MicroMillions: YUVSEG takes down Event 28, $5.50 Limit Badugi

micromillions-thumb-blog.pngBadugi is a funny creature among modern poker variants. There's no doubt that it's one of the newer forms of the game being played regularly around the world, as no records of it exist further back than the 1980s. Despite its modernity, though, Badugi's origins are as shrouded in mystery as its earlier cousins. Some say the game originated in Korea; others claim that it hails from North Carolina, or even from Canada.

Wherever it may come from, the growing popularity of Badugi is easy to understand. It's a game that most poker players are quick to pick up once they've played a few hands. It mixes elements of several other poker variants into a quick and fun game. With only four cards in your hand, four betting rounds and three draws, the pace of the game is usually brisk and there's plenty of action when two players pick up even remotely decent hands. Those qualities (and a $5,000 guarantee) were enough to draw 1,687 players to the tables for MicroMillions Event 28. The top 224 players would split a $8,435 prize pool, with $1,477.29 designated for the winner.

From four tables to one

With stakes beginning at 20/40 and stacks starting at 5,000 chips, everyone had lots of room to maneuver. But there was little room for error - or for poor timing - by the time four tables remained in play. At that point even the tournament's biggest stack, a 554,300-chip collection belonging to Germany's kniiiipi, was worth just 11 big bets with the stakes at 25K/50K. Only once the stakes had gone up to 30K/60K did anyone jump ahead of the field, and then it was actually two players doing the jumping: Belgium's Ho_Ci_Minh with a 360K pot against instigator55 and several more taken down uncontested, and Hungary's pyszkawas with the elimination of rewind2007. Both players were within one big bet of 1 million chips while the rest of the competition stayed around 600K or below.

The star of Level 37 (35K/70K) was Germany's CyberTox, who grabbed two big pots to take the lead. In the first, worth 402,500, a J♥ 7♣ 2♠ A♦ Badugi was enough to beat kniiiipi's three-card Q♥ 9♥ 7♦ 2♣. In the second, 7♣ 5♠ 4♥ 2♦ was good against K♠ 7♥ 3♦ 2♣, sending Russia's YarJackStar out in 19th place. That put CyberTox over the 1.3M-chip mark, neck-and-neck with pyszkawas for the chip lead. The two players would end up sitting at separate tables as the field was reduced to 16 players on the 40K/80K level.

It was rough going to pyszkawas when play resumed after the 1pm ET break, dropping pots to Peru's HectorCalder and China's feiie to fall back under 1M chips. As the stakes rose to 50K/100K, both of those players would climb over the 1M-chip mark themselves. Meanwhile, on the other table, CyberTox grabbed the pot of the tournament so far with this win against denisrevo2:

RSS readers, click through for replay

Only 10 players remained as the stakes went up to 60K/120K. The short stack, Brazil's montedonio, survived one all-in situation after standing pat with a jack Badugi and seeing denisrevo2 fail to outdraw him. But on the next time was the last, as denisrevo2 got those chip back with a queen Badugi to send montedorio out in 10th place ($63.26). On the other table pyszkawas climbed back to 2nd place with a good call after the third draw, correctly determining his Q♥ 7♠ 5♦ 3♣ Badugi was good against WithoutFishS's three-card T♣ 9♣ 6♥ 2♦. As play went to hand-for-hand, it was Russia's YUVSEG who benefited most, first snatching an 840K-chip pot with a three-card 8♥ 4♦ 3♠ 2♦ against the now crippled Ho_Ci_Minh's three-card T♠ 8♠ 7♦ 3♣ and then taking a 660K pot from CyberTox uncontested after the third draw. When Ho_Ci_Minh busted out moments later, the final table was set.

The elite eight

MicroMillions Event 28 final table.jpg

Seat 1: CyberTox (1,801,816 in chips)
Seat 2: feiie (385,133 in chips)
Seat 3: denisrevo2 (675,590 in chips)
Seat 4: HectorCalder (1,085,268 in chips)
Seat 5: llenny (815,024 in chips)
Seat 6: YUVSEG (1,768,492 in chips)
Seat 7: pyszkawas (1,523,949 in chips)
Seat 8: WithoutFishS (379,728 in chips)

It didn't take long for the finalists to get to the action. On just the second hand WithoutFishS got into a confrontation for all his chips against CyberTox. Both players took one card on each draw, but it was CyberTox who managed to make a Badugi with Q♠ 8♥ 2♦ A♣. That was enough to best the three-card 6♥ 4♠ 3♣ 2♣ of WithoutFishS and send the Russian player out in 8th place ($84.35).

denisrevo2 survived an all-in moment a few hands later to double through Australia's llenny, and on the very next hand feiie did the same. Those two pots dropped llenny's stack to just 134K with the stakes now up to 80K/160K. After hanging on through a full orbit, llenny ended up all-in from the big blind against feiie, who drew a single card on both the first and second draws before standing pat with 5♥ 3♦ 2♣ A♠ on the third. llenny took two cards on the first draw and one on each of the others, but a three-card T♠ 8♠ 4♣ 3♥ meant a 7th-place ($168.70) finish.

