Two days ago, 241 players took their shot at poker glory here in Event #36: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball. Just six of those players returned to action today, competing for the $89,483 first-place prize and a 2014 WSOP gold bracelet. After 77 hands of play, five players were sent to the rail, and only Steven Wolansky was left when the dust settled.
Wolansky just missed out on a bracelet last year when he finished runner-up in the 2013 WSOP Event #8: $2,500 Eight-Game Mix. But today he was able to make up for it by winning his first piece of gold. It wasn't easy, though, despite him starting with the chip lead.
Wolansky actually got off to a bad start and was at risk on Hand #4. Fortunately, he was able to double through Samuel Touil, who fell to Joseph Cheong two hands later.
On Hand #19, Cheong sent Orjan Skommo to the rail in fifth place, and 22 hands later, Christopher Mecklin followed him out the door in fourth, courtesy of Cheong as well.
At that point, there was a short break. In the first hand back, German footballer Max Kruse fell. The 26-year-old striker and second-leading scorer for Borussia Mönchengladbach in the German Football League was expected to serve as a reserve for Germany in its attempt at a fourth World Cup title in Brazil, but he was surprisingly left off the roster last month. That afforded him the opportunity to play at the 2014 WSOP, and he made the most of it by playing his first 2-7 draw lowball event after learning the game via a 30-minute crash course from a friend, George Danzer, while watching Germany play against Portugal last week.
Kruse's demise came on Hand #42 when he moved all in from the small blind and Cheong made a quick call from the big. Kruse drew one and Cheong stood pat with . Kruse showed that he was drawing very live with , but he squeezed out his last card to see paint. It was a , which meant the German striker had to settle for third place and $36,494 in prize money.
Cheong was responsible for all four eliminations leading up to heads-up play, which he began with a slight chip lead. The match started off slowly, but eventually, he and Wolansky began to play for bigger pots. That was the turning point, and everything started going Wolansky's way from that point on. In fact, he won 11 hands in a row that culminated in the elimination of Cheong.
Congratulations to Steven Wolansky on winning Event #36: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball for $89,483 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.