By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
Last Saturday, John Juanda and Phil Hellmuth sat together at the poker table played some good old fashioned draw poker. But this wasn’t exactly the kitchen table draw poker that many of us played with our grandparents while growing up.
Duece-to-Seven Lowball was the game, and while watching it isn’t exactly as thrilling as No Limit Hold’em, the circumstances Saturday night provided plenty of drama. Hellmuth was gunning for his record 12th World Series of Poker bracelet, and his first outside hold’em. On the other side of the table sat the quiet and calculating Juanda, whose WSOP record isn’t too shabby either. Juanda entered Saturday with four bracelets of his own, including wins in Limit Ace-Five Triple Draw and Stud Hi-Lo.
With a $10K buy-in, the field was a small with only 126 entrants. But make no mistake, this was one tough field. The final table included Nick Schulman and Hasan Habib. Greg Raymer, Bertrand Grospellier, Johnny Chan and Chino Rheem were all among the top 14 players who made the money.
The heads-up battle began with Hellmuth owning a 3-1 chip lead, but Juanda slowly chipped away at the Poker Brat’s stack, and eventually found himself wearing his fifth bracelet at the end of the evening.
Hellmuth was gracious in defeat, and those among the crowd waiting for a blowup would have to wait for another time, as Hellmuth stood up and shook Juanda’s hand and played the part of loser with grace and class.
Juanda has cemented himself among the WSOP’s all-time greats with his fifth bracelet. Only seven other players have accumulated as many bracelets, and the range of games in which Juanda has won those bracelets proves that he’s an extremely well rounded player with the skills to adapt to a variety of different games.
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