Badugi is certainly an underserved game at the 2012 WSOP since its only appearance will be in the Event #52 10-Game Mix (Six Handed) tournament. Fortunately though, Badugi enthusiasts will at least get to see their favorite poker variant when Event #52 starts on June 29th, 2012. That said, here is a closer look at the tournament details along with some Badugi studs who could shine.
Games featured in Event #52 at the WSOP
In addition to Limit Badugi, other games that?ll be featured in this $2,500 buy-in event include the following: No-Limit Hold?em, Seven Card Razz, Limit Hold?em, Seven Card Stud, 2-7 Draw Lowball (No-Limit), Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better, Pot-Limit Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) and Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better.
Tournament Dates and Structure at the WSOP for Badugi
As mentioned before, the 2012 Event #52 tournament opens on June 29th, 2012, and the official starting time is 5:00 pm PST. In regards to the structure of this event, all blind levels last 60 minutes and games change every 8 hands. The order of games has Badugi fourth in every blind level, which means there?s little chance that it will get cut out of any levels.
Last Year?s 10-Game Mix Tournament
The 2011 WSOP 10-Game Mix event saw 431 runners ante up the $2,500 buy-in, which created a $980,525 prize pool. This was the first time in WSOP history that both a 10-Game tournament was held, and Badugi was included in any form on the schedule. Chris Lee proved to be the inaugural 10-Game champion after winning the tourney along with a $254,955 top prize.
What?s interesting is that the online SNG specialist failed to cash in the first 10 tournaments he played in the 2011 WSOP. But Lee more than made up for a slow start by taking first place in the 11th tournament he entered. Following the big win, the Maryland native specifically pointed out that he had a rough time with Badugi due to his inexperience. In fact, Lee had only played live Badugi twice prior to this event; however, he was able to fight through the lack of experience and grab a big win.
Other notable finishes in this tournament came from former Nutrisystem CEO Brian Haveson (2nd, $157,491), noted poker pro Shaun Deeb (4th, $67,146), Baduecey lover Kendall Fukumoto (5th, $45,839) and former Full Tilt pro John D?Agostino (6th, $32,200).
Preview of 2012 WSOP Event #52 10-Game Mix
Shifting to this year, it?s certainly worth taking at look at what players stand a good chance of winning the 2012 WSOP 10-Game Mix tourney ? especially with regards to skilled Badugi players. Assuming the following players enter the tourney, here are some of our favorites to win in 2012:
Shaun Deeb ? After taking fourth place last year, Deeb has definitely got to be a favorite to win the 10-Game Mix event in 2012. He?s more than adept in Badugi since the online poker legend commonly plays tourneys and big cash games in this variant. Besides his Badugi prowess, Deeb also has a pretty good command of the other poker variations that?ll be seen in Event #52.
Ali Eslami ? Shaun Deeb has given his seal of approval on Eslami?s Badugi skills by calling him one of the best Badugi players in the world. Aside from this, Eslami has proven himself in a number of other mixed tournaments like 8-Game and H.O.R.S.E., so look for him to do well in this event.
Chris Lee ? It wouldn?t be right to leave the defending champion out of this discussion. Lee is mostly a No-Limit Hold?em and Pot-Limit Omaha player, but there?s always the chance that he?s sharpened his skills in Badugi and other games since last year.
Barry Greenstein ? Barry is one of the original Badugi experts since he?s been playing this game much longer than most poker pros. Much like Eslami, he has a very good resume in mixed game poker tournaments like H.O.R.S.E. and 8-Game, which makes him a definite candidate to win.
Obviously there?ll be a number of other highly skilled Badugi players who have a shot at taking this event down, but definitely look for Greenstein, Eslami and Deeb. No matter who wins Event $52, it will just be nice to finally see Badugi played in the 2012 WSOP, as well as seeing more Badugi played online too, which you can find places at onlinebadugi.com.