BadgerPro, a top MTT professional, recently entered the WCOOP Event #2: 5 Card Draw. He Final Tabled the event and recieved a 5th place finish for over $6,000. Interestingly enough, Badger hadn’t played 5 Card Draw seriously before he entered the event, but managed to use his knowledge of other games to help him excel.
DS: So tell me a little bit about yourself and your poker story
BadgerPro: I played casually through college (UW-Madison) for about 3 years and finally decided to go full time in Decemeber 2005. Played a lot of mid limits full ring about .5/1 and 1/2 and a lot of MTTs. Probably a 50/50 mix. Beginning in about 2007 I’ve switched to more cash games playing maybe 75% cash at limits as high as 5/10nl. I’ve also switched to 6max in the early spring
DS: What have your career earnings been so far?
DS: And What has been your biggest MTT score?
BadgerPro: Through MTTs it’s been about 150k and cash about another 100k. Biggest MTT score was 75k in the Titan million last July.
BadgerPro: 3rd place
DS: ): I saw you type at the table that you had never played 5cd before the event, is that true?
BadgerPro: Yeah, the most experience I’ve had is casual home games which is a completely different from playing an online tourney.
BadgerPro: different game*
DS: Having never played 5cd, why did you decide to enter into the event?
BadgerPro:): I was in the 6max event that started an hour earlier and figured 5CD would be fun to play. Also, I figured that most of the 800+ entrants probably didn’t have much more experience than I did.
DS: So did you look up 5cd strategy or did you just pick it up as you went along?
BadgerPro: I spent about 30 minutes googling ‘5 card draw strategy’ and also read through the limit 5CD section of Super System. It helped a little as far as starting hands and some basic strategy. I made a few mistakes in the first hour or two but with the deep structure I was able to learn from them quick without putting my tourney life at any risk
DS: Did you use concepts of other games such as hold’em to pick up on the strategy as well?
BadgerPro: I used my background from and experience from other games. Since it was a pot limit event a huge concept I carried over was pot size control. Keeping the pots small with mediocre hands and only really pushing the action with my bigger hands. Also, paying attention to people’s hand ranges and what they are opening and 3betting with was a big part.
BadgerPro: A lot of the people would go broke with mediocre hands while others wouldn’t get it in with less than a decent set of trips
BadgerPro: Also, watching which players were trappy made a big difference.
DS: Did you feel like you had a big edge over the rest of the players? Did anyone give you trouble?
BadgerPro: I felt as it came down to the end I was always at least the best or second best player at my table. The guys who were playing looser and more aggressive gave me the most trouble. The only player in specific who gave me the most trouble was the guy who eventually took me out, pesuedo (or something like that). I never really felt he was better than me but he was to my direct left having great position on my the two tables we played at and always seemed to get dealt a better set of trips when I did.
BadgerPro: It happened twice in my SB to his BB finally knocking me out when I had 777 to his JJJ.
DS: I noted that most of the tables were rock tight, what kind of hands were you opening preflop?
BadgerPro: On the button I was opening TT or better everytime and sometimes as light as AK. Also, any 4 flush or 4 straight I brought in for a raise. I would open AA from any position and anything stronger. If both blinds were tight I would open almost any pair from the button. If any of the tighter players called I slowed way down post draw though.
DS: What did you think of heybude?
BadgerPro: You were one of the tougher guys when we were at the same table. We each 3bet the other guy a few times and I remember 3betting you with a mediocre two pair hand and having to fold to your 4bet. I stayed away from raising your blind light.
DS: What did you think of spierulum.at, the eventual winner?
BadgerPro: He played a tight solid game. I thought he overplayed AAxxx and KKxxx hands though preflop a lot. He 3bet those hands twice from the blinds against an EP raiser and was lucky to not be dominated the few times he did it. I had two chances to knock him out when he did this but he out drew my delt two pair once and I missed a gutshot straight flush draw the other time. I felt he was pretty easy to read as he never really disguised where he was.
DS: When you reached the final table did you like your chances?
BadgerPro: Yeah, I really did. I’ve played NL holdem with PairDboard21 a few times in tourneys and I knew he was a strong player but he was coming in short and I had position on him. He also went out early when he ran JJJxx into pesuedo’s KKKxx.
DS: At one point in the tournament did you think to yourself “LOL donkaments”?
BadgerPro: Yeah, as we made the money and I started to build a stack toward the end my roommate, basebaldy, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculous of my run depsite having never played the game before.
BadgerPro: My two plus two sweat threads was titled “drawaments” obviously adopted from the ‘lol donkaments’
DS: Obviously, you’ve been through possible huge cashes before, did you call any family members or having anyone come over to your place to see if you could make some big money?
BadgerPro: The WCOOP tourneys end so early in the morning that I didn’t call any family members at the time. The WCOOP FT broadcasts are going to be archived so I will give them the link to that though. I usually wait until the tourney is over before calling any family members.
Being a mod at 2+2 anytime I’m deep in a tourney I usually have a pretty big following of other online poker players who I’m good friends with and many who I only know casually. Also living with another full time poker player usually always means there’s someone around to rail.
BadgerPro: If I do go deep in either of the next two Sunday WCOOP events I may call my parents, family, or friends to let them know as they will probably be up and getting ready for with how late the tourneys will run.
BadgerPro: ready for work*
DS: What do you think of how long the WCOOP tournaments have been lasting? There has been outcry for two day tournaments or faster blind levels, but PS has argued that no one at the Final Table has complained. What is your stance on this?
BadgerPro: Players are always complaining about how they want deeper starting stacks and longer structures. Now that they have them I find it ridiculous that people are complaining. Stars has done a great job with WCOOP structure this year in my opinion. The WCOOP only runs once a year so having the tourneys run 20+ hours is fine.
DS: Although this wasn’t a large cash for you compared to others in the past, what are you planning to do with the money?
BadgerPro: Nothing special with this cash. I’ve had quite a few 10k+ cashes and while I don’t laugh at a 6k cash it’s not going to change too much for me.
DS: How many WCOOP events are you planning to enter?
BadgerPro:): The weekends the WCOOP has run this year came at a bad time for me since I had some other commitments. I don’t play any of the limit games either. I’m probably only playing about 8 events or so this year.
DS: I assume the ME is included?
BadgerPro:): Yeah, right now I’m planning to play the ME. I’m headed to Aruba for the Ultimate Bet tourney down there since my roommate quailfied and I’m just going along for the vacation. As long as I have an internet connection while down there I should be in it.
DS: What do you see as the future for you and 5 card draw?
BadgerPro: I probably won’t play it too much more. It will probably be a WCOOP only type thing for me.
DS: Last Question: It the final 2 of the ME. It’s down to you and MTT pro busto_soon. You’re 40bb deep and even stacked. Who wins?
BadgerPro: Haha, I have plenty of respect for busto’s game but I’m gonna take myself.
BadgerPro: I’d be willing to chop it even with him though as I’d rather not play HU for that much money against another good player right now.
DS: Alright well thank you for your time, the interview was great and I wish you luck in Aruba as well as the rest of the WCOOP
BadgerPro: Thanks bro