Commentary

WPT champ wins first bracelet

Updated: June 14, 2009, 1:52 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

Event 22 | Event 24

It was only a few years ago when Nick Schulman took the World Poker Tour by storm. Winning the $10,000 event at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Casino in 2005, then finishing second in 2007, Schulman made sure that the poker world would remember his name. Since his WPT victory at age 21, Schulman has made numerous final tables, but he hadn't earned a World Series of Poker bracelet until Friday night.

[+] EnlargeNick Schulman
Matt Mathis/IMPDINick Schulman had to beat out a tough final table to earn his first WSOP bracelet.

In the largest no-limit 2-7 lowball tournament in history (96 players), Schulman defeated a talent-heavy final table that included 2009 player of the year candidates and bracelet winners Ville Wahlbeck, Steve Sung, David Benyamine, John Juanda, Michael Binger and Archie Karas. With a buy-in of $10,000, this event attracted only those with the biggest bankrolls, and it was no surprise that four former bracelet winners were going for another.

"The prestige of the bracelet is a little overwhelming," Schulman said to the WSOP. "This is the term when it comes to winning in poker. They say these tournaments are not about the money, and I never used to think like that. But I know what they mean now. The bracelet is a little sweeter than the cash."

The cash was nice, too. Schulman earned $279,742 when he eliminated Wahlbeck, who had won the $10,000 mixed-games world championship last week.

"There wasn't a weak spot in the field," Schulman said. "I feel really fortunate. I feel the cards came my way, and I was able to capitalize on that.

"He's a great player," Schulman said about Wahlbeck. "I am happy for him [doing well at this year's WSOP]. He deserves it. He's a very tough player."

This was Schulman's sixth WSOP cashing and second final table. He started the final table in fourth place and was able to pull out the victory in six hours. In a great way to end the tournament, Schulman won holding the game's best hand and called Wahlbeck's all-in with a 2-3-4-5-7.

Below are the complete results of Event 23:

Event 23: No-limit 2-7 lowball world championship
Buy-in: $10,000
Entries: 96
Prize pool: $902,400
Players in the money: 14

1. Nick Schulman ($279,742)
2. Ville Wahlbeck ($172,864)
3. Steve Sung ($112,042)
4. John Juanda ($75,964)
5. Archie Karas ($53,783)
6. Vince Musso ($39,697)
7. David Benyamine ($30,492)
8. Michael Binger ($24,545)
9. Justin Smith ($19,871)
10. Roland de Wolfe ($19,871)
11. Herezel Zalewski ($19,870)
12. Max Pescatori ($17,885)
13. Daniel Harmetz ($17,885)
14. Jason Gray ($17,885)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

ALSO SEE