WCOOP Event 27: Ah, Leah! GoLeafsGoEh best in badugi


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Badugi is a game that's usually favored by the high-stakes poker community in their rotation of mixed games. To some, badugi is considered a game of pure gambling, with the three rounds of drawing to its namesake, four unpaired cards of different suits. Tonight's event drew a field of 292 players, generating a $87,600 prize pool as the final 40 players cashed. Canadians appeared poised to win another bracelet after their first win of this WCOOP in the $320 Stud event on Monday by Big_Nemo. Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah held the chip lead with Team Canada Pro Greg DeBora also at the final table. Leah stumbled briefly with five players left, but staged a ferocious comeback to take down his first WCOOP bracelet along with over $17,000.


Team PokerStars Pro was well represented as Chad Brown, Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand "ElkY" Grosepellier and Anders "Donald" Berg were among the pros in the field. However, besides DeBora, two members of Team PokerStars added a WCOOP cash to their results.Team Canada Pro Pat Pezzin (25th) and Team Poland Pro Marcin "Goral" Horecki (37th). Notables also earning a cash include Alex "AWice" Wice" (12th) and Mike "SirWatts" Watson (13th).

With nine players left, hand-for-hand play was underway as the field, except chip leader Leah were scrambling to make the final table. The limits were 5,000/10,000 when the blinds went to battle with one bound to fall just short of the final table. Action folded around to Ig123456789 in the small blind, raising to 10,000 as PokerArtChee called in the big blind. On the first draw, both players drew two cards as Ig123456789 bet 5,000 and PokerArtChee called. The second draw had both players discard just one card as Ig123456789 led out once again, but this time PokerArtChee re-raised and Ig123456789 made it three bets. PokerArtChee called all-in for their remaining 8,316 chips. Ig123456789 stood pat on the final draw as PokerArtChee drew one card. PokerArtChee had a three-card 7: 7♥ 3♣ 2♣ A♦. That wouldn't be good enough as Ig123456789 held a badugi 7♦6♣2♥A♠ sending PokerArtChee out in 9th place, earning $1,752.00 and setting up the final table, seated as follows:


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Final table chip counts:

Seat 1: Greg" G DeBora" DeBora (107,661 in chips)
Seat 2: Ig123456789 (258,313 in chips)
Seat 3: nada123455 (69,664 in chips)
Seat 4: Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah (310,359 in chips)
Seat 5: Andrey "Kroko-dill" Zaichenko (273,229 in chips)
Seat 6: PUCIPUCO (158,091 in chips)
Seat 7: spieler52 (87,402 in chips)
Seat 8: Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee (195,281 in chips)

Six of the eight players at the final table were listed from either Canada (DeBora, Leah, MacPhee) or the former Soviet Union (Ig123456789, Kroko-dill, spieler52), which would be interesting if this was an epic hockey battle like the two countries waged in the 70's and 80's.

The final table was slugging it out with nearly two levels of play needed before the first player would be eliminated. Andrey "Kroko-dill" Zaichenko started second in chips, but couldn't win the big pots at the final table. The winner of a WCOOP event last year would not win a second bracelet as he collected $2,190.00 for his eighth place finish. Ig123456789 had just won a hand to leave Zaichenko with just 15,958 in chips with the limits at 7,000/14,000, picking up the rest of the chips on the next hand. Ig123456789 opened with a raise to 14,000 as Zaichenko re-raised all-in for the last 1,598 chips as PUCIPUCO called from the big blind and Ig123456789 called. Zaichenko drew 1, PUCIPUCO picked up two and Ig123456789 drew 1. PUCIPUCO checked called the 7,000 chip bet from Ig123456789 as Zaichenko and PUCIPUCO drew a card, but Ig123456789 stood pat on the second draw. This time, PUCIPUCO check-folded to a bet as Zaichenko drew one again as Ig123456789 stood pat a second time on the final draw. Ig123456789 held a badugi once again T♦ 6♥ 5♣ A♠ as Zaichenko only held a three-card 8: 8♦4♥2♣A♥ as Ig123456789 briefly took the chip lead from Leah.

