WCOOP 2010: jmonnett holds off FossilMan to win Event #27 $320 Badugi

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgBadugi. The word sounds like the name of an obscure indie band from Norway that your hipster friends in Willamsburg, Brooklyn listen to and hype up as the next White Stripes.

Badugi is not a band, but rather it's a derivative of lowball and the exact origins are unknown, although many signs point to a popular version of lowball from Korea named Padooki. One internet rumor (and my favorite poker urban legend) suggested that Eskimo Clark, a former medic during the Vietnam War, played the game regularly during his tour of duty. Clark once claimed that he brought the game back to the United States after the war.

With the origins still unknown, Badugi has become a fixture on the WCOOP schedule after last year's inagural event. Ray Davis, a flashy pro and regular in many Southern California card rooms, won the 2009 WCOOP Badugi bracelet. He returned this year defend his title, attempting to make history with back-to-back Badugi championships.

If you don't know anything about Badugi, visit the Baudgi rules page before you continue on with this recap. Heck, fire up a micro-stakes table and give the game a whirl too. To sum up, you're looking for the lowest possible hand that don't contain the same suits. If you get A-2-3-4 rainbow, then you're gonna be tough to beat. Badugi allows three opportunities to draw cards, but this event has fixed limit betting, which meant that the tournament progressed slowly at the onset.

WCOOP Event #27 $320 FL Badugi attracted 322 runners, all gunning for the $100,000 prize pool (the 100K guarantee was missed by a dozen entrants). The top 48 places paid out with $19,250 set aside for the winner.

Although Badugi is one of the smaller contests in this year's WCOOP, the field was not a pushover,and included many of the premiere Badugi players in the world. A slew of Team Poker Stars Pros were in the mix including Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, Chris Moneymaker, ElkY, Andre Akkari, George Danzer, Nacho Barbero, Pet Pezzin, and Anh Van Nguyen.

Due to the limit betting format, a player did not bust until 50 minutes into the event. I'm sure the last thing that SLRCSR wanted was to see his/her screenname in print as the first Badugi bustout, but that's what happened.

Daniel Negreanu snagged lead with 130 players to go in a hand that nearly tilted his opponent. Negreanu won a pot with an A-6-5-3 badugi holding A♠6♣5♦3♥. 7PRS said, "LOL WHO TAUGHT U TO CALL AN UTG RAISE AND DRAW 2?"

Always the class clown, Negreanu shot back, "It was good 2."

The chase pack quickly caught up to Negreanu, and he failed get anything going the rest of the tournament. He busted out in 62d place and missed the money. Short-stacked Negreanu was all-in by the second draw. He failed to improve his hand on the third draw. Negreanu could only muster up a 3-card hand with A♦Q♦3♠2♣, while his opponent jmonnett won the hand with a Q-4-2-A badugi.

Anders "Donald" Berg from Team PokerStars Online missed the money by a few spots when he busted in 51st place. It took a little over seven hours before the bubble burst when jgivg hit the road in 49th place.

Defending champion, Ray Davis, was super-short but managed to squeak into the money. He was seated at the same table as Greg "fossilman" Raymer for most of the tournament. Last year's champ busted out in 47th place when his 8♠7♣5♦2♣, for a 3-card 8-5-2, could not beat CheapThieves' 10-6-2-A badugi.

With five tables too, gipsy74 took over the lead and became the first player to pass the 100K chip mark, but the Russian had to keep an eye on Raymer who consistently hovered in the Top 25 in chips for most of the middle stages of the tournament. However, once the money bubble burst, Raymer kicked his Badugi game into high gear and crept into the Top 10 after dragging a 27K pot with a 6-5-3-A badugi. He chipped up to 4th overall when he won a 30K pot with a 9-6-4-3 badugi versus 9-8-6-A. He continued his roll and won a 39K pot holding a 4-3-2-A badugi, which put him past the 100K mark, good enough for second in chips.


