Badugi. It’s a funny little game with a funny little name that hardly anyone knows how to play. It has, however, gained a rabid, even cultish following on PokerStars. Each of the three SCOOP “badugiments” that went off today more than doubled their guarantees, despite the fact that a decent percentage of each field had only the vaguest understanding of the rules (a triple draw lowball variant where aces are low and the best hand is A234 rainbow). No better way to learn how to swim, than to dive in head first, right?
The field topped out at 50 players, each buying in for $1,575 to create a $75,000 prize pool. However, only five places paid, which meant that getting to the eight-handed final table wasn’t enough to guarantee a cash finish. Six PokerStars pros sat down for an evening of high-stakes tournament Badugi, including George Danzer, Andre Akkari, Noah Boeken, and Team Online’s Kristian “CharismA3” Martin. Although that quartet missed out on the money, Team Pro Canada’s Pat Pezzin and Team Online’s Anders “Donald” Berg made the final table.
Seat 1: gipsy74 (44,370 in chips)
Seat 2: Donald (38,820 in chips)
Seat 3: sepl55 (17,815 in chips)
Seat 4: Amke (16,885 in chips)
Seat 5: Pat Pezzin (32,990 in chips)
Seat 6: Andy McLEOD (56,210 in chips)
Seat 7: gaffel (26,410 in chips)
Seat 8: BiatchPeople (16,500 in chips)
High buy-in SCOOP events are always marked with stacked final tables and this one was no exception. Representing the high-stakes mixed game players along with Pezzin were sepl55, BiatchPeople, and Sergey “gipsy74” Rybachenko. All are regulars at $100/$200 8-Game and above. Gaffel has already cashed two SCOOP events this year (Event #1-Low and Event #5-Medium) while James “Andy McLEOD” Obst and Amke have been in the winner’s circle before at a tournament ending in -COOP; Obst scored a win in the 2008 WCOOP and Amke took down the $2,100 2-7 Triple Draw event two years ago in the 2009 SCOOP.
Final table, no dinero
Sepl55 was crippled in a hand where gipsy74 made a 7 badugi on the second draw, reducing him to only 6,265 in chips. He went out a few hands later in eighth place after patting Q♦J♥9♣2♠ on the second draw. Pat Pezzin stood pat behind him with 6♦5♣4♠A♥ and that was all she wrote.
Donald couldn’t get a thing going, losing every significant pot he played at the final table. He lost 60% of his chips in a three-way pot Pat Pezzin won with a three-card A23, then got the rest of his chips in against gaffel and Andy McLEOD when he made an 8-badugi on the second draw. Unfortunately, it was no match for Andy McLEOD’s 5♥4♦3♠A♣, and Donald departed in seventh place, leaving the final six on the money bubble.
Amke, BiatchPeople, and gaffel kept trading short-stack status over the next half-hour. Amke was able to chip up into safer territory, but BiatchPeople wasn’t as fortunate. Whittled down to only 1,950, BiatchPeople made a stand pre-draw with a two-card A2, but bricked on all three draws. AndyMcLEOD continued to run hot, making 7♠5♥3♣A♦ to burst the bubble and send BiatchPeople to the rail in sixth.
Down to his last couple of bets and now guaranteed at least $6,000, gaffel breathed a huge sigh of relief. His last 1,745 sailed into the pot against Andy McLEOD, who made a ten-badugi on the second draw to take gaffel out in fifth place. Gaffel’s elimination left gipsy74 as the short stack. His chip count yo-yoed by the hand– within the span of three minutes he dropped a 26k pot to Andy McLEOD, dropped a 13k pot to Pezzin, doubled back up through Andy McLEOD, then lost it all back to him. Then things got a little strange. Following a button raise from Andy McLEOD, gipsy74 disconnected. For a LONG time. As he only had 7,400 in chips, his tablemates started wondering if he was ever coming back.
Pat Pezzin: hes gone to bed by now
Pat Pezzin: forsure he thinks hes been blinded out
Amke: how big is chance it’s not an accident lol
Pat Pezzin: andy
Andy McLEOD: hi Pat
Pat Pezzin: getting a little sweaty there raising on button 12 mins ago…stare down
Andy McLEOD: i’ve already started laughing at this point
Andy McLEOD: trying to pretend i have a good hand is futile
Pat Pezzin: lol
A full 13 minutes ticked off gipsy74’s timebank as his opponents waited. Finally, with 160 seconds left, gipsy74 reappeared, immediately three-betting from the small blind, then standing pat!
Pat Pezzin: lol
Tzen1 (TeamOnline): Rofl
Pat Pezzin: lol
Andy McLEOD: oh
gipsy74: sorry guys
Pat Pezzin: where u go
Tzen1 (TeamOnline): You just made my day
Dealer: gipsy74 stands pat
Andy McLEOD: stands pat too
Andy McLEOD: thats real nasty
Andy McLEOD: lol you win
Pat Pezzin: that was crazy
Amke hits his rush
While gipsy74 was focused on rebuilding his decimated stack, Amke started gaining momentum. A sequence that saw him win four out of five pots sent his chip count up to 72,000 from 34,000. The largest of the four came at Andy McLEOD’s expense:
Amke’s rush continued, winning a 20,300 pot when Andy McLEOD folded to his raise after the third draw, but the real stunner was a 53,600 pot featuring the ultimate Badugi cooler. A wheel doesn’t run into a Number Two very often in this game, but it did tonight when Amke nabbed this monster pot:
The wheel took Amke up to 105,000 while gipsy74 was down to his last few bets. Gipsy74 got the rest of his chips in after the first draw in a heads-up pot against Andy McLEOD. Both players stood pat on the second and third draws, Andy McLEOD revealing 7♥6♦4♣A♠ at showdown. Gipsy’s Q43A was toast, and he bowed out in fourth place, earning $7,500.
Pat Pezzin eliminated in third place
After gipsy74 departed, Pat Pezzin’s luck took a turn for the worse. During three-handed play, the Canadian Team Pro lost all five of the major pots he got involved in (three to Andy McLEOD and two to Amke), his chip count sinking from 68,000 to 11,000. Finally, with 7,360 remaining and the blinds up to 1,600/3,200, Pezzin found a hand he could go with. He open-raised on the button and Andy McLEOD called from the small blind. Both players drew one card and Andy McLEOD led out for 1,600. Pezzin called, and they both drew another card apiece. Andy McLEOD bet 3,200 and Pezzin called all-in for 2,560. AndyMcLEOD stood pat while Pezzin drew one and prayed for a heart, but he didn’t get there. Pezzin finished with a three-card 7♣5♦A♠, no match against Andy McLEOD’s 10♦9♣5♠A♥. For third place, Pezzin took home $11,250.
Amke whittles down Andy
As heads-up play commenced, the chip counts looked like this:
Seat 4: Amke (143,430 in chips)
Seat 6: Andy McLEOD (106,570 in chips)
Amke seized immediate control of the match and never relinquished his lead. After 50 minutes of disciplined grinding, he had AndyMcLEOD down to his last 14,000 and claimed the balance on this hand:
Congratulations to Amke, on his second career SCOOP victory! With wins in 2-7 Triple Draw and Badugi, is Razz next to fill out the lowball triumverate?
SCOOP Event #4-High ($1,575 Badugi) results
1. Amke ($30,000)
2. James “Andy McLEOD” Obst ($20,250)
3. Pat Pezzin ($11,250)
4. Segey “gipsy74” Rybachenko ($7,500)
5. gaffel ($6,000)