In case you missed it, the WSOP has released the schedule for the 2017 World Series of Poker. This year’s schedule has 74 events with 37 of them straight NL or Limit Hold’em events.
The other 31 events are either mixed events or non-Hold’em tournaments. Some events are legacy events that go back to the early years of the series while others are more recent additions that came about due to the evolution of mixed games.
While the WSOP does its best to offer a solid spread of poker variants, there are still some games that still don’t have their own standalone event but should. Here are five non-Hold’em variants that should have their own event.
One non-Hold’em variant that I am surprised still doesn’t have its own event is Badugi. It is part of three events this summer and has been part of mixed events for the last few years. For a while, it was one of the most popular lowball variants in the game.
Badugi is a four-card lowball variant where the goal is to get one card of each suit without a pair. This is called a Badugi. When multiple players have a Badugi, the lowest Badugi wins. A-2-3-4 rainbow is the best possible Badugi.
Considering its popularity, it is surprising this hasn’t even been given a $1,500 buy-in event. For now, lovers of the game will have to settle for the mixed events.
NL or PL 5 Card Draw
5 Card Draw was all but extinct a few years ago and then some online poker sites decided to start spreading it in PL and NL format. This helped to revive a game that was primarily only played in home games.
NL Draw is presently offered in Dealer’s Choice but it is a game that may do decent as a $1,500 event. Personally, I think that PL Draw would draw a bit better because it offers a bit more gamble but either format would be welcome.
A game that isn’t anywhere on the WSOP schedule but maybe should be is Crazy Pineapple. For those not familiar with the game, it is very similar to Texas Hold’em but with a couple of differences.
First, you get three hole card. After the flop, you discard one of those cards and continue playing just like standard Hold’em. This game add a bit more gamble pre-flop and on the flop thanks to the third hole card. It is a nice bridge between Hold’em and Omaha poker that is a fun change of pace.
Stud Hi-Lo Regular
A game that has reemerged at the WSOP thanks to Dealer’s Choice is Stud Hi-Lo Regular. The primary difference between this game and Stud 8 or Better is that there’s no qualifier for low. This is basically a mix of Stud High and Razz.
Granted, the main knock to this game would be that there will almost always be a split pot unless someone has a scoop worthy hand. With that said, the game will generate a bit more action than Stud 8 due to the fact that there’s always a low regardless.
Big O is a popular form of Omaha Poker with five hole cards rather than four. Due to the insane number of pre-flop combinations, this is a game where you should be playing for the nuts more often than in standard Omaha.
The game is one of the fastest growing non-Hold’em variants in poker and is now part of both Dealer’s Choice and the new Big Bet Mix. Due to the growing popularity, this is one game that should draw well. Just look at how PL Omaha Hi-Lo has grown in recent years and the WSOP can expect much of the same from Big O.