Greg "fossilman" Raymer at the 2010 PCA

"What do you think is harder to win? A WSOP or a WCOOP bracelet?" wondered 7PRS.

"One each for me, so it's a tie," Raymer said.

With three tables to go, Raymer slipped to the back of the pack after losing a couple of medium-sized pots. With 17 to go, Raymer won three pots in four hands and seized the lead. He won pots worth 62K and 84K, including a 118K pot that he took down with a 5-4-2-A badugi.

Tom "luvgamble" Schnieder, former WSOP Player of the Year, hung out in the lead pack during the final three tables before he took a hit and plummeted to the basement. He eventually went out in 16th place for a $1,350 payday.

With 13 players remaining, Raymer held the top spot but had to fend off gipsy74 and Gigaloff, both hailing from Moscow. While Raymer was preoccupied with the Russians, jmonnett snuck into the lead as raced past the 300K mark with 10 players to go.

SSSHIP_IT bubbled off the final table in 9th place. A Queen-high badugi could not beat gipsy74's 7-6-4-3 badugi. Once the final table of eight was set, Fossilman held the lead with 340K.


Final table chip counts:
Seat 1: FossilMan (340,805)
Seat 2: monika13 (145,120)
Seat 3: Emmoyouesee (67,148)
Seat 4: UboughtmyBMW (254,033)
Seat 5: Gigaloff (107,711)
Seat 6: dangdokodang (314,600)
Seat 7: jmonnett (311,386)
Seat 8: gipsy74 (69,197)

Moments after the final table began, the idea of a chop was floated, but jmonnett was silent and didn't respond when asked if he wanted to discuss a chat.

Raymer initiated a conversation: "JM plays pretty big, he might not want to chop for these prizes... John, care to speak up? Though as an ex-lawyer, I know it is your right to say nothing."

Jmonnett eventually responded and requested that they play on. He quickly snatched the lead from Raymer. He raced past 400K, and then flirted with 500K after he won a 248K pot with a 5-4-3-2 badugi against dangdokodang.

Short-stacked gipsy74 got it all in during a three-way pot with jmonnett and Emmoyousee. Jmonnett won the hand with T♣6♦5♥A♠ for a 10-6-5-A badugi. After that hand, Emmoyouesee was crippled to under 40K, while jmonnett improved to 482K. Gipsy74 became the first elimination at the final table and finished in 8th place. He won $2,250.

Emmoyouesee hit the road in 7th place. His 9♣7♠6♣4♦ was only good enough for a 3-card 7-6-4, while dangdokodang's J♣8♠6♦3♥ won the hand with a Jack-high badugi. Emmoyouesee collected $2,750 for 7th place.

Jmonnett rocketed to 700K in chips after winning a 108K pot off of Raymer. His 3-card 5-4-A was good enough to beat Raymer, who mucked his hand.

Two of the short stacks battled and the results were not good for monika13, who stood pat on the third draw with a Q-6-5-2 badugi. UboughtmyBMW drew 1 card and mode a better badugi with T♣4♠3♦A♥. Monika13 slipped to 13,350. On the next hand, Monika13 busted out in a four-way pot. Raymer won the main pot (53,400) and more importantly, he dragged the side pot (109,950) with K♥T♠8♣7♦ for a King-high badugi. Monika13 was eliminated in 6th place and won $3,750.

With five to go, Raymer delivered a blow to jmonnett after winning a 230K pot with a 6-4-3-A badugi. He regained the lead for the first time since the final table began, as jmonnett slipped out of the top spot. Raymer continued his upwards march and improved to over 630K after he won a 285K pot with a 7-5-3-A badugi.

Short-stacked dangdokodang found himself all-in in a multi-way pot. He mucked his hand but at showdown, Raymer revealed 7♠5♥3♣2♦ for a 7-5-3-2 badugi, however it could not beat jmonnett's 7♣4♠3♦A♥ or 7-4-3-A badugi. Dangdokodang was knocked out in 5th place and won $5,250.

