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Tournaments we'd like to see at the WSOP

12 June 2008

Harrah's Entertainment (they haven't switched over to Caesar's yet) does a great job running the World Series of Poker. The tournaments are well organized and run smoothly. And a nice variety of games are offered. But imagine how much more fun the WSOP would be if these games were on the tournament slate...

Badugi

This is the ultimate lowball game for action junkies. During the World Series of Poker, Vegas casinos regularly offer Badugi cash games. In fact, Greg Raymer told ESPN the only he reason he turned at profit at the 2006 WSOP is because of the money he won in $400/$800 B.O.T. (Badugi, Omaha-2-7 Triple Draw) side games. In addition, Badugi generally moves quickly. And given the fact that the No-Limit 2-7 Draw tournament saw a field of all-stars advance deep into the tournament, there's no reason not to think the same wouldn't happen here.

Chinese Poker

Most of the pros already play Chinese Poker for high stakes. Phil Hellmuth famously lost $536,000 in one night to Phil Ivey (imagine that heads-up match for the tournament). And because the game requires all cards to be shown, there's plenty of room for commentary and debate over whether players used optimal strategy in arranging their hands.

The WSOP has offered Chinese Poker before. In 1995, John Tsagaris won the $1,500 event and Steve Zolotow won the $5,000 event. In 1996, Gregory Grivas won the $1,500 event and Jim Feldhouse won the $5,000.

Five-card draw

This is the first game most poker players learned as a kid. And offering a bracelet event in five-card draw would give everyone, players and fans alike, a chance to revisit the nostalgia of childhood. The event would also stand a good chance of attracting casual poker fans, because almost everyone understands five-card draw. The trick here is to sell it to the pros, who no doubt will find the game to juvenile or simplistic for their tastes.

B.O.R.E.D.

Mixed-game tournaments are in vogue right now, and this one would be a doozy, with every game featuring a low. Badugi, Omaha 8, Razz, Stud 8 and 2-7 Triple Draw (yes, we know this is usually a T, but the acronym works better with a D for deuce. Just work with us) form an intriguing mix of games. In Badugi and Triple Draw, there will be tons of action with three drawing rounds apiece. In Omaha 8 and Stud 8, you have two more traditional split-pot games. And Razz is great lowball stud game.

Guts

Some poker players are just poker players. Some poker players are gamblers. And this tournament is for the latter. Could you imagine Phil Ivey playing Guts. He'd never fold. And the TV audiences for this fantastic home game would be astronomical. Everyone has played this at some point. And watching professional gamblers play this for high stakes would be outstanding.

Tournaments we'd like to see at the WSOP is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Best of Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.

Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.