Badugi is a special game for special players, not quite as frustrating as Razz but it has its moments. That didn’t stop them from coming out to play. The WCOOP 2016 Badugi Championship kicked off on Saturday with a small but talented field, only a handful of which would return for Day 2 on Sunday.
The $1,050 Badugi Championship drew 60 players with nine of them going down the optional re-entry path to push the official count to 69, a few spots clear of the $75,000 guaranteed prize pool so players earned a little extra value. The last seven players would each earn a piece of that prize pool but they would have to work to get there.
Of those 69 entries, there were 19 players still around when the clock was paused at the end of Level 18. silna_rakia was the overnight chip leader and in fine position to add a WCOOP title to his $2K SCOOP Badugi victory from this past spring. Among the others still around were Team PokerStars superstar Jason Mercier, Triple COOPer James “Andy McLEOD” Obst, Mike “SirWatts” Watson, Vladimir “vovtroy” Troyanovskiy, and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Brian “tsarrast” Rast along with both nine-time COOP winners Calvin “cal42688” Anderson and Shaun Deeb.
It took two hours to cut those three tables down to a handful remaining and put them near the final table bubble. This was one of those rare occasions when that bubble hit before the money.
There were two short stacks split between the two tables, Mikleler and Anderson. It was Anderson pushing the action on one side when he was the aggressor discarding one card on the first two draws while silna_rakia drew two each time. silna_rakia put him all-in before the third draw, the bet was called, and both stood pat. Anderson’s K♠5♥4♣3♦ was not good enough against the very nice 5♠4♦3♥2♣ that silna_rakia popped on the two-card draw.
The hand sent Anderson out and prevented him from picking up his tenth COOP title. The last eight players gathered as one at the final table but there was still business to get through. Only seven of them would make the money.
Seat 1: Mikleler (12,390 in chips)
Seat 2: alex987 (284,350 in chips)
Seat 3: Brian “tsarrast” Rast (148,355 in chips)
Seat 4: marroca5 (204,180 in chips)
Seat 5: silna_rakia (193,060 in chips)
Seat 6: Abit9144 (310,135 in chips)
Seat 7: WTFOMFGOAO (48,680 in chips)
Seat 8: Matthias “Mati312” Brandner (178,850 in chips)
Mikleler can’t hang on, eliminated in 8th
With Anderson gone, Mikleler was left as the micro-stack with little chance of someone giving him a courtesy exit, no help from the limit betting format. He lasted five hands before he took a shot with less than two big blinds.
Mati312 and Rast came along for the ride with Rast discarding two on the first draw while the others took one. Rast bet, Mati312 called, and Rast stood pat. The other two drew one more and Mati312 let his hand go after a big bet from Rast.
Mikleler drew one last time after Rast stood pat again but he could not improve his 3-card Badugi 6♣3♥2♠ while Rast tabled Q♥8♠4♣2♦ to take the pot. The hand sent Mikleler out in 8th place and put the remaining players in the money.
In a poker history note, this is not the first time Mikleler and Anderson finished one spot apart in a COOP tournament. It was a little different back during SCOOP 2014 when Anderson only owned four(!) COOP titles and Mikleler was in a position to deny him another. The two finished 1st/2nd in the $2K SCOOP H.O.R.S.E. event with Anderson holding off a persistent Mikleler to earn his fifth title.
WTFOMFGOAO can’t capitalize, eliminated in 7th
Seven players in the money, six of them with stacks outside the danger zone. WTFOMFGOAO was the lone shorty and had dropped under four big blinds when he put in a third bet against silna_rakia. The bet was called and silna_rakia drew one card while WTFOMFGOAO stood pat from the start.
Two more small bets and WTFOMFGOAO was at risk. WTFOMFGOAO stood pat all the way to showdown while silna_rakia only discarded once more. silna_rakia drew to 9♣7♥4♠A♦ to send WTFOMFGOAO’s Q♠8♦7♣A♥ down in flames.
Rast misses draw, eliminated in 6th
Brian “tsarrast” Rast is no stranger to success and it was a nice run to get this deep with only seven players getting paid. He fought a shorter stack late but had to take a shot when he was drawing to the nuts.
