Dismal Omaha/8 Showing, Hot Rumors, Breakfast with the Boys

by Lou on June 8, 2005

Dismal Showing in the Omaha/8 Event
Although I’ve won steadily in the cash games here at the World Series of Poker, my results were dismal in the $1,500 buy-in Omaha/8 tournament, which is the one event I played. I made it halfway through the field, but my hopes died on the vine with a hand that figured to be the winner up until the last card, when the fates had something entirely different in store.

I began with Ah-2h-Qc-Ts in the big blind and flopped Jd-9d-8c. Although I had no diamonds in my hand I had a queen-high straight, which was the best possible high hand at that point. The next card was the four of spades, which could not have given any of my opponents a better high hand, and with two low cards on the board, if the fifth and final card was an eight or lower, but wasn’t an ace or a deuce, I would have the best low hand too.

I was hoping to dodge a diamond because a third diamond would mean that anyone with two diamonds in his or her hand would make a flush and beat my straight, and I was also hoping that any low card did not duplicate my ace or deuce.

But the last card dealt was the ace of diamonds, the worst-case scenario from my perspective. I checked. A player to my left bet and was raised by another of my opponents. I knew when the ace of diamonds fell that I could only win was if everyone else checked, indicating that no one had a draw to a diamond flush or a draw to a low hand. But when confronted with a bet and a raise, I tossed my hand ¾ a hand that had been the best possible hand up to that point ¾ and tossed it right where it belonged, in the muck.

That hand took most of my chips. I managed to survive with very few chips for the next two hours, but was unable to build my stack back up to the point where I had a fighting chance. The ultimate hand was uneventful. I bet my bottom dollar, was called, and I lost. But that’s how poker goes; sometime you win and sometimes you don’t.

Six-Handed, No-limit Hold’em: A New WSOP Event
Yesterday was a new event, a $2,500 buy-in, six-handed no-limit hold’em tournament, which seems to be modeled after the popularity of six-handed play online. I didn’t play because I had a lot of writing to do but the event played quite rapidly. Just like online, when the game is short-handed and the blinds come around that quickly, one has to gamble with hands in order to avoid bleeding to death at the table. I expect this game will be a big hit in subsequent years too.

Today’s Hot Rumor
The hot rumor of the day is that 2005 will be the first and only year that the WSOP will be held at the Rio. With harrah’s all set to acquire Ceasar’s Palace, the word circulating around here is that nextg year’s event will be held there, right on the strip, in an equally large convention center. Whether this rumor has any veracity, or will pan out by this time next year, no one seems to know. The deal for Ceasar’s is not yet done, so all sorts of things can happen. But for right now the talk on the street is for the 2006 WSOP to finally make its way to the Strip.

If anyone has any more information than I do, shoot me an email.

Breakfast With the Boys
Today I had breakfast with some of the best poker minds in the game. Bob Ciaffone, Jim Brier, Barry Tanenbaum, Al Schoonmaker and Bob Morgan, a friend of Bob’s, met for breakfast at the Carson Street Café in the Golden Nugget and talked about poker for two hours. Once again, I came away feeling very fortunate to know these guys, to be able to pick their brains, and share insights into the game with them. This is something that’s incredibly valuable to me, and when there’s an event like the WSOP that brings a lot of these folks into town, the opportunity to talk about poker is something I never want to miss.

Two hours with this group is like reading four or five new books. New ideas, revisions to old ones, new emphases, strategies for games that are new, or changing, or different, such as the short (six-handed) table play that you find on the internet, or heads-up play, the new baby no-limit game craze ¾ we talked of all of this and more and I loved it. To paraphrase that popular advertisement: Breakfast, $6.95; poker insights, priceless!

Homeward Bound
I’m set to drive back home tomorrow, but I’ll be back here in July for the final event. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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