Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo Split is not a sexy game. It doesn’t have the drama of big-bet games like No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha. It doesn’t have the action junkie appeal of Badugi or Triple Draw. It’s the frumpy poker game that’s always picked last on the playground. Many players find playing Stud to be tedious and mentally taxing. When split pots are added, the game takes on a glacial feel.
But Stud Hi/Lo never set out to be sexy. It only promised to be a game that demands discipline, skill and mental toughness. Find spots to freeroll your opponents and then put them on the express train to Value-town. That’s what was in store for the 651 players who signed up to play SCOOP Event 25-Medium, $215 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo Split. The “medium” stakes field drew some of the game’s best and some names that we’ve seen make repeated deep runs throughout this SCOOP series. 88 places paid, and two Team PokerStars players, George Danzer and Sebastian Ruthenberg, flirted with the final table of this event. Danzer faltered first, going out in 26th place. Ruthenberg soon followed in 18th.
At 3:50am ET, tmt326 bubbled off the final table in 9th place, leaving these eight Stud specialists to battle for the top prize of more than $24,000:
Seat 1: Lil’Wayne’57 (134,092 in chips)
Seat 2: PAARTYPAN (533,021 in chips)
Seat 3: BIGtittitilt (711,808 in chips)
Seat 4: kazakhdevil (764,096 in chips)
Seat 5: 7PRS (203,692 in chips)
Seat 6: *Matty*NYG (413,928 in chips)
Seat 7: chevy corv (379,143 in chips)
Seat 8: wjdsnipes (115,220 in chips)
Limits had already reached 20,000 and 40,000 with an ante of 4,000 by the time these eight took their place at the final table. Even in a split-pot game, that left little room for error or run-bad for most of the remaining players.
The chip leader, kazakhdevil, started the final table off in strong fashion by freerolling PAARTYPAN in this hand:
The very next hand 7PRS was the first player eliminated from the final table. Incredibly, three players made trips in the hand. 7PRS completed, was called by *Matty*NYG and then raised and re-raised by wjdsnipes and BIGtittitilt. *Matty*NYG was the only player that folded for the third bet; wjdsnipes called all in. BIGtittitilt led every street until 6th street, where 7PRS moved all in. That brought the reveal:
7PRS: 2♦ 5♦ / 4♦ 10♥ 5♠ 5♥
BIGtittitilt: J♠ J♦ / J♣ 8♦ 2♠ K♣
wjdsnipes: Q♦ 10♣ / Q♠ 9♣ A♣ 8♥
BIGtittitilt started the hand with rolled-up jacks, explaining the three-bet on third street. wjdsnipes started with split queens and 7PRS started with three diamond wheel cards, then improved to three fives. They were all huge hands and oddly nobody had a low draw. Neither 7PRS nor BIGtittitilt filled up on the river, but wjdsnipes caught a third queen, Q♥. When the pots were all settled, wjdsnipes was back in business with 241,660, while BIGtittitilt collected 200,000 from the side pot. 7PRS busted in 8th place.
As chips shuffled around the final table, the tournament started to look very much like a three-horse race among BIGtittitilt, kazakhdevil and *Matty*NYG. Each built a stack in the 800,000- to 900,000-chip range by the time the limits were at 25,000 and 50,000. Their four opponents each had 200,000 or fewer chips but were hanging on tenaciously.
At limits of 30,000 and 60,000 it was wjdsnipes who cried uncle first. Despite surviving several all-in confrontations, wjdsnipes was never able to accumulate chips. wjdsnipes was all in by fourth street against kazakhdevil. All kazakhdevil had was a low draw, 3♣ 8♣ / 2♥ 6♥, but all wjdsnipes had was king-high, 5♣ 2♣ / K♣ J♠. wjdsnipes finished 9♦ 10♥ 8♠, a king-high pai gow. kazakhdevil caught an ace on sixth street to make a low and also make ace-high for high, which was just barely enough to eliminate wjdsnipes.
After kazakhdevil and *Matty*NYG split what seemed like the fifteenth pot between them at the final table, kazakhdevil expressed a little frustration. “You run so hot,” he said.
“I have. You’re right,” *Matty*NYG replied. *Matty*NYG then proved just how hot by scooping PAARTYPAN with 8♥ 4♣ / 2♥ 4♥ A♦ 4♠ 7♥, three of a kind for high and an 8-7 for low. That pot crippled PAARTYPAN, who mucked X-X / 9♦ 3♠ 3♦ Q♣ / X at showdown. Three hands later *Matty*NYG and chevy corv carved up PAARTYPAN’s last 9,222 chips, sending PAARTYPAN to the rail in 6th place.
Down to five players, chevy corv and Lil’Wayne’57 were both battling to avoid busting next. One would double; then the other would double. Lil’Wayne’57 actually doubled through chevy corv at one point, dropping chevy corv to 145,000 chips. The next hand chevy corv was dealt buried tens, 10♥ 10♣ / 3♦. The chips went in against kazakhdevil’s split sixs, 6♦ 5♣ / 6♣ and the race to two pair was on. kazakhdevil made two pair first, making a pair of eights by sixth street to go with the split sixes. On the river, chevy corv caught a second pair of nines, but kazakhdevil caught a third pair of queens to capture the high pot. Neither player made a low, and so chevy corv bid adieu in 5th place.
