The bad news about WNP last night was that it was four handed. The good news is that it allowed Chinese Poker to sneak its way into the rotation! Such a silly game. Maybe not a lot of skill involved but you want to at least adhere to basic strategy. Who woulda figured? For those that are not familiar, Chinese Poker is where each player is dealt 13 cards and must order them into two different five card poker hands and a three card poker hand. The three card poker hand can only be trips, a pair or high cards, no three card straights or flushes, and obviously no quads or boats, duh. The trick is that each hand needs to be stronger than the one before it. There is a rules guide on Tiger Gaming which comically enough has an example hand of trips up front, quads in the middle, and a straight flush in back (results not typical). I also found some helpful hints on PokerNews.com. Scoring is by points won by having one of your rows beat other players' rows. Payouts are on a pre-determined amount of chips per point.
Didn't realize this until I read more today but there are also some "auto-win" hands which scoop everyone. If there are multiple players with hands in the "clean sweep" group then the higher one wins. The granddaddy of them all is a 13 card straight flush not surprisingly. Stands to reason that anyone with a Royal Flush or Straight Flush in back and a Straight Flush in the middle is likely to win even though their front is going to be "only" AKQ at best. Second is a 13 card straight. 3rd is a 12 card flush. 4th is 3 of a kind with 5 pairs (quads qualify as two pairs for this). 5th is three straights, one for each row. 6th is three flushes. The 7th and last one (actually came up a couple of times but we didn't know the rules) is six pair. Payouts on those vary based on the rank.
There are variations but two that stood out to me are:
* Greg Raymer's twist where everyone gets 17 cards and you make the normal 3-5-5 sets but you also add in a four card Badugi hand!
* A high-low-high version where you try to make your front and back hands the best you can but make the middle hand the worst possible hand you can based on 2-7 lowball rules where straights, flushes, and Aces all are bad to have.
A great way to kill time and swap chips around! Maybe even make some money like when Ivey took $536K off of Hellmuth in one night playing $2000/point. Oh and Chinese Poker is (OK...*was*, 95 and 96) an official WSOP event.