"Badugi? What the hell is Badugi?" Those were the words I was thinking after I asked a floorman at the Bicycle Club in LA what games they played in the $60/$120 mixed games. Actually I was thinking "This guy is the worst floorman ever!"
I said "what games are they playing the the $60/$120 mixed games?" He looked at me like I'd asked him if he'd be willing to drop his pants so I could smack him on his bare ass. It was a simple question. Then I pointed to the table and said "what games are they playing in the mixed games?" After another moment of staring at me blankly he said "uuuuhhhhhhhhhh. Hold'em. Triple draw. Badugi. And sometimes Omaha."
It was the sometimes Omaha that really wowed me. Sometimes Omaha? What they hell does that mean? Tell me what games those ass holes in the corner are playing right now!
Also I'd been a professional poker player for some time and I had never even heard of badugi. Not a whisper from any other players, no websites spread it, and Cardplayer had never mentioned it in the years that I'd been reading it. It sounded like he just made up a word. Saying that Candy Land was one of the games would have made more sense to me.
Later I found out what it was and now I'm going to tell you! Every player gets 4 cards and you get three draws where you can throw away cards from your hand and replace them with new ones. Your goal is to make the lowest hand possible. Aces are low and straights don't count against you. But here is the thing that makes it interesting. If you have two cards of the same suit you can only use one of them!
So the best hand is A 2 3 4 with four different suits. But if 3 and 4 are both the same suit you have a 3 card hand and ANY hand with 4 different suits (and no pairs) will beat you. If you have three cards of the same suit, anyone who has three suits represented will beat you.
It's a really goofy game and it hasn't really caught on. To my knowledge this $320 tournament will have the biggest prize pool of any badugi tournament ever played (unless some rich goofs got together any played one privately for absurd stakes).
I wasn't going to play it, but I won my $320 seat via a $41 satellite. I don't know how much I like my chances, but they can't be that bad. Just based on some of the plays I saw in the satellite and in the first 10 minutes of the main tournament it's clear that a few players have no clue. Regardless it should be fun!
Mixed hold'em not going great so far. Down to 3,000 from 5,000.