Doyle Brunson Finishes in 6th Place in Final WSOP Event

Doyle Brunson Poker Retirement - Brian Rast 4th WSOP Bracelet

Doyle Brunson holds 2 WSOP Main Event tiles and is tied for 2nd all-time with 10 WSOP bracelets.

Poker legend Doyle Brunson captured the imagination of the poker community when he made a deep run in a low-ball poker event at the 2018 World Series of Poker. Brunson, one of only four players to win the World Series of Poker multiple times, holds 10 WSOP bracelets, which ties him for 2nd place all time with Phil Ivey and Johnny Chan.

It was the fact Doyle Brunson is 84-years old which grabbed so much attention during 2-7 single draw championship event. Adding to the drama of the event was Brunson’s drive to the final table with a player well on his way to the Poker Hall of Fame, but firmly tied to the younger generation.

Event #23 at the World Series of Poker, the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single-Draw Event, came down to a showdown between Hall of Fame poker player Doyle Brunson and several of the game’s best players. Brunson finished in sixth place at the event, then told the poker media he was retiring from active play at the end of the summer to care for his ailing wife.

Brian Rast Wins $259,670

Brian Rast, who now owns 4 WSOP bracelets, bested 95 entries and walked away with $259,670. Though Rast won the event, which lasted until early morning Wednesday, will be remembered as Doyle Brunson last time competing at the World Series of Poker. An event with only 95 entries and a $10k entry fee is going to attract a large number of professionals, because they do not have to wade through a huge field of players to win the first prize.

Lowball poker also tends to draw the top cardplayers. The single draw version of 2-7, also known as Lowball poker, is a draw game. Five cards are drawn, but players are able to discard any number of these cards in exchange for new cards.

In most popular games such as Texas Hold em and Stud, the player holding the highest-ranking hand wins. However, in 2-7 Draw poker, the best low hand wins. 2-7 Lowball is the draw poker version of Razz, which is the lowball version of Seven-Card Stud.

$10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single-Draw Event

After three days of play and nearly 40 competitors, 11 remaining player came ready to play on Day 4. Within the first 40 minutes, the table lost three more players, one of which was Doyle Brunson’s son – Hall of Famer Todd Brunson.

The final eight players continued at the final table for nearly three hours before someone else got knocked out. James Alexander eliminated Farzad Bonyadi, leaving seven players to move on to the final table.

After another hour, Brian Rast eliminated 4-time WSOP bracelet winner John Hennigan. Rast moved all-in before the draw and drew one, collecting an eight-low hand as well as drawing to a nine. Rast made a 10-low, while Hennigan finished it out with a queen.

Doyle Brunson Goes out in 6th Place

The next knockout was Doyle Brunson, who played his last round in the tournament finishing in sixth place. Brunson went all in before the draw. Facing off against James Alexander, each player drew one. Brunson drew to an eight-low and Alexander hoping to make a 10-low.

James Alexander came out with his 10-low and Doyle Brunson drew a king, which sent the legend out of the competition. Everybody in the Amazon room gave the well-deserved man a standing ovation.

Eventual winner Brian Rast gave his commendation, saying, “He’s played the highest stakes for 60 years. Longer than anyone and I think that’s what really he is legendary for.”

Doyle Brunson Tips His Stetson

Brunson tipped his cowboy hat to the crowd, grabbed his crutch, hopped on his scooter and left the table to collect his winnings from his final World Series of Poker. After going out in sixth place, Doyle Brunson said in post-event interviews he would retire from competitive poker at the end of the summer.

The elder Brunson said, “My wife is not in very good health, and I will stay with her for the duration of either her life or mine. I’m going to stop playing completely, but while I might change my mind, I don’t think that I will. This will be the last time that my wife and I have to spend together, and right now, every day that I leave the house I feel guilty.”

Sheikhan and Sammartino

With five left at the table, after an hour of play Dario Sammartino and Shawn Sheikhan, a well-known high stakes gambler, faced off. After both players drew one, Sheikhan shoved all in. Sammartino called with a 10-low against Sheikhan’s king-low, which sent Shawn Sheikhan packing.

That left four players. Sammartino having a sizable chip lead, but the lead did not last long. Brian Rast’s run through the final three competitors was a clinic in poker. He picked off bluffs from a few of the players, then shortly eliminated Alexander. He dealt a pat 10-low and Alexander drew a two with a 6x 3x 2x. Rast finished the round with an ace-low which knocked Alexander out in fourth.

Brian Rast Takes Chip Lead

After Alexander’s elimination Rast took over the chip lead, which he maintained for the remainder of the event. Rast put Sammartino out in third place when his jack-nine held up over Sammartino’s one-card draw to a nine-low.

The battle remained between the final two, Brian Rast and Mike Wattel, who was going after his third bracelet. Rast was leading by almost a 4-to-1 chip lead, though the two kept the competition going for another three hours, until Rast finally took the win. In the final round both players were dealt pat hands and went all in before the draw. After both players stood pat, Wattel tabled a 10-7 low and Rast took the pot with a nine-low.

2-7 Single-Draw Event Final Table Results

1st: Brian Rast – $259,670
2nd: Mike Wattel – $160,489
3rd: Dario Sammartino – $114,023
4th: James Alexander – $81,986
5th: Shawn Sheikhan – $59,669
6th: Doyle Brunson – $43,963
7th: John Hennigan – $32,796

Brian Rast: 4 WSOP Bracelets

With Brian Rast’s four WSOP bracelets, his winnings put him just under $6 million in WSOP earnings alone. In his career, Rast has won against some of the biggest names in the industry, ultimately winning two $50,000 Poker Players Championship titles, and now a $10,000 buy-in bracelet.

Rast turned pro 13 years ago and has since been playing mostly cash games, often $2,000/$4,000 limit mixed games. According to the Colorado resident, playing a WSOP final table is not all about the money.

Rast said after his win, “Poker is not always all about the money. You know, I mean, the money is obviously really important. Like, you know, if you’re doing this for your job it’s kind of the most important thing. But there is something cool about just being at this final table. Friends, family, other people in the poker world who are texting you stuff and it’s like a cool thing where you get to share your career with friends and family.”

Doyle Brunson Rides into the Sunset

Doyle Brunson registered for the 2-7 Lowball event at the last second. The poker legend announced on Twitter that the WSOP event would be his last after a long career. The 84-year-old two-time WSOP Main Event poker champ, known as “Texas Dolly“, made his announcement of retirement before the event.

Brunson posted, “I’m planning on retiring after the summer. My wife is not in very good health, and I will stay with her for the duration of either her life or mine.”

Doyle Brunson and his wife, Louise married in 1962. After his son Todd encouraged him to give the WSOP one more appearance, he entered the competition for the last time.

The poker legend has published a number of books including Super/System, The Godfather of Poker, Online Poker, and Super System 2. In his more than 50 years as a poker pro he has received 10 gold WSOP bracelets dating back to 1976. Though he wasn’t able to make this tournament his 11th win, the poker champ with out with much class and dignity.

The WSOP Main Event (Event #72) begins on July 2nd.