Leah regained the lead a few hands later as the Russian contingent would lose another player with the elimination of spieler52 in seventh place, good for $2,628.00.This time, it Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee who took out a Russian as both players made a badugi, but MacPhee's was just a bit better. Here's how it played out:

Next to depart was the Team PokerStars Pro at the final table, Greg DeBora (below), earning a payday of $3,504.00 for his sixth place finish. This time it was one of the "outsiders", nada123455 from South Korea who knocked out the Canadian. DeBora had 47,661 in chips as limits ncreased to 8,000/16,000. MacPhee opened with a raise in the hijack, DeBora made it three bets from the cutoff as nada123455 called from the small blind and MacPhee called. Nada123455 and MacPhee drew a card as DeBora rapped pat. Nada123455 and MacPhee checked as DeBora bet out for 8,000 as both players called. The second draw was the same as the first as nada123455 and MacPhee drew one and DeBora stood pat. Again a pair of checks as DeBora bet his remaining 15,661 chips as the other two players called. On the third draw, all three players performed the same actions as nada123455 and MacPhee checked. The final draw was good for nada123455, making a Badugi Q♣5♠4♥A♦ as MacPhee and DeBora mucked, surely giving the thumbs down after that result.

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Leah was back in the lead five-handed, but experienced a series of setbacks to fall to fourth in chips, appearing to finish in fifth place. It was the Ukranian Ig123456789 shown the door, with MacPhee taking out another rival at the table. The limits were now 12,000/24,000 as MacPhee in the small blind and Ig123456789 in the big blind capped the betting as each player put in four bets. Both players drew one and the bets and raises continued until Ig123456789 was set all-in for their remaining chips. On the second and third draws, MacPhee stood pat while Ig123456789 drew one card both times. MacPhee, showed a Badugi 7♣[4h[2♦A♠ while Ig123456789 could only show a three-card six: A♣ T♣ 6♦ 4♠, earning fifth place money, $4,818.00.

Fourth in chips, Leah regained the momentum he lost just a few minutes earlier to move back into the lead, winning several pots. The following hand would move him back into the lead for good:

The rungood continued for Leah as he eliminated PUCIPUCO in 4th place as the UK player cashed in for $7,008.00. Leah raised from the button as PUCIPUCO re-raised from the small blind as MacPhee folded in the big blind and Leah called. PUCIPUCO would stand pat all three rounds, while Leah drew two. PUCIPUCO bet out and Leah called, taking one card on the second draw. PUCIPUCO bet out again as Leah called, drawing one on the final draw. PUCIPUCO bet their remaining chips as Leah called, making a Badugi 9♠ 8♣7♦A♥. PUCIPUCO was dealt a king-high Badugi: K♣ Q♥ 9♦ 5♠, but the third draw was the charm for Leah, expanding his lead further.

Leah would wind up winning eight hands in a row, the final hand in the streak was nada123455's last hand, finishing in third for $9,636.00. Leah raised again from the button as nada123455 reraised from the big blind as Leah called. Both players needed a card on the initial draw as Leah called nada123455's bet of 12,000. The second draw had nada123455 stand pat as Leah drew one. Nada123455 bet, Leah raised and nada123455 called all-in for their remaining chips, standing pat on the final draw. Leah did the same, turning over a jack-high Badugi: J♣T♥ 8♦ 4♠ as nada123455 showed a losing king-high Badugi: K♠ 4♥3♦ A♣ as Leah held a 2-1 advantage over MacPhee going into heads-up play.

Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah and Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee each wanted to take down their first WCOOP bracelet, but Leah didn't give up his chip advantage again. Most of the hands went Leah's way until he held all but 85,716 chips with limits at 16,000/32,000. MacPhee raised from the small blind, Leah re-raised as MacPhee called. On the opening draw, Leah drew one as MacPhee needed two cards. Leah bet 16,000, MacPhee raised and Leah called. On the second draw, both players drew one and Leah bet out as MacPhee called his remaining chips. Both drew one on the final draw, with Leah once again making a Badugi: 9♣6♥5♠A♦ as MacPhee could only make a three-card hand: K♦ 4♦ A♥ 2♣, taking down second place winnings of $12,702.00, not bad for a first-time Badugi tournament player. Leah earns $17,082.00 for the victory and a second WCOOP title for Canada in as many days.

WCOOP Event #27 - $320 Badugi Final Table Results:

1st: Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah - $17,082.00
2nd: Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee - $12,702.00
3rd: nada123455 - $9,636.00
4th: PUCIPUCO - $7,008.00
5th: Ig123456789 - $4,818.00
6th: Greg "G DeBora" DeBora - $3,504.00
7th: spieler52 - $2,628.00
8th: Andrey "Kroko-dill" Zaichenko - $2,190.00

Wednesday's WCOOP lineup features three more events: $265 No-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 6-Max Knockout with $50 bounties, a $530 No-Limit Hold'em Triple Shootout, and the $320 8-Game event. If those events don't tickle your fancy, check out the schedule at www.wcoop.com for the complete schedule.