Hand of the Week: Doyle Brunson Making Moves in Last Ever WSOP Event
The last time Doyle Brunson cashed a World Series of Poker tournament was back in 2013 when he finished 409th in the Main Event, good for $28,063. Prior to that, he hadn’t cashed a tournament since 2011. Citing long hours and fatigue, Brunson had given up on tournaments in favour of cash games.
However, on Monday, June 11, 2018, Poker Hall of Famer tweeted, “Going to the Rio to play in 2-7 lowball tournament. Probably the last one I’ll ever play.”
It was an exciting yet sombre message. The poker world was thrilled to see the 10-time bracelet winner back at the WSOP after having played sparingly in recent years (he skipped 2017 completely), but the idea of it being his last hurrah was doleful.
If it, in fact, proves to be Brunson’s final WSOP tournament, he’s making the most of it as he is one of 11 players still in contention for a $259,670 first-place prize. Brunson currently sits sixth in chips and has to contend with the likes of chip leader Mike Wattel, three-time bracelet winner Brian Rast, and his very own son, Todd Brunson.
The elder Brunson took advantage of late registration, which was open until the start of Day 2. He immediately got to work and with around a third of the 95-entry field (ties it for 15th smallest tournament turnout since WSOP relocated to the Rio in 2005) remaining caught a few big hands. First, he doubled after standing pat with and surviving Daniel Zack’s one draw with (Zack paired the seven).
Soon thereafter, Cary Katz got his stack in against Brunson and both players stood pat. Katz had a nine-seven but it was no good as the living legend held .
In Level 12 (1,500/3,000/700), Nick Schulman moved in for 39,200 from the cutoff and Brunson called from the button. Both players drew one.
Schulman showed the for a pair and Brunson tabled a to make a ten low. Adios Schulman.
By the next level, Brunson had taken over the chip lead with 407K. “Texas Dolly” took some hits before doubling in a big pot involving Farzad Bonyadi and John Hennigan, one that resulted in him chipping up to almost double the average with the money bubble near.
It is our 2018 WSOP "Hand of the Week" and it took place in Level 16 (2,500/5,000/1,300) when Brunson raised to 13,000 under the gun and Bonyadi called next to act. Paul Volpe came along from the cutoff before John “World” Hennigan three-bet to 80,000 from the small blind. Brunson and Bonyadi both called before Volpe folded.
Hennigan refused his draw while his two opponents each took one. Hennigan then checked and Brunson moved all in for 95,500. Bonyadi quickly called and Hennigan opted to give it up.
"Seven," said Brunson, tabling for a number four.
"Seven?" said Bonyadi, showing for a number five.
"You had me," said Hennigan. "I almost made it 180,000 to go"
"I wasn't going anywhere," Brunson replied. Something that may prove somewhat ironic if he really does leave the WSOP behind.
On Tuesday, Brunson will return to the Rio looking for his 11th bracelet, the first since 2005 and 42 years after claiming his first (1976 WSOP Event #5: $5,000 NL 2-7 Lowball). If he can do it, it’d be a storybook ending to poker’s most storied career.
You can follow his progress via the PokerNews' live updates here.