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WSOP 2009

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Event #55, $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit), Final Results

Official Report
Event #55
Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball (Limit)
Buy-In: $2,500
Number of Entries: 258
Total Net Prize Pool: $593,400
Number of Places Paid: 24
First Place Prize: $166,151
June 29-July 1, 2009

Event Headlines

1. Abe Mosseri Wins His First WSOP Gold Bracelet

2. New York City Poker Player Takes Lowball Event

3. Masayoshi Tanaka Just Misses Becoming First Japanese WSOP Gold Bracelet Winner in History – Finishes Second

4. Another WSOP Attendance Record is Broken: Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Generates Largest Turnout in Its History

The Champion

The 2009 World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) champion is Abe Mosseri, from New York, NY.

Mosseri is a 36-year-old professional poker player.

Mosseri started out as a backgammon player. He also played gin rummy for money in clubs in New York.

Mosseri began playing poker seriously as backgammon declined in popularity and as poker became the new phenomenon. He noted that several backgammon players have converted to become serious poker players.

Mosseri enjoys playing basketball and going to movies in his spare time. He also enjoys various forms of gambling.

Mosseri plays poker mostly online.

Mosseri collected $166,151 for first place. He was also awarded his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Mosseri cashed in the 2004 WSOP Main Event, finishing in 120th place. He was the chip leader that year after Day Three. But he admits to going on tilt after a bad run on Day Four and busted out far short of the final table.

Mosseri’s only other cash was in this year’s Seven-Card Stud World Championship, where he finished in sixth place.

Mosseri estimates that he has played in about 30 WSOP events total (2004 to present).

According to official records, Abe Mosseri now has 1 win, 2 final table appearances, and 3 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP. His career WSOP earnings now total $254,771.

Mosseri intends to play in this year’s WSOP Main Event.

Winner Quotes (Abe Mosseri)

On playing various games for a living: “My life story is kind of like Matt Damon’s story in Rounders, but in the game of backgammon.”

On how backgammon helped him become a better poker player: “I am a math guy. But I would not say I am a calculus genius, or anything. I do put a lot of math into poker, certainly more than most people. You know from math which hands to play, and which hands to get involved with based on the percentages. It’s very important.”

On his philosophy about games of skill and games if chance: “I just like to win. I play to win.”

The Final Table

The final table included two former WSOP gold bracelet winners – including John Juanda and Blair Rodman.

The final table was played eight-handed.

The runner up was Masayoshi Tanaka, from Kanagawa, Japan. He is a 34-year-old software engineer. He is a Lowball specialist who plays poker mostly online. Tanaka would have been the first Japanese citizen to win a gold bracelet had he taken first place. Nonetheless, this was the highest finish ever in a WSOP event for a citizen of Japan. Second place paid $102,313.

The third-place finisher was June Schneider, from Scottsdale, AZ. She is a housewife, mother, and poker player. Her favorite game is Lowball. Schneider previously cashed in the $1,500 Omaha High-Low Split tournament, earlier at this year’s WSOP. Schneider is the wife of 2007 WSOP “Player of the Year,” Tom Schneider.

The fourth-place finisher was John Juanda, from Las Vegas, NV. Juanda missed winning what would have been a fifth WSOP gold bracelet. Juanda’s last big win came last year at WSOP-Europe in the Main Event, where he won the longest final table battle in poker history.

The fifth-place finisher was Blair Rodman, from Rancho Mirage, CA. He won his gold bracelet two years ago. Rodman now has 33 cashes at the WSOP and over $1 million in winnings.

The sixth-place finisher was Bradley Libson, from Vail, CO. He is a 27-year-old poker pro, who is also an avid skier. Bradley won a major event held last year at the Aviation Club in Paris, France. This marked his fourth consecutive year to cash at the WSOP.

The seventh-place finisher was Kris Lord, from Palm Harbor, FL.

The eighth-place finisher was Hertzel Zalewski, from Houston, TX.

In-the-Money Finishers

Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – John Juanda, Blair Rodman, Hasan Habib, Jerrod Ankenman, and Daniel Negreanu.

John Juanda’s fourth-place showing in this tournament was his 48th career in-the-money finish. This currently ranks tenth on the all-time WSOP cashes list.

Daniel Negreanu’s 16th-place showing in this tournament was his 42nd career in-the-money finish. This currently ranks 17th on the all-time WSOP cashes list.

Blair Rodman’s fifth place finish keeps him in the top-50 all-time in-the-money finishers at the WSOP.

The defending champion in the event from 2008 was John Phan, from Stockton, CA. He entered this year’s tournament, but did not cash.

Odds and Ends

This game is rarely played anywhere except at the very highest levels. It is rarely spread inside public cardrooms -- either as cash games or tournaments. In fact, the WSOP is one of the few places where this poker variant is offered.

Deuce-to-Seven Draw Triple Draw Lowball means the worst, or lowest ranked hand wins the pot. The very best possible 2-7 lowball hand is 2-3-4-5-7 of mixed suits. An ace counts as a high card. Flushes and straights count against the player. While a wheel (A-2-3-4-5) is the perfect hand in standard lowball, in Deuce-to-Seven it is usually a losing hand since the straight counts against the player. Players may draw up to three times to make their hand.

