WCOOP Event #24: luvgamble loves the action in no-limit 2-7 single draw

No-limit 2-7 single draw, otherwise referred to as Kansas City lowball, is arguably the poker game that requires the most player intuition and therefore the highest degree of skill. Why is that? You have less information to work with than you do in other games. In flop games and stud games, for example, you can look at the board (or boards) to give you a context in which to narrow the range of your opponents' hands and assess the strength of your own. In addition, you have up to four or five rounds of betting before a final decision must be made. Compare that to 2-7 single draw, where all of the cards are hidden and the only reads you can get off of your opponents are based on how many cards they draw (if any) and the amount (if any) of betting pre-draw and post-draw. That's only three pieces of information. And if you're playing a hand out of position? You don't have the luxury of seeing how many cards your opponents draw before making a decision of your own. Plus, in an online world, you can rule out making reads based on physical or verbal tells. If you factor in the no-limit aspect of the game, it's easy to see how often you'll be forced to make a tough decision -- often for your tournament life.

Enough about getting a read on your opponents. You also have to get down to the business of making a hand. Pairs, straights and flushes all count against you in this game, so bricks are often unavoidable. With only one chance to make a low hand, players are often forced into tough decisions with made jack-high or ten-high hands against opponents who are drawing cards. But let me tell you something about the game from having played it. Once you get the hang of it, it's scarily addictive. The room for gamesmanship is higher than in any other poker arena. If you have the guts to make it through a game of no-limit 2-7 single draw, you'll probably do just fine in any other game.

This year, PokerStars added no-limit 2-7 single draw to the list of events in the WCOOP. 308 players ponied up the $530 buy-in for a chance to share in the $200,000 prize pool. Team PokerStars Pros were out in full force for this event, with Bill Chen, Gavin Griffin, Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu, Marcin "Goral" Horecki and Lee "LeeNelsonP*" Nelson all making the money.

Mills23, who finished 5th in Event #4 2-7 Triple Draw of the 2008 WCOOP, exited the tournament in eight place. He took his last stand with a pat ten against newhizzle's one-card draw. newhizzle picked up 9-8-5-4-3 to eliminate him, and our final table was set.

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Seat 1: newhizzle (337,260 in chips)
Seat 2: luvgamble (199,844 in chips)
Seat 3: Aftret (98,648 in chips)
Seat 4: borisbäck (141,557 in chips)
Seat 5: SirWatts (320,385 in chips)
Seat 6: thevoice72 (235,376 in chips)
Seat 7: Blute (206,930 in chips)

After dropping from 141,557 in chips to 82,057 early into the final table, borisbäck pushed all in from the small blind after luvgamble made it 15,000 to go from late position. luvgamble called and stood pat after borisbäck stood pat. It was the correct decision for luvgamble -- borisbäck had J-T-7-5-3 to luvgamble's 9-8-7-6-2. borisbäck was eliminated in 7th place, earning $5,000.

Aftret, who was the shortest stack heading into the final table, raised all in to 73,648 over the 10,000-chip raise from thevoice72. thevoice72 made the call and drew one card. Aftret stood pat and showed T-8-7-4-3. thevoice72 had a live draw with 9-7-6-2, but he paired his six to lose the hand. That started a run for Aftret where he picked up two more pots in a row -- both times at the expense of thevoice72. Aftret finished that hot streak with 234,496 in chips while thevoice72 dropped to 42,528.

thevoice72 held on for another ten minutes, but he finally gave up the ghost. His open shove of 66,306 was called by luvgamble from the button before SirWatts, the deepest stack, announced a made hand with a re-raise from the big blind to 285,000. That re-raise was enough to put luvgamble all in as well. luvgamble didn't snap-fold, but he did eventually fold. On the draw, SirWatts stood pat and thevoice72 took one. Little did he know, but he was drawing dead with T-8-6-5-x against SirWatts' 8-7-5-3-2. thevoice72 took home $7,000 for sixth place. He can add that cash to his third-place finish in Event #4 2-7 Triple Draw for $13,579.

luvgamble was the next player to make a big move. He raised to 15,000 from the cut-off, which brought a re-raise to 60,000 from Sir Watts. With only 115,567 in chips to start the hand, luvgamble decided to get it all in pre-draw. SirWatts made the call. Both players stood pat, but the chips moved to luvgamble's side of the table when he showed 9-8-7-6-4. SirWatts held J-T-8-7-3 and dropped to 493,930 in chips after the hand. That started a hot streak for luvgamble.

After the break, play started back at level 21 with blinds of 3,000/6,000 and a 1,500 ante. luvgamble had only 177,384 in chips, but picked up four six-figure pots in short succession. In the first hand, luvgamble stood pat with a rough nine. How rough it was didn't matter because Blute had drawn an ace to make A-9. Then, luvgamble drew one card to make 9-8-6-5-3 and got newhizzle to call with a worse hand. On the very next hand, luvgamble drew into a smooth nine and bet it for 42,000. Aftret called with a hand that was second-best. Finally, Blute started off the action with a raise to 18,000 from under the gun. newhizzle, luvgamble and SirWatts all made the call. Each player drew one card. SirWatts and Blute checked, opening the door for a bet of 54,000 from newhizzle. luvgamble made the call with an 8-7-4-3-2, which bested newhizzle's 9-7-6-5-2. luvgamble jumped to 495,284 in chips, and newhizzle dropped to 315,860.

