In the early morning hours of July 6th the field of 101 and some of the best players of 2-7 Draw Lowball in the world had been pared down to just the 54 that had survived the night’s gaming. These players had managed to pony up the $10,000 entry fee for the event and the entire evening was filled with popular and well known faces. In previous years, the buy-in had been just $5,000 but this year’s contestants began their competition with double that amount; a $10,000 buy-in.
By the end of the long evening, a leader had emerged and that was Konstantin Puchkov who had secured the chip lead with a total of 133,400. He is now on pace to make WSOP history because the cash-in for this event would be a record breaking 11th time for him in the series. The two contenders behind Puchkov are currently Hertzel Zalewki with 107,700 and Hasan Habib with 104,700.
Another big story of the evening was the return of Johnny Chan, who has won a bracelet a total of ten different times. He cashed in the event last year with a 12th place finish but will not be able to top that this time around as he was eliminated right before the night concluded. Other players that had an early exit from the competition included Brandon Cantu, Phil Hellmuth, Bryn Kenney, Chad Brown, Josh Brikis, Shaun Deeb, and Michal Mizrachi.
Former champions seemed to be having a great day of gaming. Last year’s winner was John Juanda who is still in the running to try and defend his title. He has a total of 63,000 chips. The winner from two years ago, David Baker, has 37,900 chips. Nick Schulman is still in the running with a total of 65,000 chips. Both the champions from 2008 and 2007, Mike Matusow and Erik Seidel, are still in the running and looking for another bracelet as well. Matusow has 33,400 chips and Seidel has a total of 91,200.
There are also several other players left still standing, some of which are a little less known to the public, but are big contenders nonetheless. Daniel Negreanu has 94,200 in chips and Jason Mercier has 89,000. Michael Binger has 86,300 in chips while Tom Schneider has 82,900. Alis Eslami has 75,800 and Phil Galfnd has 41,200 in chips. There are also a number of other big time players still in the running to secure a bracelet.
The remaining players, all 54 of them, are slated to continue their journey toward acquiring a bracelet. They will play until they reach the final seven players or will play ten levels of gaming, whichever option comes first. If it turns out to be Konstantin Puchkov’s time to shine, he will be setting a new record and will essentially be making history in the poker world with his 11th cash event. There is no doubt that the gaming will draw much attention from spectators, especially in the event that history is made.