There is some difference of opinion as to where and when this game originated. Since the 1930s, variations of lowball have been spread throughout California and Nevada. According to poker theorist David Sklansky, Limit 'Double-Draw' Lowball was first spread at the (now defunct) Vegas World during the early 1980s. Others cited a game called “Ten-Handed Triple-Draw Lowball” as the forbearer of Triple Draw, which was played at 'Amarillo Slim's' Super Bowl of Poker tournaments in Reno and Lake Tahoe during the period 1979 through 1984. Since ten-handed poker could only accommodate perhaps three or four players at most due to the number of cards needed to complete a hand, reducing the number of cards (to five) enabled more players to sit in the game.

The most convincing theory about the origin of Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball comes from Doc Jennings, who claims to have spread a five-card variant of the game in and around Fort Smith, AR during the late 1980s. However, Berry Johnston claims to have first played the Triple Draw in Oklahoma during the 1970s. One thing is clear: When Mississippi legalized casino gambling in 1991, Doc Jennings took Triple-Draw Lowball to the Hollywood Casino in Tunica, which eventually became a cash game offered regularly inside the cardroom. This was the first time the game was officially sanctioned inside a licensed casino. Players who gravitated to this game over the years included Keith Lehr, Berry Johnston, Robert Williamson III (all former gold bracelet winners), and others.

Triple Draw was first introduced at the WSOP in 2002. John Juanda won the first Triple Draw tournament. In 2003, Men 'the Master' Nguyen won the event. The game took a three-year hiatus from 2004-2006 and returned in 2007, with a $1,000 buy-in event. Hence, this is only the fifth Triple-Draw Lowball event ever played at the WSOP.

Last year's event attracted 238 entries. Entries increased by 8 percent to 258 players. This was the largest Limit Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball tournament in poker history.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory. The ceremony takes place on at center stage of the main tournament room and begins during the break of the noon tournament. The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 pm. The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played. The entire presentation is open to public and media. Video and photography is permitted by both media and the public.

Abe Mosseri’s gold bracelet ceremony will take place on July 3rd, which is Day 1-A of the WSOP Main Event.

WSOP Lowball Records

Poker Hall of Fame inductee Billy Baxter holds every conceivable record in any category relating to Lowball poker. He has dominated this form of poker in a manner that is historically unprecedented. Only poker legend Bill Boyd, who enjoyed similar domination in Five-Card Draw poker (which is no longer spread at the WSOP) can arguably rival Baxter’s complete mastery of a single game.

All of Billy Baxter’s seven WSOP gold bracelets were won playing various forms of Lowball.

Billy Baxter has 16 WSOP cashes in Lowball events, the most of any player in this form of poker. To give some measure of Baxter’s excellence, the current second-place leaders in Lowball career cashes are Bobby Baldwin and “Oklahoma Johnny” Hale, with 9 each.

The Event

The $2,500 buy-in Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball championship attracted 258 entries. The total prize pool amounted to $593,400. The top 24 finishers collected prize money.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days.

Eventual winner Abe Mosseri started play at the final table ranked third in chips, out of eight players. The early chip leader was Bradley Libson, who ended up busting out in sixth place.

When heads-up play began, Mosseri and the eventual runner-up finisher MasaYoshi Tanaka were about even in chips. It took Mosseri about an hour to defeat his final foe and win his first WSOP title.

The tournament officially began on Monday, June 29th, at 5 pm. The tournament officially ended on Wednesday, July 1st, at 9:30 pm.

Final Results

  Name Prize City State/Country
1 Mosseri, Abe $165,513.00 New York NY
2 Tanaka, Masayoshi $102,313.00 Kanagawa Japan
3 Schneider, Julie $66,286.00 Mesa AZ
4 Juanda, John $44,941.00 Las Vegas NV
5 Rodman, Blair $31,819.00 Rancho Mirage CA
6 Libson, Brad $23,484.00 Annapolis MD
7 Lord, Kris $17,934.00 Palm Harbor FL
8 Zalewski, Hertzel $17,934.00 Houston TX
9 Le, Nam $13,424.00 Huntington Beach CA
10 Fernandez, Jacobo $13,424.00 Hollywood FL
11 Hedlund Peter $9,901.00    
12 Rodriguez, Miguel $9,901.00 Madrid Spain
13 Quach, Daniel $7,223.00    
14 Morrow, Joseph $7,223.00 Mason OH
15 Sarkeshik, Ali $7,223.00 Northampton United Kingdom
16 Negreanu, Daniel $7,223.00 Las Vegas NV
17 Fisler, Ryan $7,223.00 Kincardine ON, Canada
18 Habib, Hasan $7,223.00 Downey CA
19 Ewenstein, Adam $5,148.00 Brookline MA
20 Ankenman, Jerrod $5,148.00 Avon CT
21 Sitar, Dustin $5,148.00 Las Vegas NV
22 Smith Justin $5,148.00 Kissimmee FL
23 Corpuz, Martin $5,148.00 Mountain View CA
24 Ogrady, Michael $5,148.00 New York NY

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