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WSOP $1,500 Badugi gold bracelet goes to Prociak

6 Jun 2024

David Prociak

David Prociak (photo by WSOP)

A total of 478 entrants came out to play WSOP Event #11: $1,500 Badugi at the 2024 World Series of Poker at Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas. This is the second year that this event has been played, and the prize pool ballooned up to $650,145, which was shared by the final 74 players. Just 10 players returned for the final day to play for a bracelet and the first-place prize of $129,676.

David Prociak came into the finale as a one-time WSOP bracelet winner and left the day adding another bracelet to his already decorated resume. After holding the majority of the chips four-handed, Prociak put on a dominant chip-leading performance as he ascended to the top of the counts to claim a second title.

"I have two fourths, two thirds, two seconds, and now I have two firsts," the newest Badugi champion said, beaming. Last year, Prociak finished in second place in two events, the $1,500 Mixed NLH/PLO, and the $1,500 Short Deck. "It feels great; winning one could be a fluke. Winning two, you just can't be a fluke. Coming in second twice last year sucked; now I feel like I can actually take in some compliments."

Prociak's cashes at the WSOP date back to 2016, when he won his first WSOP bracelet in Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo. His results are in all manner of events, whether it be hold'em, PLO, or any assortment of mixed games. "Poker is poker; figuring out the game is just figuring out the game. Yes, all the games are unique, but they are similar. 'Is it value, is it a bluff?' Then just figuring out what's in between. That's the hardest part of the game and I think that I have a good gauge of where I am in between with most players."

"This tournament was crazy, I was very locked in," he continued, talking about the period before the dinner break when he did not have the lead. "There were some close hands before the dinner break that I lost, but I was never out. I was texting friends and saying that, 'I'm down to average stack, but I'm still in there.' Then I went on a run and people let me do my thing."

"Having a supportive rail really helps," said Prociak as he motioned to his girlfriend Brittney Barnes and the other friends on the rail supporting him. "The most people on the rail I have ever had was five people, so this was a big change." Prociak's plans for the WSOP haven't changed much as he mentions that every event he can play, he will play for the duration of the summer.

Coming into the day, Day 1 chip leader Joseph Wagganer had been pushed down the shortest stack and struggled to gain any momentum throughout the day. He ended up clashing with Laurent A Boublil for the last of his chips, but as the final draw came and went, he was unable to beat Boublil's three-card three holding a three-card ten and he ended his run in tenth place for $8,253.

David Stamm became victim to a nasty cooler early in the day against Brandon Cantu when his seven-four was bested by Cantu's six-five, and Stamm fell down to the shortest stack. He managed to secure a double through fellow short stack Yuya Murata, but his run came to an end when he once more ran a seven-four into Cantu who held a six-three. Stamm finished his run in ninth place for $10,683. It was an impressive finish for his first-ever Badugi tournament.

Boublil's early day success did not last long as he lost most of the rest of his chips to Prociak after he hero called him incorrectly. He ended his run in eighth place when his queen-nine ran into Tobias Leknes' seven-five, and the Frenchman collected $10,683 for his efforts.

The unofficial final table of seven was reached, with many of the stacks hovering around the same and Murata as the clear short stack. He got into a tussle for his last chips with Tomasz Gluszko, who held the covering stack. After the draws were done, neither player made a Badugi, and Gluzsko held the winner with his three-card four against Murata's three-card five. Murata ended his run in seventh place for $14,190 and the official final table was set.

The action heated up as Tobias Leknes started the final table with the chip lead, but a few big clashes with some of the other players saw Prociak rise up through the ranks into the chip lead. A constant shuffling on the leaderboard saw Cantu eventually fall to the shortest stack after a hand with Matt Grapenthien.

Cantu could not regain the momentum and he was the next casualty at the final table in sixth place. He ended up losing most of his stack to Edward Yam and then was all in for his last couple of chips against four players. He ended with a jack-six badugi, which was no good against Prociak's eight perfect, and the two-time WSOP bracelet winner collected $19,330.

What followed next was two hours of play with lots of pots shifting around and all the stacks exchanging blows. Grapenthien took some chips to compete with Leknes and Prociak at the top of the leaderboard, while Yam and Gluszko held on as the short stacks, sometimes doubling through the other. Eventually, the pendulum would swing to put Leknes into the driver's seat as the chip leader.

Gluszko's stack would dwindle throughout the next couple of levels and after losing a massive pot to Grapenthien's seven-four, he was down to just a single big blind and forced all in the next hand. Prociak would isolate and both players would draw one on each draw, but Prociak's three-card seven would hold strong for the pot, sending out Gluzko in fifth place for $26,988.

Leknes held the lead after collecting multiple big pots, but Grapenthien put a halt to his momentum and took a couple of large ones off of him. Grapenthien would, in turn, lose some chips to Yam, who would lose them to Prociak, who eventually took a massive 3:1 lead over the field four-handed into dinner break.

Coming back from dinner break, Prociak did not take his foot off of the pedal as he continued to amass chips. Yam took a sizable pot off of Leknes to separate himself from the pack and Prociak took another pot off of Leknes to leave him with just a couple of bets. Leknes eventually got in his final chips with both Prociak and Grapenthien calling. Grapenthien won with a ten-seven, while Leknes' three-card eight was not enough, and the start-of-day chip leader was eliminated in fourth place for $38,597.

Yam would be next to go after multiple clashes with Prociak left him as the shortest stack. In the end, he got his last chips in against Prociak but ended up making a three-card three against Prociak's ten-eight. Prociak took over a 6:1 chip lead into heads-up play against Grapenthien, while Yam finished in third place for $56,508.

It was a heads-up match between two stud bracelet winners, as both Grapenthien and Prociak owned one WSOP bracelet each. Grapenthien won the $10k Seven Card Stud in 2014 and Prociak won the $1,500 Stud Hi-Lo bracelet in 2016. Early in the match, Grapenthien chopped down the deficit between the two of them where Prociak only had him 2:1, but the winds shifted back into his favor shortly after to leave Grapenthien short once more. Eventually, all the chips got into the middle, and Grapenthien held a three-card seven, which was second best against Prociak's queen-jack badugi, and Grapenthien ended his run in the tournament in second place for $84,650.

Final Table Results
1 David Prociak United States $129,676
2 Matt Grapenthien United States $84,650
3 Edward Yam Hong Kong $56,508
4 Tobias Leknes Norway $38,597
5 Tomasz Gluszko Poland $26,988
6 Brandon Cantu United States $19,330

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

 
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