Bigger fields didn’t always mean a final table full of unknown players. The 2005 WSOP Main Event attracted a then record 5,619 players and boasted Mike Matusow and Andy Black at the finale. It could have been even better as well – Greg Raymer, the 2004 champ, was railed in 25th, Phil Ivey made it to 20th and Shawn Sheikhan was sent to the rail just before the final table in 11th.
The 2005 Main Event final table was also notable for being the last time it was played out at Binion’s. In a show of old-school Vegas, never to be repeated again, the cash was stuck on a table and guarded by dodgy looking security guards armed with shotguns. Real or fake? No one tried to find out and Joe Hachem went on to turn a short stack into a career-defining win.
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