and ended up with 9-5-4-2 and an irrelevant drawn card. Vince Musso was awarded $39,697 for his sixth place finish.

Karas was also short-stacked and moved all-in with J-10-8-5-2, and Sung called with 10-9-8-7-3. Archie Karas finished in fifth place with $53,783.

The four remaining players were led by Wahlbeck and his stack of more than 1.2 million, and Shulman was the short stack. But when Sung and Juanda tangled in a 1.2 million pot, it was Sung who came out on top and Juanda who became the short stack with only 250K.

Juanda soon pushed, and Shulman considered the call before making it. Juanda had 9-5-4-3 and drew a 6, while Shulman had 8-5-3-2 and drew a 7. That left John Juanda out of the event in fourth place with $75,964.

Steve Sung fought hard at the final table, but a hit during three-handed play forced him to have to move soon after. Shulman made the call and showed 10-7-5-4-3, while Sung lost with 10-8-5-4-3. Sung lost the chance to win a second bracelet at this point of the 2009 Series and was forced to accept third place and the $112,042 that went with it.

Heads-up action began with the following counts:

Nick Shulman    1,916,000
Ville Wahlbeck       964,000

The two battled for quite some time, as Wahlbeck was determined to win a second 2009 bracelet for his home country of Finland while Schulman hoped to add his first WSOP victory to a list of other poker accomplishments.

Wahlbeck came out swinging and made it a true contest, but Schulman pushed and got back to a comfortable better-than 4-to-1 chip lead. In the end, Schulman put the aggression on his opponent all the way to the finish.

The duo took care of some initial betting, and then each player took one card. Wahlbeck made the all-in move with the bluff of 9-9-8-5-2, while Schulman made his quickest call of the tournament with 7-5-4-3-2 to win. That left Ville Wahlbeck with $172,864 for the respectable second place finish.

Nick Shulman picked up his first ever World Series of Poker title and bracelet
, and he won $279,742 to go along with it.

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