Several orbits would go by before the next elimination, and the common thread between them was that everyone except pyszkawas seemed to pick up at least enough chips to hold steady. Finally, with the stakes up to 100K/200K, pyszkawas would pick up a Badugi - only to run into another one held by YUVSEG. Both players drew one card on the first draw and stood pat afterward; pyszkawas showed a 9♣ 6♥ 5♠ 2♦ Badugi, but YUVSEG's was better at 6♦ 5♣ 3♥ 2♠, good enough to send the Hungarian home in 6th place ($253.05).

The remaining players' chip stacks were all within a narrow range now:

Seat 1: CyberTox (2,681,544 in chips)
Seat 2: feiie (794,567 in chips)
Seat 3: denisrevo2 (1,381,180 in chips)
Seat 4: HectorCalder (1,185,268 in chips)
Seat 6: YUVSEG (2,392,441 in chips)

Everyone played their cards close at this point. Most of the pots stayed small, though feiie did win a Badugi-versus-Badugi showdown with CyberTox to double up to 1.63M chips. Once the stakes went up to 120K/240K, though, feiie's luck changed in a blind-versus-blind confrontation - standing pat through all three draws with 8♥ 6♣ 5♦ A♣ wasn't good enough against denisrevo2, who drew two cards on the first draw, then one on the second, and stood pat on the third to win with 7♦ 5♥ 4♣ A♠. Three hands later, feiie's remaining 397K in chips would be shipped to CyberTox, who made a jack Badugi against feiie's three-card K♦ 9♦ 6♣ 3♠ to bounce the Chinese player in 5th place ($421.75).

Minutes later CyberTox would drop a 1.38M-chip pot to YUVSEG, folding after the third draw to fall to a 1.77M stack. But on the next hand most of the lost chip came back at the expense of HectorCalder, who got all-in from the small blind before the first draw. Both HectorCalder and CyberTox would take one card on each of the three draws. The result was a heartbreaker for HectorCalder, who showed down 3♦ 2♠ 2♥ A♣ but was beaten by CyberTox's J♠ 8♣ 6♦ 5♥. The meant a 4th-place ($590.45) finish for the Peruvian player.

A three-handed deal

MicroMillions Event 28 final table 3-handed deal.jpg

After HectorCalder's elimination, YUVSEG quickly proposed a deal and the other two players agreed to look at numbers. Within minutes they had come to consensus, giving $1,200 to YUVSEG, $1,000 each to denisrevo2 and CyberTox, and $132.98 left on the table for the winner. Despite the deal being in place, and the stakes rising to 140K/280K, the action slowed considerably as the players took turns stealing the blinds without any confrontations. Perhaps sensing a pattern to the proceeding, CyberTox kicked into gear and grabbed six pots in a row (and eight of nine) uncontested before the draw. But all of those chips would end up moving over to denisrevo2, who after drawing one card on the first and then standing pat managed to make an 8♥ 7♦ 3♠ A♣ Badugi and win a 2.38M-chip pot.

The ice now broken, confrontations became more common, especially between YUVSEG and denisrevo2. First YUVSEG took a 910K pot with a three-card Q♦ 5♥ 4♠ 3♦. Then denisrevo2 took a 560K pot uncontested after the second draw. YUVSEG climbed back into the lead by taking a 1.4M pot without a showdown after the third draw. Then CyberTox got in on the act, winning a pot worth 2.59M from YUVSEG by showing down 8♠ 7♦ 4♣ A♥. The flow of the game was such that nobody seemed to have any advantage over the others - at least until YUVSEG grabbed three pots worth 2.87M, 980K and 1.82M to build a stack worth 5.43M chips.

From there CyberTox and denisrevo2 were both nearly even in chips. Either one of them would fall to YUVSEG, or they would have to take each other on - and the latter happened in this pot:

RSS readers, please click through for replay

That sent denisrevo2 out in 3rd place ($1,000) and set up a Germany-versus-Russia final battle. The last two players had both played solid poker to get to where they were, so the end to their seven-hand heads-up battle was fitting. CyberTox raised on the button and then called a three-bet from YUVSEG. Each player took one card on the first draw, and CyberTox called a bet. YUVSEG stood pat on the second draw, while CyberTox drew one card. When YUVSEG led out with a bet CyberTox raised, and the two ended up getting in the maximum four bets before standing pat on the third draw and getting the maximum in the middle once again. Now all-in, CyberTox showed down a strong Badugi hand of 7♦ 6♣ 4s] 2♥. YUVSEG was just a bit better, though, holding 6♥ 3♣ 2♠ A♦ - good enough for the 6.285M-chip pot and thus the tournament.

For 2nd place, CyberTox took the previously agreed $1,000. YUVSEG, meanwhile, claimed the remainder for the winner to grab a total prize of $1,332.98 - not bad for a little over eight hours' work.

MicroMillions Event 28, $5.50 Limit Badugi
1,687 entrants, $8,435 prize pool
224 places paid

1st place - YUVSEG (Russia) - $1,332.98*
2nd place - CyberTox (Germany) - $1,000*
3rd place - denisrevo2 (Russia) - $1,000*
4th place - HectorCalder (Peru) - $590.45
5th place - feiie (China) - $431.75
6th place - pyszkawas (Hungary) - $253.05
7th place - llenny (Australia) - $168.70
8th place - WithoutFishS (Russia) - $84.35
* - denotes result of a three-way deal

Badugi's origins might be mysterious, but the bankroll-building potential of the MicroMillions series is as straightforward as anything gets in this life. Check out the MicroMillions page for the complete rundown.

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in MicroMillions