Commentary

Lowball specialist Chen comes through

Updated: June 8, 2010, 3:18 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

We usually hear about no-limit hold 'em specialists or Omaha specialists, but rarely do we get the opportunity to meet a lowball specialist. Yan Chen is one of those specialists and he proved that he's mastered his focus by winning his first WSOP bracelet in the $1,500 deuce-to-seven draw lowball Event 14. This was his third WSOP final table with one of his two in 2009 coming in a similar lowball event. Want proof that he's got a talent for the game? After Phil Ivey won this event last year, he was quoted as saying Chen was his toughest opponent.

[+] EnlargeYan Chen
WSOPPhotos.comYan Chen won his first bracelet in Event 14.

Chen earned $92,817 by defeating the 250-player field. The 45-year-old father of two typically plays in high-stakes lowball cash games ($200/$400) in California and gives all the credit to Billy Baxter, who he considers the best lowball player of all-time, for bringing deuce-to-seven to the region. Chen has seven WSOP cashes and also holds the distinct honor of being the first player eliminated in the 2009 deuce-to-seven lowball world championship event.

"Not all poker games come to me naturally," said Chen. "Somehow lowball seems to come to me naturally. Lowball just comes to me more naturally than other forms of poker.

"This feels special," he continued. "The gold bracelet is the most coveted hardware in poker. It's special to finally win one."

The final table included two former bracelet winners, Mike Wattel and Alexander Kravchenko. Entering the final table, all players trailed Nick Binger by a large margin, but Binger would have a tough day and eventually finish third. Kravchenko was the first player eliminated in seventh, but Wattel would make it to heads-up play against Chen with hopes of winning his first bracelet in 11 years. The two would trade chip leads until Chen put Wattel away holding a 10-8 low against Wattel's Q-J.

Other notable finishers from Event 14 include David Rheem (ninth), Scott Seiver (12th) and Erik Seidel (14th).

Below are the complete results of Event 14 at the 2010 World Series of Poker:

Event 14: no-limit deuce-to-seven draw lowball
Buy-in: $1,500
Entries: 250
Prize pool: $337,500
Players in the money: 29

1. Yan Chen ($92,817)
2. Mike Wattel ($57,375)
3. Nicholas Binger ($37,857)
4. Derric Haynie ($25,839)
5. Todd Bui ($18,096)
6. James Bord ($12,997)
7. Alexander Kravchenko ($9,568)
8. Daniel Nicewander ($7,215)
9. David Rheem ($5,572)
10. Sean Snyder ($5,572)
11. Bryan Micon ($5,572)
12. Scott Seiver ($4,404)
13. Chris Bjorin ($4,404)
14. Erik Seidel ($4,404)
15. JC Tran ($3,601)
16. Keith Lehr ($3,601)
17. Tad Jurgens ($3,601)
18. Chris Viox ($3,601)
19. Steve Rassi ($3,601)
20. Thomas Ricketts ($3,601)
21. Tommy Hang ($3,601)
22. Ari Dinov ($2,943)
23. Peter Gelencser ($2,943)
24. Jose-Luis Velador ($2,943)
25. Sigi Stockinger ($2,943)
26. Loi Phan ($2,943)
27. Craig Hartman ($2,943)
28. Ted Forrest ($1,472)
29. Shunjiro Uchida ($1,472)

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.

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