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Aaron Todd

Aaron  Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

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The "S" in H.O.R.S.E. with David Williams

27 Jun 2007

By Aaron Todd

While the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the World Series of Poker has increased the visibility of mixed games, there are plenty of poker fans who only know about poker because of televised coverage, which has focused almost exclusively on No Limit Texas Hold'em.

As part of our coverage of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the WSOP, we're examining each game played in H.O.R.S.E., starting with Limit Hold'em on the first day of the five-day tournament and ending with Seven Card Stud Eight or Better on the tournament's final day.

We talked to five players, each with a WSOP bracelet in a different poker variation included in H.O.R.S.E., and they shared some wisdom on how to play the game and how it fits into the overall structure of a H.O.R.S.E. tournament.

Day Four: Seven Card Stud
David Williams is best known for finishing second to Greg Raymer in the 2004 WSOP Main Event. While he fell just short in the big one three years ago, Williams claimed a WSOP bracelet in Seven Card Stud last year. He is one of the top overall players in the world, and plays multiple games well, from No Limit Hold'em to 2-7 Draw.

CCT: Other than the basic rules and structure of the game, what is the first lesson a player should learn about Seven Card Stud?

David Williams: Don't call with dead cards.

CCT: What is the most common mistake that players, even experienced players, make in Seven Card Stud?

David Williams: Not knowing when to give up and fold on fifth street.

CCT: Do you need to catch cards to play well in Seven Card Stud? Or can you chase people out of pots with well-timed bluffs?

David Williams: You generally need to catch well because bluffing is hard in limit poker. Starting with premium hands makes it easier to catch well.

CCT: Are people generally better or worse at playing Seven Card Stud than they are at the other games in H.O.R.S.E?

David Williams: Worse. Stud is the hardest game in the mix.

CCT: How important is Seven Card Stud in the overall structure of a H.O.R.S.E. tournament? Can you be a good H.O.R.S.E. player and be really bad a Seven Card Stud?

David Williams: Three-fifths of the games have a stud base so it's very important. You can still be good at the other four, but it's usually a good idea to be good at all five.

CCT: Conversely, if you are an excellent Seven Card Stud player, how does that impact your chances in a H.O.R.S.E. tournament?

David Williams: Being a good stud player usually translates into the R and E well, so you're good at three games. Stud is also the hardest game, so if you are good at it you have a nice edge over the other players.

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