It's the game that was played by Civil War soldiers, Wild Bill Hickok, and painted dogs on a 1903 calendar. The original poker game -- five-card draw -- here finding a place in the 21st-century virtual card rooms at PokerStars as part of the wildly popular SCOOP series. And despite the attractions of no-limit hold'em and other more popular, modern variants, draw can still draw, as evidenced by the turnouts for Event #6.
The "low" version of the no-limit five-card draw event cost $11 to play, and 4,883 players took up the invitation, thereby creating a $48,830 prize pool -- nearly twice the $25K guarantee. The top 660 finishers would come away from their five-card draw experience with a profit, with $7,449.46 due the winner.
Once the money bubble burst there were still three representatives of Team PokerStars in the hunt, although one -- Marcin "Goral" Horecki -- would soon be gone in 652nd for a $17.09 min-cash. Henrique "Henrique.P" Pinho made it much deeper before finally falling in 127th ($43.94).
That left just one player with the red spade to battle onward, the WCOOP/SCOOP superhero Anders "Donald" Berg of Team Online. Berg battled with an average stack as the field shrunk below 100, then began to move upwards, establishing himself on the first page of the counts as the tourney wore on.
With 50 left, "Donald" was in the top 20, and once the field was whittled to 35 Berg had already been in the top 10 for a while. By then it was Born2Ca$h leading all as the only player with more than 2 million chips, with serzhinho the nearest challenger with a little under 1.6 million.
As they crossed the 11-hour mark of the tourney just a dozen remained, with Berg still there with an average stack and SLAH 97 having pushed ahead of Born2Ca$h to sit in the top spot with more than 6 million.
Over the next half-hour five more fell -- valetudo22 (12th, $402.84), comeback17 (11th, $402.84), Zach Loh (10th, $402,84), pesho_lulin7 (9th, $512.17), and bustos14 (8th, $512.17), with SLAH 97 staying in front while Berg slipped to short-stacked status.
Finally with blinds at 50,000/100,000, "Donald" shoved his last 215,434 and got one caller in Mazinho1977. Both players took two cards, and in the end Mazinho1977's pair of sevens bested Berg's pair of fours, sending the latter out in 7th ($512.17).
The final table was set.
Seat 1: carabinatos -- 80,524
Seat 2: PUCIPUCO -- 3,040,763
Seat 3: Mazinho1977 -- 2,707,177
Seat 4: SLAH 97 -- 7,535,520
Seat 5: Born2Ca$h -- 4,584,692
Seat 6: serzhinho -- 6,466,324
On the very first hand of the final table, carabinatos called all in for his total stack of just over 80,000 from UTG, and Mazinho1977 reraised to 400,000 a couple of seats over to force folds all around.
carabinatos took three cards while Mazinho1977 took two, and they tabled their cards. Both had made a pair of aces, but Mazinho1977's A♥A♣K♣T♦6♦ meant he had a better second kicker than carabinatos with A♦A♠K♥9♠7♠, sending the latter out in sixth.
A little while later the blinds were 70k/140k when PUCIPUCO open-shoved for 840,319 from UTG, getting a single caller in serzhinho in the big blind. Both players took three, then serzinho turned over Q♠Q♥Q♦9♣7♦ for trip queens, better than PUCIPUCO's A♠A♣4♠4♥6♣ to eliminate him in fifth.
After a while the remaining four found themselves all hovering above or below the 6 million-chip mark, inspiring Mazinho1977 to remark on the fact and to suggest they perhaps consider looking at the numbers for a chop. Not everyone was on board, though, and play continued.
A half-hour later Born2Ca$h had tipped things back in his favor, pushing up over 11 million while SLAH 97 and Mazinho1977 slipped back to below average stacks. Then with the blinds at 100,000/200,000, serzhinho raised to 400,000 from UTG, then SLAH 97 shoved from the small blind for 2,907,945. It folded back to serzhinho who called, and SLAH 97 discarded two cards while serzhinho threw away one.
At showdown SLAH 97 turned over K♦K♠A♦4♥3♥ for kings, but serzhinho had K♥K♣5♣5♠Q♠ for two pair and SLAH 97 was gone in fourth.
A while after that a hand arose in which Born2Ca$h called a big post-draw bet by Mazinho1977 holding two pair while the latter had but king-high. That left Mazinho1977 with only 575,177 -- just over two big blinds. On the next hand, Born2Ca$h min-raised from the button, serzhinho called from the small blind, Mazinho1977 pushed all in for a little more and both of his opponents called.
serzhinho and Born2Ca$h each took three cards while Mazinho1977 took two, and when serzhinho showed 6♣6♣4♦4♥2♦ the others mucked and Mazinho1977 was out in third.
Heads-up play began with Born2Ca$h leading with 15,394,950 to serzhinho's 9,020,050. After just a few hands serzhinho pulled even, but Born2Ca$h pushed back out in front, chipping up over 19.7 million to serzhinho's 4.7 million. Then, just over 13 hours after the tourney began, the final hand was dealt.
Born2Ca$h started it with a 2x raise to 500,000 and serzhinho called, taking two cards to Born2Ca$h's three. Born2Ca$h led for 750,000, serzhinho made it 2,193,750, Born2Ca$h pushed all in, and serzhinho called.
serzhinho turned over A♠A♣2♥2♣9♥ for aces up, but Born2Ca$h had 6♦6♥6♣5♦2♣ for trips to take the pot, the title, and the SCOOP watch.
With such a name, it just had to be, didn't it? Congratulations to Born2Ca$h, a SCOOP champion in five-card draw -- the version of the game played when poker was born.
2012 SCOOP Event 6-Low, $11 Five-Card Draw results:
1st: Born2Ca$h ($7,449.46)
2nd: serzhinho ($5,371.30)
3rd: Mazinho1977 ($3,906.40)
4th: serzhinho ($2,473.23)
5th: PUCIPUCO ($1,464.90)
6th: carabinatos ($781.28)
As more events complete, the SCOOP leaderboard is starting to take shape. Take a look to see who is on top here in the early going.