Michael Rodrigues Becomes First Badugi Champion in Event #20: $1,500 Badugi

Michael Rodrigues

Event #20: $1,500 Badugi at the 2023 Word Series of Poker (WSOP) at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas attracted an astounding 516 runners, generating a total prize pool of $688,860. On Saturday, June 10th, the last three players returned for an unscheduled fourth day, all vying for the $144,678 first-place prize and coveted WSOP gold bracelet accompanying it.

After less than one hour of play, Michael Rodrigues of Portugal came out on top, defeating start-of-day chip leader Yingui Li in heads-up play to secure the largest live tournament cash of his career. A visibly emotional Rodrigues lifted his hands to the sky as the last, title-clinching pot was shipped his direction.

For Rodrigues, the win was especially meaningful as it means he will go down in history as the person to win the first-ever bracelet event dedicated entirely to Badugi, so at least until next year, he can credibly claim to be the best Badugi player in the world.

2023 WSOP Event #20: $1,500 Badugi Final Table Results

1Michael RodriguesPortugal$144,678
2Yingui LiChina$89,415
3Serhii PopovychUnited States$59,879
4Matt VengrinUnited States$40,996
5Danny TangHong Kong$28,270
6Owais AhmedUnited States$20,557

Day 3 Final Table Action

Day 3 was originally slated to be the last day of the tournament and began with 13 players. It took several hours for the field to be cut down to the unofficial final table of seven. Shortly after, the official final table was set courtesy of Lee Horton's elimination in 7th place.

The first casualty of the final table was Owais Ahmed after he was unable to improve his three card hand against Rodrigues.

From that point, play continued five-handed for an incredible four hours before one-time tournament chip leader Danny Tang finally succumbed to eventual runner-up Li in fifth place.

Yingui Li
Yingui Li

Unlike many of the other players at the final table, Matt Vengrin never really established himself as a clear chip leader, instead finding various ways to stick around and outlast his competitors. His run did, however, come to an end in fourth place after getting his last few chips into the middle against Serhii Popovych prior to the first draw.

Momentum for each of the final three players ebbed and flowed over the course of the last few levels of the night before the tournament director chose to intervene, halting play at the end of Level 35 to set up a Day 4 showdown for the bracelet.

Final Day Action

Popovych entered Day 4 as the short stack and struggled to get much going, exiting in 3rd place after running into Li's better three card hand to setup a heads-up match between Li and Rodrigues.

Li came into heads-up play with a slight chip advantage but quickly relinquished his lead after Rodrigues picked off a bold bluff. From that point, everything seemed to go the Portuguese pro's way as he took down several pots to leave Li short. It did not take long for Rodrigues to finish the job, ultimately securing the win after being dealt seven badugi.

Although Li will undoubtedly be disappointed he was not able to clear the final hurdle, he can look for consolation in the form of the $89,415 runner-up prize to add to his $805,515 in career earnings.

Congratulation to Michael Rodrigues on winning Event #20: $1,500 Badugi! Be sure to keep it with PokerNews as its live reporting team continues to provide comprehensive coverage of all bracelet events at the 2023 World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas.

Michael RodriguesWINNER
Michael Rodrigues

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