OMG. Phil Galfond won the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship Monday at the 2015 World Series of Poker, earning his second career bracelet and his first since 2008. For the win, Galfond won $224,383.
As is always the case with high buy-in specialty events like 2-7 Draw Lowball, the field was very small, just 77 players. The corollary to this, though, is that the field was dense with top pros. I mean, hell, look at the final table. Aside from Galfond, the final table was populated by the likes of Nick Schulman, Dan Smith, Erik Seidel, Eli Elezra, and Bernard Lee. And that was just the final table.
Of course, the small field also produced a fairly small prize pool, less than impressive compared to that of other World Series of Poker events. But no matter, said Galfond after the tournament. He won a WSOP bracelet, after all.
“Because we had so few players [in the 2-7], the prize pool — I mean, it’s big — but compared to some of the other events it’s one of the smaller prize pools. I’ve played for cash game pots the size of first place. This feels a lot bigger and I think it’s because of this stage and the bracelet. It’s more meaningful than cash games,” Galfond said.
Galfond had eclipsed the $2 million earnings plateau earlier in the 2015 WSOP; with this win, TheHendonMob.com puts his lifetime winnings at just over $2.3 million.
For Galfond, who rose in the poker scene as one of the best online poker players in the world, using the screen name “OMGClayAiken,” this win was all the more satisfying because of who he beat heads-up. Nick Schulman, the runner-up, had previously won this exact tournament twice and began the one-on-one match with a 3-to-1 chip lead.
In the WSOP’s post-game coverage, Galfond explained what was going through his head as the tournament wound down. “When we were shorthanded, everybody’s so good. Normally in tournaments you tend to sort of shy away from spots because there are going to be better situations to get your money in […] When I was heads up with [Schulman], I’m going to take every spot that presents itself. There’s no huge edge later. Just try to play every hand as best you can.”
As mentioned, it has been seven years since Galfond’s first bracelet. He is now 30-years old, qualifying him as a fairly mature poker player at this point in his life. When he won his first, he was a brash, young internet star.
“It means a lot — especially in a field this tough and at a table this tough,” Galfond reflected. “I have a ton of respect for all my opponents […] It’s been seven years since I won [a bracelet]. I’m very happy.”
2015 World Series of Poker Event #29: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship – Final Table Results
1. Phil Galfond – $224,383
2. Nick Schulman – $138,665
3. Dan Smith – $87,898
4. Erik Seidel – $59,532
5. Jon Turner – $42,298
6. Eli Elezra – $31,463
7. Adam Owen – $24,457
8. Bernard Lee – $19,824