He was all-in after the first draw against silna_rakia and Mati312. Rast discarded one card on the next two draws along with the other two players. silna_rakia released his hand to a big bet from Mati312 and Rast was left with his three-card Badugi 4♦3♣2♥. Mati312 showed 10♠8♣4♥A♦ to send the 2016 WSOP Poker Players Champion bracelet winner out in 6th place.
No Badugi followup for silna_rakai, eliminated in 5th
Besides Brian “tsarrast” Rast and his three WSOP bracelets, silna_rakai had to be one of the favorites coming into the final table. Marroca5 has one more COOP title but silna_rakai won his SCOOP title in the high-version of the SCOOP Badugi event only a few months ago.
He also began Day 2 with the chip lead but that did not translate into a second title. silna_rakai was mixed up in a three-bet pot with Mati312 before the first draw and they capped it at four bets after each drew one.
Both stood pat on the second draw and silna_rakai was all-in for less than one big bet. Mati312 stood pat on the third draw while silna_rakai took a gamble a drew one after standing pat earlier. Mati312 tabled the Badugi 9♦7♠2♥A♣ while the best silna_rakai could do was the three-card 7♥6♠2♣ to go out in 5th place.
marroca5 fails to find third COOP, eliminated in 4th
marroca5 was the last player standing with former COOP success, holding both WCOOP and SCOOP titles, and came close to getting a third COOP yesterday in the Triple 2-7 game. He fell at that final table in fifth and was guaranteed a better finish here.
But marroca5 had to gamble it up and called a raise in a three-way pot leaving only 8,980 behind after the second draw. He drew one last card while alex987 and Brandner stood pat and his Badugi J♦5♠3♣A♥ was no good against the 7♠6♥4♣2♦ of alex987. It was the second day of good runs for the Colombian but he had to settle for 4th place money.
Mati312 ends the roller coaster, eliminated in 3rd
Matthias “Mati312” Brandner notched the knock out of marroca5 but that was the end of the good news for him. Those chips did not stick around long and he found himself all-in for only 31,400 plus his big blind against Abit9144.
They each tossed away one card on the first draw then Abit9144 stood pat on the next two. Brandner drew one more then stood pat himself on the third draw with a Badugi 9♣6♥3♦2♠. A fine hand in three-way action but Abit9144 was a little better with 8♠5♥8♠3♣ to send Brandner out in 3rd place.
alex987 finishes off his first WCOOP title in Event #47
Seat 2: alex987 (726,580 in chips)
Seat 6: Abit9144 (653,420 in chips)
Abit9144 was a one-time short stack at the final table with less than five big blinds but he was able to battle back, even taking the lead for a few moments. The two final players held very similar stacks at the start of heads play but alex987 pressed his advantage higher until Abit9144 had to take some chances.
He played a huge pot that was capped before the first draw then abandoned the pot when he didn’t catch. He was left with less than 80,000 and was all-in three hands later before a single card was tossed out.
Abit9144 discarded two and alex987 threw away one on the first two draws then each took one more on the last draw. Abit9144 was drawing hot but couldn’t improve his three-card 3♦2♠A♣ and alex987’s Badugi J♦5♥4♠2♣ was good enough to hand him the big tournament win.
This is not the biggest cash for alex987 but it is his first career COOP title. He came close in 2014 with two SCOOP runner-up results including a $232,000 cash in the $1 Million GTD SCOOP 2014 Event 22-H. It may be for less money, but alex987 is sure to be excited to earn his first WCOOP victory.
WCOOP-47 ($1,050 FL Badugi Championship) results
Entrants: 60 (9 re-entries)
Total prize pool: $75,000
Places paid: 14
1. alex987 (Russia) $20,243.23
2. Abit9144 (Germany) $15,702.73
3. Matthias “Mati312” Brandner (Austria) $12,180.66
4. marroca5 (Colombia) $9,448.58
5. silna_rakai (Bulgaria) $7,329.29
6. Brian “tsarrast” Rast (Brazil) $5,685.36
7. WTFOMFGOAO (Russia) $4,410.15