WSOP Event 43 Recap: Jess Martin Wins $10K 2-7 Lowball WSOP Title
by Jennifer Newell
The 2013 World Series of Poker boasted of fewer $10K buy-in tournaments than in years past, but one of the player favorites remained on the schedule. Event 43 was a $10K No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball tournament, destined to bring in some of the top players in the game. The same 2012 event had 101 players, and Nick Schulman won it.
Some of the first players in their seats for Event 43 included Barry Greenstein, Andy Bloch, Huck Seed, Mike Wattel, Phil Galfond, Billy Baxter, Jason Mercier, Tom Schneider, Phil Laak, and Phil Ivey. And others like Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, and John Juanda joined via late registration. Nick Schulman was also in attendance to defend his title.
The final numbers came in later that evening, and the total number of players was 87, which meant the prize pool was set at $817,800 and the top 14 players would be paid. When play stopped that night, there were still 55 players in action, and Calvin Anderson was the leader of them all with 134,700 chips.
Day 2 worked its way to the money bubble at the dinner break, but not before players like Phil Laak, Max Pescatori, and Vincent Musso exited. Upon the players' return from their meals, it was Brian Hastings who lost out to Calvin Anderson to exit in 15th place. Dan O'Brien was the first to cash out for $16,601 in 14th place, followed by Larry Wright in 13th, Naoya Kihara in 12th, Calvin Anderson in 11th, James Lee in tenth, and Ashton Griffin in ninth. The unofficial final table was then set with Layne Flack in the chip lead, and short-stacked Paul Volpe didn't take long to risk his chips against Jon Turner. Volpe lost and left in eighth place with $22,399.
The final table was set for June 26, and Layne Flack had the lead with 574K, followed somewhat closely by Jesse Martin with 536,500 chips. In order of counts, the other players were David "Bakes" Baker, Jeff Lisandro, John Hennigan, Jon Turner, and Konstantin Puchkov on the short stack with 196K.
It took less than 25 hands for Hennigan to lose ground and make his move, and he lost to Puchkov to exit in seventh place. Turner doubled through Lisandro and then through Flack, while Puchkov continued to climb and took over first place on the leaderboard. Martin doubled through Lisandro and then soared into the chip lead. Turner was short again and did triple his stack. And it was Flack who suffered some beats and then lost the remainder of his chips to Martin. About 100 hands after the first bustout, Flack left in sixth place.
Lisandro doubled twice to stay alive, and then did it again, as did Baker. Turner then took his chance against Puchkov and lost, exited in fifth place. Lisandro was short but doubled through Martin, but he eventually tried it again through Baker and lost, leaving in fourth place. Puchkov was the next to challenge Martin, and he lost to finish the tournament in third place.
Martin led heads-up play with 2,157,000 chips, and Baker had 453K. It only took a few hands before the 176th hand of the night decided the match. Baker pushed all-in and ended up with 9-6-5-2-K, but Martin had 8-7-3-2-T for the best low. Baker took second place, and Martin claimed the WSOP gold bracelet and top prize money.
1st place: Jess Martin ($253,524)
2nd place: David Baker ($156,674)
3rd place: Konstantin Puchkov ($99,313)
4th place: Jeff Lisandro ($67,264)
5th place: Jon Turner ($47,792)
6th place: Layne Flack ($35,549)
7th place: John Hennigan ($27,644)
Jennifer Newell is a freelance writer, originally from St. Louis but now living in Los Angeles. She fell in love with poker while working at WPT and began writing about it in 2005.