Poker Players

Michael Rodrigues wins WSOP inaugural Badugi bracelet

Badugi is a poker variant that’s beginning to capture the interest of players everywhere

In its debut at the WSOP, Michael Rodrigues emerged victorious with the first WSOP Badugi bracelet. Against 516 entries in the WSOP $1,500 Badugi event, the Portuguese player conquered the competition and took home a total of $144,678 in winnings. This significant win marked not only Rodrigues’ first bracelet victory, but also his first triumph in a live tournament.

In recent years, Badugi has become a popular option for dealer’s choice events. This triple-draw game requires players to try and form a four-card hand using one card from each suit, with the goal of achieving the lowest possible hand.

Earlier this year, Rodrigues narrowly missed out on a title, settling for second place in the European Poker Tour Paris No Limit event, which earned him a career-best $76,505. With this new triumph, he has now accumulated almost $450,000 in winnings.

Rodrigues has made it to the top 200 of the 2023 Card Player of the Year competition by clinching the second position this year, earning 1,116 POY points this season. Despite being the first stand-alone Badugi event at the WSOP, unique styles of small ball games have made their mark in the past.

By the end of Day 3, only three players remained, namely Yingui Li in the lead and Rodrigues in second place. The four unscheduled days wrapped up quickly, with a contentious hour-long battle ending in Rodrigues’ victory over the bottom three. Li and Serhii Popovych had a match where Popovych was dismissed in just 30 minutes, leaving only Li and Rodrigues to do battle.

Li’s stack surged to 7,250,000 while Rodrigues lagged behind at 5,650,000 as the former maneuvered adeptly. Despite an initial challenge by Rodrigues, Li grabbed the opportunity to break away. The concluding round saw Li initiate a raise from the button, which was met with Rodrigues’ similar action from the big blind. As Rodrigues’ odds dwindled, the cards fell in his favor and handed him the victory.

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