The 2021 WSOP’s Event #18 came to a close today after heads-up play overflowed into Day 4. The event was a $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball tournament. This means the game rotates between deuce-to-seven lowball triple draw, ace-to-five lowball triple draw, and Badugi.
253 players turned out for this event, making for a prize pool of $562,925. Each of these players began Day 1 with 35,000 in chips.
Among those that gave up their chips for free were players like Daniel Negreanu, David “ODB” Baker, Scott Seiver, and defending champ Daniel Zack. Players that cashed included Robert Mizrachi, David Benyamine, Carol Fuchs, and actor James Woods.
After the scheduled three days for the event had run their course, there were still two players with chips. A hurried Day 4 was put on the books to finish off the event today (Monday, October 11).
A reminder of how to play
Most players will be familiar with lowball draw. Like most draw games, players start with five cards and — during draw rounds — are allowed to burn a number of cards and draw replacements from the deck.
In triple draw, there are four betting rounds and three drawing rounds. In A-5 lowball, players disregard flushes and straights when ranking hands. Meanwhile, in 2-7 lowball, the usual poker hand rankings apply.
Though most players will have heard of Badugi, not everyone is familiar with the rules. The short version is that everyone gets four cards and attempts to draw to the best Badugi hand.
The best Badugi hand is the lowest hand with the most valid cards (i.e. four-card hands automatically beat three-card hands and so on…). Players may only use one card of each suit for their final hand. The best possible hand is therefore A-2-3-4 in four suits.
Back to the action
Day 4 was V-day. V. v. V. for all the gold. The first V. was Vankata (Tayi) who led the other V. — Vladimir Peck — with 5,575,000 in chips to 3,725,000.
The final hand came within the first blind level of Day 4. The betting limits were 300,000/600,000, and the game was 2-7 triple draw.
With just 800,000 in his stack, Tayi got it all in before the first draw. “I’m definitely light,” he joked, as he burned three cards. Tayi went with two.
The next round Peck took a single card, Tayi drew another two. Peck sat pat for the last round, while Tayi drew one.
Peck threw down his J-6-5-3-2 low while Tayi peeled each of his cards one by one: 9-6-3-2 … the final card was a second 9, pairing his hand and losing him the game.
Tayi won $83,056 for his second-place finish.
Featured image source: PokerGO by Antonio Abrego