Volume 31 • Number 15 • May 8, 2000
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2000 Champion

RICHARD DUNBERG


Event #15 Results
ACE-TO-FIVE LOWBALL
$1,500 Buy-in
$1,500 in chips
1. Richard Dunberg$76,200
2. Roger Van Driesen38,100
3. Bill Boston19,050
4. John Spadavecchia11,430
5. Dave Inhofe9,525
6. Kevin Spillane7,620
7. Richard Savitt5,720
8. Jack Fox3,815
9. Randy Jacobson2,855
10. Kyle Larsen2,855
11. William Chen2,855
12. Mark Tenner2,855
13. Dr. Will Noyes1,905
14. Norman Ketchum1,905
15. David Allred1,905
16. George Bofysil1,905

Total Prize Pool: $190,500
Number of Entrants: 127 rebuys


Entries to Date: 3,003
Prize Money to Date: $6,328,000

"WHAT KIND OF GAME IS THIS?"

By Mike Paulle

Until the mid-80's Lowball was the only game allowed in California cardrooms. So, of course, everyone knew how to play it. Now, even if they still know how to play Lowball, few choose to play the game. It just moves to slowly for modern tastes. But as a tournament event, Lowball is making a comeback to the World Series. "It will only get bigger," says Tournament Director Bob Thompson.

There were 127 entrants in the $1,500 Buy-In, Lowball for a total prize pool of $190,500. 2 tables were paid, a total of 16 players.

Richard Dunberg just barely made the Final Table Saturday night. He paired his 8 as an all-in hand. Normally that would have bee all she wrote. But miraculously Dunberg's opponent drew two pair. That cost Randy Jacobson a seat and we moved to Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, Roger Van Driesen started with a chip lead over bracelet winner John Spadavecchia. In what turned out to be a critical play, Richard Dunberg's survival to squeeze into 8th place held portent for Roger Van Driesen.

THE FINAL TABLE: 32 mins left of 80. The blinds are $800/$1,500
PlayerHometownChip Count
Seat 1 John SpadavecchiaN Miami Beach FL$35,200
Seat 2 Kevin SpillaneCounty Cork, Ireland$22,800
Seat 3 Dave InhofeTulsa OK$17,600
Seat 4 Jack FoxReno NV$10,800
Seat 5 Roger Van DriesenTitusville NJ$49,600
Seat 6 Richard DunbergLong Beach CA$9,600
Seat 7 Richard SavittVisalia CA$24,400
Seat 8 Bill BostonGainesville FL$21,000

As the joke goes, there is nothing wrong with drawing dead if you have pot odds. It's a joke, ok? It doesn't have to make sense. Unfortunately for Jack Fox, he didn't even have pot odds when he drew dead. Actually, in fairness to the popular Reno lawyer, he wasn't drawing entirely dead on his all-in hand. But close. Fox had Q J and didn't want to draw two cards against Roger Van Driesen who drew only one. Fox craftily threw only the Queen away, thereby making sure he was drawing to a Jack low (So many Jacks in this paragraph!). Van Driesen was drawing to a 10. Roger only needed a card lower than a 10 that didn't pair him to pen Fox into 8th.

As the railbirds said, Richard Savitt wasn't outplayed, he just couldn't make any hands. Starting 3rd in chips, Richard finished a disappointed 7th when his all-in 9 7 lost to Roger Van Driesen's 7 5.

Irishman Kevin Spillane had the line of the day. After being knocked out of the event in 6th, Kevin went over to his friend and fellow Irishman Padraig Parkinson (3rd in the 1999 Championship Final) and said, "That guy plays with a joker! What kind of game is this?" Spillane went all-in understandably with a pat 8 6. Bill Boston showed him a 7 5 with a Joker to take the mystery out of Kevin's finish. They don't play Lowball at all in Europe, so Spillane (who plays Stud High in Ireland) took great last-minute instructions by Parkinson. Padraig told Kevin to pretend he was playing 5-Card Stud and "was on a terrible run." That perfectly describes Lowball.

He looked pretty clean to us, but Dave Inhofe's nickname is 'Dirty Dave.' It was Richard Dunberg who done Dave dirty, however. Inhofe went all-in with his last $2,000 tossing away a King and pairing an Ace in return. Dave's 9 low draw had little chance at best as Dunberg drew one and turned over a 7 6.

Based on past WSOP experience and beginning chip count, John Spadavecchia may have been rated the favorite to win at this table. But John couldn't pick up a hand. Like everyone else at the table, except Richard Dunberg, John couldn't beat the incendiary Roger Van Driesen, either. Spadavecchia forced the action by reraising and going pat with a 10 9 all-in. Van Driesen was catching all cards at the time. He drew one and showed Spadavecchia the door with a 6 4.

After Bill Boston went out 3rd on almost the identical scenario, heads up play began between the first and the worst. Roger Van Driesen started this table first in chip count with $49,600. Richard Dunberg started worst with $9,400. By the time there were only two players left Van Driesen had $120,000, Dunberg $70,000.

Roger Van Driesen is a strong positional player that bluffs at pots a lot. "I got too aggressive early," Roger said. "I'm used to playing with players who play faster." Back East where Roger plays, his aggressive style works well. "I knew I was all right when he quit showing me 9 7," Professional sports bettor Richard Dunberg said afterward. Each player took commanding chip leads at one point or another, but eventually the steady, grinding play of Richard Dunberg prevailed to win the bracelet and 1st prize money. Ace-To-Five Lowball is back in the World Series. But many onlookers will be heard saying, "They play with Jokers. What kind of game is this?"

Internet coverage of the 2000 World Series of Poker is brought to you as a service of ConJelCo with the full and active cooperation of Binion's Horseshoe. ©2000 Binion's Horseshoe • some portions © 2000 ConJelCo