Jeff Lisandro: The King of stud

January 21, 2010 by Dan Brown in Stud Poker
Jeff Lisandro

Jeff Lisandro - The King of Stud Poker

Over the past ten years, stud had been in danger of becoming poker’s forgotten game. The rise in popularity of games such as Texas Hold’em and Pot-limit Omaha threatened to force one of poker’s oldest variants to take a backseat but one man could have reignited the seven-card stud flame and that is Jeff Lisandro.

Born in Australia but now residing in Salerno, Italy, Lisandro is a highly respected cash game specialist, making his living by grinding out hundreds of hands, day after day. He is also a well-known face on the tournament circuit and his first recognised cash was back in 1995 when he came 5th out of 113 entrants at the Festival of Poker in London for a £1,200 score.

Despite being proficient in most pokers disciplines, he certainly knows his Omaha poker strategy, Lisandro’s real strength is in seven-card stud variants, a point he proven time and time again. In fact the first of his 31 cashes at the World Series of Poker came in a $1,500 Seven-card stud event at the 1997 WSOP where he finished 12th from 160 players, winning $2,800 for his efforts.

Over the next few years, Lisandro started to build on his reputation as one of the best stud players in the world and in 2007 he won his first WSOP bracelet after besting a field of 213 in the $2,000 Seven-card stud event to get his hands on the coveted piece of poker jewellery and $118,426.

Just two years later and Lisandro would have a WSOP to remember – one that would put him in the record books and plant stud back on the poker playing map. On June 6th, 2009 Lisandro won the $1,500 seven-card stud event, then 12 days later he took down the $10,000 World Championship seven-card stud hi/low event for over $430,000.

Remarkably Lisandro’s winning streak continued and he won a $2,500 Razz event on June 22 to become only the fourth player in history to win three bracelets in one year and the first player to win a bracelet in each of the stud disciplines.

While the popularity of stud had fallen in recent times, Lisandro’s amazing performance at the 2009 World Series of Poker put the game back in the public eye and probably guaranteed it will be around for many years to come.


Stud Poker

September 25, 2009 by Dan Brown in Stud Poker

Stud poker is probably the classic version of this age-old card game. There are several varieties, including seven-card and five-card. Some versions call for the player to make the best high hand possible while others, such as Razz and 2-7 low-ball, call for the lowest hand.

One major difference is that position at the table is not determined as it is in Holdem. In this game, the player who “brings in” can change from one round to the next. For example, in 7-card games where the high hand must bring in, the player who has the highest card face up on the first round and the highest hand on subsequent rounds is forced to bet the set amount.

Stud games are known for the mystery that surrounds the hole cards each player has face down. Player’s have the opportunity to use this information to bluff and build pots since the others don’t know what he is holding.
In the last few years, 7-card in several variations has become a regular part of many tournaments. However, this version of the game has taken a back seat to Holdem and Omaha because of television coverage and the celebrity status of many pros. The World Series of Poker has long included a couple of versions of stud, including the low-hand game of Razz. Most players will not see a five-card game unless they are at home or in one of the rare poker rooms that still offer it.

Bets are determined by the limits set from the start. For example, if you sit down in a $2/$5 game players must bet $2 in the first two rounds and $5 minimum for the rest of the rounds in that hand. Poker rooms sometimes play spread limit games, in which the players bet $2 or another minimum amount and any amount up to the high limit – $2/$10 for example. Tip: Make sure you understand how the betting structured before you start.
You will probably hear veteran players call the third card third-street, and so on. The final card is often called the river, just as it is in Holdem and a few other games.

Over the years, stud players have created a wide variety of games based on the foundation of seven cards with some cards hidden from view. A popular home game is “roll your own.” In this version, players are dealt three down cards to start and choose one to turn face up. This is repeated throughout the hand, allowing each player more choice in what he wants to hide from his opponents.

This wrinkle adds some excitement and danger to the game, especially if a particular card or cards is determined to be “wild” before the hand starts. For example, if deuces are wild, a player should probably keep these in the hole, unless he wants to expose one of the wild cards for effect.

Legendary poker player Doyle Brunson has called Holdem the “Cadillac” of card games. In comparison, stud poker might be a reliable old Chevrolet that many people still enjoy.

Stud poker is also available on most of online poker sites.