SCOOP: xMOUSSx captures $11 Event 3

scoop2009_thn.gif4,292 players in a five-card draw tournament?!? In 2009? Somebody find Mike Caro.

When the "Mad Genius of Poker" wrote his chapter on five-card draw for the original Super/System (first published in 1979), the game's popularity had already begun to wane, with most players even then choosing instead to play stud games and hold'em.

But here we are thirty years later, and online poker has changed all of that. PokerStars first added five-card draw to its mix of offerings in November 2006, spreading limit, pot-limit, and no-limit varieties of the game. Five-card draw's reemergence online has sent people back to their old copies of Super/System and elsewhere in search of tips for playing this intriguing variant of poker where -- unlike in stud or flop games -- no cards are revealed until the showdown.

The huge turnout for Friday's "low" stakes version of Event No. 3 ($10+$1) meant the pot-limit five-card draw tournament easily shattered its $25,000 guarantee. The prize pool ultimately reached a total of $42,920, with $6,545.31 scheduled to be awarded to the player finishing first.

The cash bubble burst just shy of the four-hour break (during Level 16), at which time player seep021858 held the chip lead with more than 120,000 chips, followed by Petor and holdmyown31. By the time the field had whittled down to 100, none of those three would still be around, with holdmyown31 going out in 313rd, seep021858 in 234th, and Petor in 170th.

With 100 players remaining, rydawgsw led the way with 673,827 chips, followed closely by hatchi with 647,245. By the eight-hour mark the field was down to 70, and rydawgsw had pushed way out ahead of the field, crossing the 1.3 million mark while his nearest competitors, SobraoBoY and hatchi, hovered around 850,000. With 35 left, rydawgsw still led with 1,662,880, but SobroaBoY was finally starting to close the gap a bit with 1,596,353.

rydawgsw still had the lead with 30 players remaining, but the leaderboard was shaken up following an enormous pot between rydawgsw and timmiq. With the blinds 8,000/16,000 and antes 4,000, rydawgsw raised from under the gun to 39,999, then timmiq reraised to 80,000 from the cutoff. It folded back to rydawgsw who reraised pot to 288,000, and timmiq made the call, leaving himself 378,211 behind. rydawgsw stood pat, timmiq drew one card, and rydawgsw promptly put timmiq all in. rydawgsw showed 4♥5♣8♥6♣7♦ -- he'd been dealt a straight. But timmiq had T♠5♠J♠A♠9♠, having picked up a fifth spade on his draw.

That hand sent rydawgsw back down to the bottom of the top ten, and before long timmiq -- who earlier had mentioned this was his first ever draw tourney -- was battling for the chip lead with SobraoBoY, Vingtcent, and Walberi.

With 20 players left, Vingtcent led with more than deux millions -- 2,230,882 to be exact. Meanwhile, Walberi would take a tumble and go out in 18th. SobraoBoY would also slide to the bottom, then out in 13th. After about 11 hours of play, we were down to 12 players sitting around two tables.

At that point paulll25 had the chip lead with almost 4 million, followed by April Tears with 3.03 million and BigFink with 2.6 million. Soon timmiq would take most of BigFink's stack after being fortunate enough to be able to stand pat on a full house (sixes full of fives) on a hand in which BigFink had trip eights.

A little later, rydawgsw went on a tear, standing pat on a queen-high straight to knock out Vingtcent in 10th place, drawing to two pair to eliminate a chip-depleted BigFink in 9th, then standing pat on a spade flush to send xxB 52xx to the rail in 8th. After Kidlcee went out in 7th at the other table, our six-handed final table was set:


Seat 1: timmiq -- 2,970,696
Seat 2: jeff710 -- 5,490,089
Seat 3: April Tears -- 515,400
Seat 4: xMOUSSx -- 1,256,804
Seat 5: paulll25 -- 3,522,002
Seat 6: rydawgsw -- 7,705,009

rydawgsw, who held the lead for much of the evening then lost it, had reassumed the top spot as the first hand of the final table was dealt. The short stack April Tears hung on valiantly for 35 hands, until finally down to just 4,800 chips (well short of even a 30,000-chip ante), was forced all in before the draw. jeff710 limped for 120,000 from UTG+1, and it folded around to rydawgsw who checked his option from the big blind. The two of them each drew one card, while April Tears drew two. rydawgsw bet 252,255, and jeff710 raised to 675,100. "ill fold my trips," said rydawgsw, who got out of the way. jeff710 showed J♥K♦Q♦T♠A♠ for the Broadway straight, against which April Tears' 8♠6♣K♥6♠A♥ was no match. We were down to five.

