WPBT 7-Card Stud Tournament -- Results

Byron hosts the WPBT tournament series bi-weekly on Sunday evenings, now alternating Sundays with Miami Don's Blogger Big Game in fact, and Byron once again did a stellar job drawing the big names from atop the current WPBT Player of the Year standings, as each of the top 3 players as well as 8 of the top 16 among the average points per WPBT event list (the only one that really matters -- to me) participated and really rounded out a truly difficult field. My own personal goal, other than of course taking down the entire tournament for back-to-back WPBT victories in Razz and then Stud, was to outlast current POY leaderboard frontrunners StB and Lucko so that I could gain some ground on them from my current third-place perch on the POY leaderboard.

With those goals in mind, I began the WPBT 7-Stud High tournament with very lofty expectations. I would not disappoint. A few things were crystal clear to me just a few hands into the event, however: First, StB was reraising me every single time I raised early in a hand. Probably 90% of the time on the night, StB punished me with early reraises, even if showing a lower door card than I. I don't know if this was a deliberate strategy or not, but it worked pretty well for StB. Pretty well, that is, until I busted him personally in 7th place overall. Well played as usual, StB. Also apparent to me right away was that Heather #1 is an excellent stud player, and #2 was the early luckbox of the night, hitting multiple trips, flushes and even a boat all within just the first orbit at my starting table last night.

In Limit poker tournaments, I have consistently found over time that a slow, steady and non-hyper-aggressive game early is the way to go. I know, believe me it's hard for me to make those words come out of my mouth, but it's true. I made the final table on Sunday by doing what I always do in Limit tourneys -- surviving, not losing a lot of chips in any pots where I don't have a big hand, and winning big on my few monsters along the way. So I added about 50% to my stack early when I made an AQJ-high flush against DoubleDave's AQ9-high flush (still sorry about that one, Dave!), and I made a few other big hands as the tournament wore on, including one quads and a few rivered boats for good measure.

Interestingly, with ten players left in WPBT Stud event, the tournament leaderboard at that time was looking a whole lot like the current POY standings. Shortly after making the final table, I managed to knock out StB when trips beat his two pairs, earning my the chance to move up in the POY standings against the current POY leader, and then a few hands later I eliminated CJ as well when my 6th street flush bested his 6th street straight -- luckily there was no chance for even the luckboxiest of bloggers to suck out in that situation. I survived for several hands in 4th out of 5 remaining players, before Lucko ran into a flush from Maigrey and bowed out in 4th place. I had made my goal of outlasting both of the two players ahead of me on the WPBT standings, made the cash and I ended up out in 3rd place when my early pair of Aces failed to hold against Maigrey's progressively growing stack. In the end, Tony Soprano managed to take the lead and eventually bust Maigrey to take down the WPBT Stud crown. As always, the quality of poker play in the WPBT events is absolutely top-notch, and last night was no exception. Congratulations to all the final tablers, and especially to Tony Soprano for his big win yesterday, following up on last Sunday night's $1100 cashout for Tony in the inaugural Blogger Big Game. Way to go Tony Soprano! Now bring your damn show back on to HBO so I got something to do on Sunday nights please, thank you.

A Razz Primer

Darwin Plays PokerRead some forums, check out some mailing lists, or get in the game yourself and you'll discover that HORSE is hot at Poker Stars. Dig a little deeper, and you'll see, over and over again, that good players are making an absolute killing in the Razz round. Hell, I'm not the greatest player in the world, and my winnings in the Razz round are making up for the brutal suckouts I'd forgotten about from limit hold'em, and even putting me ahead for small wins from time to time.

If you'd like to try out these games, and you'd like to have an advantage over the average player in the 1/2 HORSE game (or even a straight 1/2 Razz game,) take a moment and check out this fantastic and useful primer on Razz from 2+2 user Dante1126.

Some quick basics:

  • You're making the best low hand.
  • Straights and flushes don't count against you in Razz.
  • Position is extremely important, so you know if you're facing a raise or not.
  • You don't get counterfeited in Razz like you do in Hold'Em.
  • Don't play hands where you don't start out with three to a seven. (A3)5 or (26)7 or (74)2 for example.
  • If your highest card is lower than another player and you're heads up, bet as much as you can; unless the other guy is perfect underneath, you're almost certainly ahead.

Razz is really fun, and a great break from Hold'Em. It also looks like a great way to add to your bankroll right now, because there are a lot of inexperienced players taking a shot at the game.

Play Horse at PokerStars!

During our days off (both of them) during this year's WSOP, the other writers and I got together and played HORSE, which is a mixed series of poker games, starting with Hold'Em, then Omaha Eight-or-better, followed by Razz, Stud, and Stud Eight-or -better. Though I was initially intimidated by the different games and their strange betting and unknown strategies, it was only 3/6, and playing with friends made it a great learning experience as well as a nice break from Hold'Em (in fact, after a couple of rounds, we ditched the Hold'Em round and played Crazy Pineapple instead. Now that is a fun game!)

Now that we're all home and settling back into real life, we (and you) can relive the magic of those days off donking around in a mixed game, because PokerStars just added HORSE and HOSE to their line up of games. As of this morning, they're spreading 1/2 and up, and they're also spreading them as play money games, if you want to give them a try without risking any of your precious bankroll, or bodily fluids.

If there's enough interest, we could even play a WWdN HORSE tourney, to determine who among us is the most Chip Reese-esque.

Telly Savalas and Stud Poker

kojakMike Sexton wrote a funny article for Card Player Magazine called A Great Poker Night. In this article he talks about the night he met Telly Savalas from Kojak 25 years ago.

Their meeting happened by chance. Sexton was playing $30-$60 Seven Card Stud Eight or Better at the Dunes Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It’s a hi/lo split game and Mike beat the game for $2,600 that night.

Continue reading Telly Savalas and Stud Poker

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