With the immense fields we've come to expect in the modern WSOP, it's not often that we see a final table with as many big names as we saw in the Seven-Card Stud event tonight. Shawn Sheikhan, Cyndy Violette, Mike Caro, "Miami" John Cernuto and Allen Kessler were all in contention for the bracelet with David Grey and David Singer also finishing in the top 15.
Although the prevalence of professionals at this final table can be attributed in part to the small field of entrants, only 183, Seven-Card Stud is a different game than Hold'em. Also Limit Hold'em played here is harder for the amateur to succeed in than No-Limit Hold'em where a relatively inexperienced player can parlay a run of good cards into an insurmountable chip stack.
Even though the buy-in was a hefty $5,000 the low number of entrants made the cash prize seem small in comparison to many of the other events. The bracelet was certainly a big part of the incentive for the players.
Benjamin Lin, the winner of the tournament, played a great game and ran over the final table, personally eliminating five of the final nine players. Lin went into the heads-up match with Sheikhan with an almost 4 to 1 chip lead and it wasn't long before Lin had added The Sheik's name to his hit-list.
Benjamin Lin certainly had the cards to back up his skill tonight, picking up big hands in key situations to take down his opponents. In the final few hands of the heads-up match Lin hit the wheel straight to cut Sheikhan's chip stack down to a dangerously low level and on the final hand Lin rivered an inside straight to end the event.
Shawn Sheikhan fought hard for the opportunity to win his first bracelet but second place was as close as he could get tonight, instead the honor went to Lin. With four previous WSOP cashes Benjamin won tonight what will hopefully not be the only gold bracelet of his career.