When Nick "The Takeover" Schulman emerged as a young phenom a half-decade ago, his talent, early success and geographic background drew comparisons to the late, great Stu Ungar. With his victory in Event 60 at the 2012 World Series of Poker, $10,000 2-7 no-limit draw lowball, he's drawing comparisons to one of Ungar's most regular gambling partners.
Billy Baldwin is in the poker hall of fame because of lowball. One of the great gamblers of modern times, Baxter owns seven WSOP bracelets won over a four-decade career, and all of them have come in lowball variants. Schulman's victory in Event 60 is his second in this event, the first coming in 2009, along with a fifth-place finish in 2011. Schulman knows well that the comparison is a flattering one.
"You know, I've learned a lot from Billy, playing with him," Schulman told WSOP.com. "And I mean, winning it again -- it's just a great accomplishment, but also a reminder of how tough it is and what needs to go right. And it's just a great feeling, really. I'm very honored to have won it again. I don't know how some of these guys have won it six or seven times. I mean, it's crazy."
With the win over the 101-player field, Schulman, 26, took home $294,321 and the bracelet. His career WSOP earnings now exceed $1.2 million. Throughout his short WSOP career, he's made eight final tables and earned 16 cashes. To capture gold in this event, he defeated former-bracelet winner Mike Wattel in a quick heads-up match. The final table also included John Juanda, who incredibly was making his fourth consecutive final table showing in this event.
Asked if he was the best lowball player in the world, Schulman deferred to Juanda. "I really don't think in those terms," he said. "I mean, I would consider John Juanda as that. I think he has four final tables. … I got it in a lot. I got all-in, or I wasn't all in, but my opponent was, and I won most of those hands. So, you could play the best and be the best, and you're still the big underdog to win a tournament. So, I think I'm one of the best for sure. I feel good about my game. But the best? I don't know."
Other notable finishers include 2012 bracelet winners Larry Wright (ninth) and Andy Bloch (10th), Erik Seidel (11th), Jason Mercier (12th) and Daniel Negreanu (13th).
Below are the complete results of Event 60 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:
Event 60: No-limit 2-7 draw lowball world championship
Prize pool: $949,400
Players in the money: 101
1. Nick Schulman ($294,321)
2. Mike Wattel ($181,886)
3. George Danzer ($115,295)
4. Benjamin Parker ($78,088)
5. Ashton Griffin ($55,482)
6. John Juanda ($41,270)
7. Bob Bright ($32,080)
8. Ali Eslami ($26,004)
9. Larry Wright ($22,386)
10. Andy Bloch ($22,386)
11. Erik Seidel ($22,386)
12. Jason Mercier ($19,272)
13. Daniel Negreanu ($19,272)
14. Marco Traniello ($19,272)