2007 WCOOP: Event # 4 Final Table Report

To the beginner 2-7 Triple Draw looks simple - three ‘lives’ (okay, officially called 'draws') per hand – that’s three chances to improve, surely? With that in mind you could easily think that playing every hand is a good idea. Finally a medley of poker that doesn’t require you to fold 19 of every 20 hands.

Not so. As experience will tell you there is little simplicity to Triple Draw, which Team PokerStars’ Victor Ramdin called a game of gambling and position. Each round creates a new dynamic to be devoured before any decision can be made and to capture this fully can take a lifetime. Maybe I should correct this first statement about simplicity and say that in 2-7 Triple Draw the beginner can find themselves in a position of great strength – a position that could well be labelled ‘ignorance is bliss.’

But in a field of 649 for this fourth event of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker the good were separated from the bad in quick fashion. Or should that be the other way around? For 2-7 Triple Draw (Lowball) is in effect the hunt for the worst hand - no pair will help you here and a flush is worthless. Instead it’s the closest hand to 7 low that will reap you rewards.

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Like the Pot-Limit Omaha that ended earlier in the morning, 2-7 Triple Draw is a new event in this year’s WCOOP schedule. But caution towards the unknown didn’t stop the guaranteed $100k from being smashed. It may take 15 minutes to say the games full title out loud but when the final table got started the six survivors were well into the swing of a game that some would later admit to never having played before.

Seat 1: Donald (417,777 in chips)
Seat 2: GymZQuirk (115,238 in chips)
Seat 3: omaha kid (339,302 in chips)
Seat 4: polpolpol (271,364 in chips)
Seat 5: pstarfish (460,110 in chips)
Seat 6: GodlikeRoy (343,209 in chips)

Unlike in the Omaha final where two hours would pass before the first elimination, it took just over 20 minutes here for the first faller to click the ‘Leave Table’ button. GodlikeRoy of Australia was one of three short stacks along with Cypriot polpolpol and American GymZQuirk (more of him later).

Both GodlikeRoy and polpolpol would suffer early. First polpolpol lost a pot to omaha kid when after three draws he couldn’t shake off a queen, and then GodlikeRoy struggled when he found himself on the losing end of a pstarfish hand. Neither player could escape the depths and were out in sixth and fifth place respectively – GodlikeRoy for $3,200 and polpolpol for $4,900. Certainly no need for disappointment though for the man from Nicosia, who had reportedly posted on internet forums prior to signing up asking for advice on how to play 2-7 Triple Draw. He may now owe drinks to a few good-willed strangers.

Now to GymZQuirk. The St Paul resident survived his first all-in with 8 low against pstarfish’s accidental pair, and did the same again through Donald shortly after to give himself a stack with which to do business. He seemed impossible to eliminate bouncing back from a lost pot against Donald with yet another all-in with pstarfish. But big pots can take a stack away in short time and GymZQuirk’s angels, of which there were many, could only protect him for so long.

With less that 100k he called a pstarfish raise from the big blind, discarding two cards on the first draw when pstarfish stood pat. Check then bet, and GymZQuirk called again, taking another two cards on the second draw as pstarfish menacingly stood pat and again raised, only this time to see GymZQuirk check-raise all-in. For only a few thousand more pstarfish made the call, allowing GymZQuirk to discard another on the third draw, as he patiently stood pat.

With pstarfish taking no cards it seemed the writing had been written clearly on the wall three times – 8 low for him and a pair of stubborn sixes for GymZQuirk. He was out, despite scrappy-doo heroics - fourth place and $7,788.

Three were left, with fairly equal stacks, until omaha kid suddenly crashed, landing with a thump somewhere close to the exit door. A three-way pot had developed, led by Donald who found omaha kid and pstarfish calling - all three taking cards on the first draw. Donald bet out again, watching the others call and again each discarded on the second draw. By the third draw only omaha kid and pstarfish were still discarding. When a player stands pat you sense that there’s something sinister lurking in the shadows, but when omaha kid bet out and pstarfish re-raised Donald simply folded. With Donald no longer a threat omaha kid called pstarfish. But it had proven to be a costly hand and whilst his 8 low was close, it was pipped by the 7 low of his opponent. Left with just a few thousand Donald put omaha kid out of his misery in the next hand - third place for him and $12,006.

Event # 4 was now heads-up, with pstarfish enjoying a 3 to 1 chip lead over Donald, the Norwegian began his comeback quickly, picking up 400k with 8 low over 9 low (the difference is often no bigger than a rank) and then again when a big pot went his way. It brought Donald chips but also the overwhelming momentum, culminating in his victory when pstarfish could do nothing but move in with the loose change that remained of his once mighty stack.

Cursed by an Ace, normally the glory card of poker but the bogey man of triple draw lowball, he succumbed to Donald’s perfectly average but effective 9 low. There ended the lesson in 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball to spectators and finalists alike- its debut appearance over in style. $32,450 for Donald of Norway, $18,821 to the American pstarfish.

The first four events of this year’s WCOOP are complete, each shattering expectations with regard to both turnout and prize money. Show me the way to a Triple Draw game I say. I think I get the hang of this now and I’m feeling lucky. And what was that about ignorance being bliss?

PokerStars WCOOP Event # 4: $215 2-7 Triple Draw Final Table Results

1. Donald (Norway) $32,450
2. pstarfish (United States) $18,821
3. omaha kid (United States) $12,006
4. GymZQuirk (United States) $7,788
5. polpolpol (Cyprus) $4,900
6. GodlikeRoy (Australia) $3,200

Full 2007 WCOOP Event #4 Results

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in