Red's Ramblings, Event #5 — $20 Limit 7-Card Stud High-Low, 8 or Better
by Mark "The Red" Harlan
RGP Open Event #5 was a 7-Card Stud High/Low event with a $20 buy-in and a custom-made 2000 starting chips and 20 minute levels.
If you think of Hold 'Em as the professionally-bred bull of the poker open range, 7-Stud H/L would be something more akin to the two-headed cow that's left in an unseen part of the valley. Not heavily studied, nor analyzed, it's devilishly difficult to master, but that didn't keep away 25 players for the earlier-than-normal start.
The tournament seemed to be characterized by phases. What was a brickyard in the early stages, became a river-rafting party midway, and morphed into a grinding end where one bad-chasing call put down more than one victim.
After nearly five hours of play, five players were left fighting for the four money prizes: A Webb, pokerchimp, RAD, richship and TARKUS. RAD, richship and TARKUS were all in the unenviable position of being short-stacked with an ante of 100 and betting levels of 500 and 1000. With the stage thus set, the gnashing of teeth and the baring of souls was just around the corner ...
As the final firefight started, RAD fended off an series of bets putting him all-in against A Webb with a gnarly 2-3-4-5-6 versus trip queens.
The next all-in play wouldn't be so fortunate. Richship found himself with (2c Kh) 3s and a forced bring-in sandwiched between A Webb with (2h 9d) 9h and pokerchimp playing (7c 5d) 4c. Figuring it was now or never, he came in for a full bet, only to get raised all-in by A Webb and a call from the poker simian. One tension setting bet was made on fourth street by pokerchimp's Ad and called quickly by A Webb's Kc while richship took the Ac. Remaining cards were checked-through and left the following hands: richship (2c Kh) 3s 3s Ac 4s 8d (Qh), A Webb (2h 9d) 9h Kc 3c Jh (6h), and pokerchimp (7c 5d) 4c Ad 6s Ks (Qs). Caught between high and low, rich's ship had hit the rocks—just away from, but in sight of, the treasure chests.
A few hands later TARKUS found himself staring at an all-red (3h 6h) Kh versus pokerchimp's hidden pair of (Qs Qc) 3s. He decided to fire up the tank and raised out A Webb's bring-in, but couldn't shake the card playing ape. Now all-in TARKUS could only watch as the cards peeled to give him three snowmen (3h 6h) Kh 8h 8s 8c (5c) while simultaneously giving the chimp a set of ladies (Qs Qc) 3s Jd Qd 9c (7d). For the second RGP tourney in a row, TARKUS went out with the bottom cash prize of $50 (the third time the prog-rock armadillo has tasted money in the RGP Open).
That left leave RAD at the mercy of the table. Throughout the later tourney he'd caught bring-in after bring-in and yet, through extreme patience (or possibly a fright-induced coma) he'd managed to stay clear of betting hands that simply weren't worthy. Holding (2c 3d) 6h, and out-stacked roughly 10-to-1 by all other players, he decided to raise and re-raise all-in against A Webb's (3c 5h) 2h and the chimp's (10c Jc) Qh. Fourth street brought a 7c for RAD, an 8h for the chimp and 10h for Webb. Pokerchimp bet the inside straight draw and got a call from A Webb. Fifth street brought a pairing J's for pokerchimp and an ensuing bet; resulting in a not only a drop, but mild chastisement from A Webb's 9c. Remaining cards gave pokerchimp trip jacks, but only a pairs of his 3's with no low for RAD. He left not only with $85 but also with more smoking holes in his vest than any other player of the tourney.
This would set the final duel of A Webb against pokerchimp, and although A Webb started at roughly a 2-to-3 chip deficit he ground slowly back, helped along greatly by a large number of starting pairs.
At roughly even, there was a large pot in contention. With an ante of 160 and betting at 800/1600, bets were made, raised and occasionally re-raised to show the following up-cards A Webb 7s 4h 6d Kc and pokerchimp 5d 4s Js 5h. Seventh street was check-called by the pokerchimp and when A Webb revealed he'd hit trip 6's on fifth street, the chimp mucked—scooping A Webb a nearly 20k pot. Only the chimp knows what she had, but the world knows that the hand was brutal enough to bring her evolutionary cycle to close. At the tourney's end a few hands later, she was sent home with $140 for monkey chow.
All of which meant that A Webb came from behind to take $225 and the RGP Open #5 title—his second money finish in the Open.