Soon jeff710 was taking a 5-million-plus chip pot from rydawgsw with trip kings versus rydawgsw's pair of aces, propelling jeff710 past 9,000,000 and into the lead. A short-stacked paulll25 then pushed his stack of 267,420 in before the draw from UTG+1, and rydawgsw reraised to 499,999 behind him to chase every one else out. paulll25 took three cards, and rydawgsw took two. paulll25 showed 2♣9♣J♥Q♠Q♥ for a pair of queens, just nipped by rydawgsw's 5♥Q♣K♠A♦K♦. paulll25 was out in fifth place.

Players ground away for another half-hour, with xMOUSSx taking over the chip lead with 8.85 million and rydawgsw slipping to fourth with a little over 3 million. Then came a hand in which timmiq minimum-raised to 500,000 from UTG, and it folded back to rydawgsw who called from the big blind. rydawgsw took two cards, and timmiq took three. rydawgsw checked, timmiq bet 500,000, rydawgsw check-raised all in for 2,514,886, and timmiq made the call. rydawgsw showed A♥7♥7♠7♦Q♦ for trips, but timmiq showed J♦J♠2♠J♥J♣ for quads, and rydawgsw was out in fourth.

After a few more hands, timmiq enjoyed a sizable chip lead, with nearly 13 million to xMOUSSx's 4.2 million and jeff710's 3.8 million. After xMOUSSx folded the button, timmiq raised to 900,000 from the small blind, jeff710 reraised to 2,925,000 from the big blind, timmiq reraised pot and jeff710 called with his last 499,570 chips. timmiq discarded one, while jeff710 discarded three. timmiq showed T♠Q♥4♥Q♦T♣ for two pair, and jeff710 turned over K♣8♦K♠Q♠7♣ for a pair of kings, hitting the rail in third.

When heads up began, timmiq had 16,359,808 in chips to xMOUSSx's 5,100,192. xMOUSSx took the first six hands of heads up, pulling close to even with timmiq. Then, just before the pair reached a break, xMOUSSx used trip fives to take a huge, 12-million chip pot and assume a 3-to-1 chip advantage. Coming back from the break, timmiq took eight of the first 12 hands and the pair were nearly even with about 11 million each.

xMOUSSx would take the upper hand again, however, grinding timmaq's stack down below 2 million. timmaq would survive one all in and double up to 3.32 million, but then came the tournament's final hand.

With the blinds 200,000/400,000 and antes 100,000, xMOUSSx raised to 880,000 from the small blind/button, timmiq reraised to 1.36 million, and xMOUSSx called. timmiq discarded two, and xMOUSSx took three new cards. timmiq then shoved his last 1,869,616 in the middle, and xMOUSSx called. timmaq showed 9♥K♣7♥7♠8♣ for a pair of sevens, while xMOUSSx showed 2♥4♥2♠K♥2♣ for trip deuces, and nearly 14 hours after the first hand was dealt, there would be no more draws. xMOUSSx was the champion, but timmaq didn't do too badly to finish runner-up in his first-ever draw tourney.

Here's how the cash was awarded at the final table:

SCOOP Event #3: $11 Pot-Limit Five-Card Draw

1. xMOUSSx (Paris) $6,545.31
2. timmiq (Aarhus C- DK) $4,613.91
3. jeff710 (Montreal) $3,326.31
4. rydawgsw (Wheelersburg) $2,038.71
5. paulll25 (Sao Paulo) $1,216.79
6. April Tears (Stafford) $643.81

There is a lot more SCOOPing left to go. Check out the rest of the SCOOP schedule by clicking here. Also, track the SCOOP player of the year race over at the SCOOP leaderboard and head over to for SCOOP highlights.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in SCOOP