Big Names, Late Arrivals, Fouled Decks Mark $10K NL 2-7 Lowball WSOP Championship

Just 12 players had enrolled at the start of Sunday’s $10,000 buy-in no-limit 2-7 lowball draw event, which would’ve made for a field size that had not been seen in the World Series of Poker since the 1970s. But thanks to the magic of late enrollment and re-entry, dozens more showed up to account for 85 entries in the area, and a more respectable total prize pool of $799,000.

Shawn Sheikhan 2018 WSOP

Poker bad boy Shawn Sheikhan was on his best behavior during the $10,000 buy-in no-limit 2-7 lowball event in the 2018 WSOP. (Image: CardsChat)

44 players stayed. Several of those who advanced did so by purchasing in twice. These re-enterers comprised former WSOP Players of the Year Ben Lamb and Frank Kassela, both busting the first bullet early in the evening.

As is the case with most $10,000 events, this form of tournament tends to draw some big names. Not surprisingly, Phil Hellmuth showed up late (and broken out early) on Day 2. One of the last people to enter the tournament was none other than Doyle Brunson, who said it might be his last tournament ever.

Familiar Faces, Better Moods

In an hour after the tournament began, three old-school poker grinders you might remember from the poker boom age — Shawn Sheikhan, David Benyamine, and John Hennigan — purchased in and took a seat inside Amazon room that, by the way, was pleasantly cool after two straight days of working with a broken air conditioner.

Sheikhan is known for his combative demeanor in the table ever since a verbal sparring match with Mike Matusow during the 2005 Main Event led to both players receiving a penalty.

In 2011,”Sheiky” was booted from the Aria poker room in Las Vegas to get a physical altercation with David”Viffer” Peat. Both poker players that appeared multiple times on”Poker After Dark” and”High Stakes Poker” were spotted fist-fighting outside Commerce Casino in Los Angeles that same year.

Sheikhan, now 49 and the owner of tattoo and tobacco shops, seems to have calmed down a bit but was still quite animated at times on Sunday. “I haven’t been in a fight in four decades,” he explained to another player at his table.

When his old rival Matusow cruised in a motorized scooter, Sheikhan barely took notice. He just kept his head down and played on, finishing Sunday’s session with 73,600 chips — well above the 50,000-chip starting pile, but light years behind Day One chip pioneer Galen Hall (389,800).

Marked Cards?

1 situation appeared on Sunday that could’ve led to players blowing up but did not involved the chance of some decks being marked. Whether that’s a matter of cheating or a manufacturer’s flaw has not yet been determined, but 2-7 lowball player Jessie Martin brought the issue to his table’s attention, when he verbally complained that cards in his table were marked.

To prove it, he asked the dealer to spread a handful of cards face down on the table and also to pull out some at random. This was no magic trick, but the dealer slid five cards ahead, and with 100 percent accuracy, Martin was able he accurately determine whether he was looking at a face card. 

“I come in here everyday and notice these things but nobody says anything,” the visibly upset poker player said to other people at his table. “Everyday I simply call it out the first time I see it.”

The flooring replaced the deck with a new setup and play continued.

Martin ended his Day 1 with 75,800 chips to return Monday in good shape

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