Those pots allowed luvgamble to open up his game quite a bit. In no time at all, he seemed to take control over the table. He displayed a willingness to open raise an impressive number of pots and also showed, true to his moniker, a willingness to gamble it up.

luvgamble raised another pot, this time to 18,000. SirWatts, in second chip position and sitting in the small blind, decided to play back with a raise to 60,000. luvgamble made the call. Both players were pat on the draw. SirWatts bet 78,000 after thinking for almost twenty seconds and luvgamble quickly called. The hands?

SirWatts: T-8-7-6-2
luvgamble: T-8-7-4-3

It went to the third kicker, but luvgamble won again. He moved into a commanding chip lead, with almost three times as many chips as his next-closest opponent.

Meanwhile, Aftret's chip stack started to move in the opposite direction. With a super-stack of chips in his arsenal, luvgamble raised to 18,000 from the button. Aftret, who only had 66,846 in chips to start the hand, shipped all of them in from the small blind. Both players drew one card, but a pair for Aftret spelled disaster when luvgamble made a king. Aftret was sent to the rail in fifth place with $9,000.

Blute got lucky once with a pair (6-6-J-T-4), which looked to be disastrous at first. He was saved, however, when newhizzle tabled 7-6-5-4-3 for a straight. Blute survived elimination while newhizzle became the table's short stack at 163,500. Blute was still a short-stack, however, and open shoved all in to 160,720 after action folded to him in the small blind. newhizzle, who had just picked up a 223,000-chip pot after pushing all in with a 9-8, decided to make the call. Blute took one card whiled newhizzle stood pat. Unfortunately for Blute, his paired hand 9-9-7-6-4 could not beat newhizzle this time. newhizzle showed J-8-6-5-3. Blute exited the tournament in 4th place for a $13,000 cash, which will go along nicely with his $10,528 cash for seventh place in WCOOP Event #9 No-Limit Hold'em 4-Max.

When three-handed play started, luvgamble continued his aggressive ways. He started raising almost three out of every four pots, bringing the attack to SirWatts and newhizzle. And why not? With 1.1 million in chips, luvgamble had more than four times as many chips as newhizzle and six times as many chips as SirWatts.
This meant that the other players needed to chip up quickly in order to remain in contention. newhizzle was the first to take a stand. newhizzle raised all in to 165,720 over the top of SirWatts' button raise to 20,000. luvgamble, in the big blind, re-raised to 311,440, folding SirWatts. Then came the big decision. newhizzle went into the tank before deciding whether (or how many) cards to draw. He settled on taking one, while luvgamble stood pat. newhizzle was drawing dead with a 9-8-7-5-x and hit a pair of sevens against luvgamble's pat 9-8-6-5-3. newhizzle's third-place finish was worth $21,000.

luvgamble started heads-up play with a sizeable chip advantage over SirWatts -- 1,355,500 to 184,500. Although you might have thought that play would end quickly, heads-up play lasted more than 40 minutes. SirWatts was able to pick up a couple of pots to pull within a 4/1 chip disadvantage, but each time he started to gain some ground, luvgamble found a way to get the chip counts back to where they started at heads-up play.

As was typical for the match, luvgamble raised to 25,000. This time, however, he was called. After SirWatts drew one card, luvgamble took two. Perhaps as a result, SirWatts bet 40,000. luvgamble raised it up to 110,000 and after some thought, SirWatts called. luvgamble showed a 9-7-6-4-3, the second time he showed down a nine at the final table after drawing two. For the third time, the chip counts were reset to where they were when heads-up play began.

As heads-up play continued to wear on, luvgamble complained to SirWatts, "ur a tough sob". It seemed as if it was going to take some big hands to end what was turning into a marathon heads-up match. In the end, it only required one big hand and one big bluff. SirWatts started the pre-daw action with a minimum-raise to 24,000 that luvgamble re-raised to 60,000. SirWatts called. Both players drew one card. luvgamble then led out for 84,000. After some consideration, SirWatts moved all in for 303,000. luvgamble snap-called. He had Number Three, 7-6-5-3-2, but ace-high would have been enough as SirWatts tabled a stone bluff, 8-8-T-6-3.

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SirWatts earned $30,000 for second place.

Congratulations to luvgamble, the champion of Event #24! He earned first-place prize money of $42,000 and a WCOOP bracelet.

WCOOP Event #24 Final Table Results

1. luvgamble (Scottsdale) $42,000
2. SirWatts (Toronto) $30,000
3. newhizzle (Chapel Hill) $21,000
4. Blute (Goteborg) $13,000
5. Aftret (Trondheim) $9,000
6. thevoice72 (Frankfurt) $7,000
7. borisbäck (Staffanstorp) $5,000

For more details about the tournament from start to finish, check out the Event #24 2-7 Single Draw Live Blog.

There are still many events left to be played in the 2008 WCOOP. The WCOOP Homepage has information about the remaining events, as well as satellites. For those of you who are more of the observer type, PokerStars.tv will continue to have live streaming coverage, and the blogging team will be posting live reports on the PokerStars Blog.

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