At the beginning of the 2005 WSOP, Doyle Brunson remained the co-king of the all-time bracelet count, tied along with Johnny Chan at nine. However, as the series drew toward its close in late June, that was no longer the case — Chan had overtaken him by winning No. 10 to stand atop the mountain alone.
Brunson was already phasing out his tournament play, having cashed precisely zero times that summer and just three times in the previous two combined, although one had resulted in a bracelet victory.
When it came time for Event #31: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed, Brunson dusted off his tournament chops and made a run. Through a field of 301, he made the final table, where he sat second in chips behind fellow multiple-bracelet winner Layne Flack, with Scotty Nguyen also occupying a seat.