PokerStars Badugi Reviewed
PokerStars.com added Badugi to their software in November 2008 and quickly became the top online poker room for playing Badugi online. The only other online poker sites offering the game are those powered by the Merge Gaming Network. These sites fail to give PokerStars Badugi any competition because, simply put, their sites don’t have the player traffic to support the game.
At PokerStars Badugi is spread eight handed in cash games with only fixed limit betting structured games offered. Tables are available with stakes ranging from $0.25/$.0.50 to $400/$800. While there is decent micro to low stakes action, the higher stakes tables are generally played short handed. During off hours the highest stake game with a decent player count is generally $3/$6, and during peak hours $5/$10 to $40/$80 games will run.
High Stakes players looking for a PokerStars Badugi game can often find Seb86 or a high stakes Triple Draw regular waiting to give action at $100/$200 or $200/$400.
The overall real money PokerStars Badugi ring game traffic count generally ranges from 40 players during off-hours to 120 players during peak-hours.
PokerStars Badugi Tournaments
PokerStars now offers Badugi tournaments as part of their multi table tournament schedule. Unique is the addition of Pot-Limit Badugi tournaments to compete with their traditional fixed limit counterpart. Tournament with buy-ins $11 and below are available every few hours in both the pot-limit and fixed-limit formats. The biggest regularly scheduled fixed-limit Badugi tournament is the $33 buy-in nightly tournament starting at 23:15 Eastern Time, and the biggest regularly scheduled pot-limit Badugi tournament has a $22 buy-in and starts daily at 13:15 Eastern Time.
For a guide to Badugi freerolls at Pokerstars check out this article: Badugi Freerolls
In addition to multi-table tournaments, PokerStars offers Badugi Sit and Goes. These are available both in full ring (eight handed) and one-versus-one heads-up tables. While a wide variety of stakes are offered, traffic is largely concentrated to the micro limits. The $38 Badugi single table tournament game will run if a couple players are willing to sit a while (sometimes hours) waiting for it to fill up.
High Stakes Badugi Tournaments
PokerStars added Badugi to their World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) for the first time in 2009. This $320 buy-in tournament started September 8 at 16:30 ET and was not complete until September 9, 06:24 ET. The event is believed to have been the largest Badugi tournament offered in terms of prize pool at $112,800. When it was said and done, it was well known poker personality Ray Davis (raydavis77 on PokerStars) topping the event’s 375 entrants to walk away with the bracelet and $19,912.00 top place prize money.
If you’re not familiar with Ray David, Dr. Pauly, Paul McGuire wrote a good article on him in Poker Player (read here). Ray Davis is a colorful personality, to say the least, and he is generally well dressed and does a lot to get under the skins of his opponents. He is also a frequent poster at the twoplustwo.com forums.
Pokerstars Badugi and the WSOP
The World Series of Poker still has never hosted a Badugi event. Former commissioner Jeffrey Pollack did state the commission had discussed it for the 2009 WSOP schedule, but the idea was placed on the back-burner. With PokerStars now spreading Badugi, it seems the chances are higher that there will be a 2010 WSOP Badugi event, especially considering Matt Savage added Badugi to the 2010 LA Poker Classic Event which marks the first ever high stakes Badugi tournament played lived. It would make sense for the WSOP to counter this, and when it does happen, rest assured PokerStars will offer satellites to the WSOP Badugi event.