*Matty*NYG went back to being hot after the 15-minute break at the 12-hour mark of the tournament. With limits at 40,000 and 80,000 and an ante of 8,000, *Matty*NYG completed 3rd street, then bet 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th streets. Li’Wayne’57 called each time. At showdown, *Matty*NYG showed 6♠ K♦ / K♠ 6♥ A♣ K♣ 10♣ for a full house, kings full of sixes. Lil’Wayne’57 mucked his X-X / 4♥ Q♣ 6♣ 7♥ / X and with that he also mucked his hope of winning the tournament. He had just 7,252 chips left after losing that pot and was eliminated on the next hand, all in for the ante.
*Matty*NYG had a 2-to-1 chip lead on each of kazakhdevil and BIGtittitilt. At that point the three players agreed to pause the tournament so they could discuss a deal.
The chip equity would produce payouts of $20,171.90 to *Matty*NYG, $16,695.32 to kazakhdevil and $16,168.33 to BIGtittitilt. *Matty*NYG seemed maybe not to understand how chip chops work.
“That’s not right. I have over half the chips,” he said. “That can’t be right.”
Maria Mayrinck, the Team Pro hosting the final table, assured *Matty*NYG that the numbers were correct. Given that assurance, *Matty*NYG then agreed to the chip chop, with BIGtittitilt following suit. The “devil” was in the details.
“No thanks,” said kazakhdevil. “I prefer to play.”
With that, cards went back in the virtual air. Limits went up to 50,000 and 100,000 and *Matty*NYG turned up the heat. *Matty*NYG won the first three pots in a row, including a 1,000,000-chip scoop against kazakhdevil with 6♦ A♦ / J♦ 5♠ 3♥ 8♠ / 2♣, ace-high for high and a 6-5 for low. Quite suddenly *Matty*NYG had 2.4 million chips, with BIGtittitilt down to 600,000 and kazakhdevil below the 300,000-mark.
But big limits produce big swings. *Matty*NYG was scooped in back-to-back pots by BIGtittitilt, who made kings and nines in the first hand and a flush in the second. Neither payer had a low. The losses cut *Matty*NYG’s stack in half, to 1.2 million, and made BIGtittitilt the new chip leader with 1.6 million.
The “monkey in the middle” of the war between BIGtittitilt and *Matty*NYG was, of course, kazakhdevil, who was eliminated in this brutal hand by *Matty*NYG:
The stacks were almost dead level at 1.6 million each for BIGtittitilt and *Matty*NYG after kazakhdevil’s elimination. *Matty*NYG proposed an even split of the remaining money, minus the set-aside of $2,000. BIGtittitilt agreed. They each locked up $20,007.77.
With business concluded, all that was left was to play for the last $2,000 and the title. *Matty*NYG struck first, quietly calling bets on third and fourth streets until making an open pair on fifth street, where *Matty*NYG raised BIGtittitilt. Each player put in one bet on sixth street and the river, with BIGtittitilt mucking X-X / K♥ 10♣ 3♥ 4♦ / X after *Matty*NYG showed down A♠ 3♦ / 4♥ 2♥ 2♠ J♣ / A♥.
That pot gave *Matty*NYG a 3-to-1 chip lead, which extended to 4-to-1 after a series of small pots. BIGtittitilt fought back a little, only to lose a monster pot when *Matty*NYG rivered a full house. Here’s how the boards developed:
*Matty*NYG: X-X / 10♦ J♠ 2♦ J♦ / X
BIGtittitilt: X-X / 3♥ 7♦ A♠ J♣ / X
The hand was limped on third street and capped by BIGtittitilt on fourth street. BIGtittitilt bet fifth street, then raised when *Matty*NYG led out on sixth street. *Matty*NYG called, then led the river. At showdown, *Matty*NYG produced J♥ 7♣ and 2♠ as his hole cards, a rivered full house.
Afterwards, BIGtittitilt seemed frustrated. “surfe”, he typed, which we can only imagine was supposed to be “sure”. With the case jack on BIGtittitilt’s board, it’s no wonder that BIGtittitilt wouldn’t give *Matty*NYG credit for three jacks in that spot.
BIGtittitilt was down to just 363,000 in chips with limits at 60,000 and 120,000. It didn’t take *Matty*NYG long to end the tournament from there. Six hands later, BIGtittitilt capped the betting on third street with 8♠ 2♦ / 7♦. *Matty*NYG had split sixes, 6♣ 2♥ / 6♥ there, but finished out J♣ Q♣ J♠ for a pair of jacks. *Matty*NYG caught a third six on sixth street, which was enough to win the whole pot and the whole tournament.
SCOOP Event #25-Medium $215 Stud Hi/Lo results (includes two-way deal):
1st place: *Matty*NYG ($22,007.77)
2nd place: BIGtittitilt ($20,007.77)
3rd place: kazakhdevil ($13,020.00)
4th place: Lil’Wayne’57 ($9,765.00)
5th place: chevy corv ($6,510.00)
6th place: PAARTYPAN ($4,557.00)
7th place: wjdsnipes ($2,929.50)
8th place: 7PRS ($1,953.00)