With four to go and blinds at 10K/20K, jmonnett returned to the top spot with a 606K stack, while Raymer slipped to 520K. Rounding out the final four were Gigaloff (263K) and UboughtmyBMW (219K). Jmonnett unleashed a blitzkrieg assault won 9 out of 10 hands in a row to chip up to over 1 million.

Short-stacked Gigaloff busted out with paltry holdings: 3♦3♣3♠2♦. UboughtmyBMW won the hand with Q♥7♥2♣A♦ for a 3-card 7-2-A. Gigaloff collected $7,750 for 4th place.

With three to go, jmonnett sat on a 1 million stack, more than Raymer and UboughtmyBMW combined, who were both roughly even in chips with 300K.

After losing a hand to UboughtmyBMW, Raymer was in distress when the blinds increased to 12K/24K. Raymer lost more of his stack when he let a 192K pot slip away with a J-6-3-A badugi against UboughtmyBMW's 10-7-6-2 badugi. Raymer's stack decreased to 108K.

Indeed, Greg "fossilman" Raymer was on the verge of extinction after he got crippled by jmonnett's 8-7-4-A badugi. Raymer was left for dead with 655 in chips, but postponed his elimination by one hand with a doubled up, but that was not enough to string together an epic comeback. Raymer busted out on the very next hand when his T♦6♠5♥A♣ for a 10-6-5-A badugi could not beat out jmonnett's 8-4-2-A baudgi. Raymer cashed in 3rd place for $10,750.

You can view Raymer's elimination with the replayer...

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Heads-up chip counts:
Seat 4: UboughtmyBMW (532,751)
Seat 7: jmonnett (1,077,249)

UboughtmyBMW was trailing jmonnett 2-1 in chips when heads-up began, but that did not deter him. He came out swinging and won 4 out of the first 6 hands. Jmonnett went on his own mini-rush by dragging 8 out of the next 10 pots to re-take any ground that he lost to UboughtmyBMW. The biggest score during that stretch was worth 252K. UboughtmyBMW won that hand with a 10-8-5-3 badugi.

UboughtmyBMW launched a counterattack and won five consecutive pots, but they were mostly uncontested pots. Jmonnett battled right back and won the next six hands to increase the lead to over 1 million. UboughtmyBMW was not about to surrender and won six consecutive hands. However, that run good was short-lived when he was unable to hold off jmonnett, who took a chunk of his stack with a 10-8-7-A badugi.

A 15-minute break was scheduled when the tournament reached the 12th hour of play, however, both players didn't want to stop the heads-up match. The two agreed to keep playing.

"Looks like it's meant to be yours," said UboughtmyBM, who sensed that jmonnett just wanted to finish him off.

Jmonnette continued the relentless pressure and picked up a 252k pot with a 10-8-7-6 baudgi. Super-shorty UboughtmyBMW got it all-in two hands later with 8♦4♣4♥A♣. The best he could do was a 3-card 8-4-A. Jmonnett held 6♣5♠2♥A♦ for a 6-5-2-A badugi, which gave him the pot and the entire tournament.

You can view the final hand in the replayer...

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UboughtmyBMW took home $14,250 for a second place finish. John "jmonnett" Monnette collected $19,250 for first place and picked up his first WCOOP title (to add to his two SCOOP titles in Seven-card Stud and 2-7 Triple Draw). Congrats to jmonnett for winning this year's Badugi event.

Event #27 Badugi final table results and payouts:
1. John "jmonnett" Monnette - $19,250
2. UboughtmyBMW - $14,250
3. Greg "fossilman" Raymer - $10,750
4. Gigaloff - $7,750
5. dangdokodang - $5,250
6. monika13 - $3,750
7. Emmoyouesee - $2,750
8. gipsy74 - $2,250

For stimulating visual coverage of the 2010 WCOOP, visit PokerStars.tv. Don't forget to peruse the WCOOP homepage for the remaining tournament schedule, complete event results, current player-of-the-year stats, satellite information, and much much more.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP