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Oma Darling

I'm running out of Omaha puns. When that happens, I'll have to switch to Stud.

But not yet...

Because last night, I finally won an SNG. I don't remember when was the last time I won one of these, but I'm sure it's been at least a month. That isn't saying much since I've been bonus grinding at the limit cash games for the most part. But still, after a series of losses, it is nice to book my 2nd win in a row. And it's a first place to boot! Unfortunately, due to bankroll and other considerations, it was a $5 SNG. More interestingly, it was Omaha 8 or better, Limit!

Why limit O8b limit, you ask? Well, first off, I'm in training for the DADI Special Omalympics. The tournament has been set for Wed., Jan. 11, 2006 at 9pm EST on PokerStars for $10+1, so sign up early if you get a chance. So, when I sat down to play an SNG and I felt tired of the usual fold'em strategy so successful in NLHE, it seemed like a great idea to test myself with some PLO8b. At first, I sat at a PLO High only table, until I realized 2 things: (1) DADI is Hi/Lo, so I should play Hi/Lo, and (2) Hi/Lo was filling up faster. Never one to be patient, I barely got into the O8b game in time. We had played (and I had folded) about 10 hands before I realized we were playing limit.

Lucky for me, I whooped ass. The key was simple math. That and folding pre-flop. The No-Ace rule is a great one, although one I don't 100% follow. The basic rule is that if you don't hold an Ace, fold. It's that simple. I suppose it helps avoid playing a hand with a 23 low only to lose to A2 or A3. It also obviously helps if you hit your Aces, but as we all should know about Omaha, you need a hell of a lot more than a pair of Aces.

Well, as it turned out, I started tight. I finally made my play with a choice Omaha H/L hand: AK33, double suited. I was on the button and literally EVERY PLAYER limped before me. My limit bet wasn't enough to push them out. Fortunately, I had a decent low draw on the flop and had a flush possibility. I believe there may have been a straight draw out there, but I decided that with limit and drawing donkeys, calling a bet wouldn't hurt. One player bet, and suddenly the field was thinned from 9 to 3 or 4. I wish I could tell you more, but what I can tell you is that I hit the 2nd nut low on the turn and rivered a 3 for a set. I bet the entire way out on the turn and river, expecting to split the pot. But as it turned out, I took it down. After which, my unexperienced Omaha ass typed, "Sweep". Two beats later, "Er, I mean scoop."

After that, I went back to fairly tight poker. Limit is a bitch in an SNG, and it is even worse in H/L because of all of the splits. But by playing only premium hands, I was able to remain the chipleader for most of the tournament. When I was in a hand, it was easy to figure out my odds, thanks to the limit structure. Sure enough, I think this is what helped me win the whole shebang. I wasn't going for long shots, but I wasn't scared to go for a solid draw. This is probably especially true in these games, where you WILL be paid off if you hit. That there is implied odds people, and if you don't know what I mean by implied odds, then I'd be glad to play against you....or point you in the right direction.

Finally, when it was down to 5, I started to open up a bit. I was playing looser because the blinds were high. I guess the players that lasted were all tight. Either that, or they were all scared of my tight image. I was betting top-pair on a T high-flop, but no one was calling. I stole as much as I could, and soon I was the chipleader by a long shot. I could give you more play by play but the point of it all is that I was confident through and through. We only played one HU hand when it got down to 2. I had AKxx and flopped a set of Aces. He thought it smart to call me down with a pair of tens. I can't complain.

So, Omaha is fun as hell. I already knew that, but it is even more fun when I win. I may play more O8b Limit SNGs in the future. I like the pace, and I can sense that I can make it far consistently. Of course, with only one game to base my opinion on, I guess I shouldn't so confident, but that's me.

On another subject, GCox recently wrote a Thank You post, and I thought I'd take a moment to reflect. This blog isn't what it used to be. By that, I mean that I had much more content than a daily recap of my play. I guess now we also have the DADI events, which are really just an extension from the Limit Challenge, SNG Challenge, and HU Challenges (see Notable Posts sidebar). All that said, I want to thank everyone, GCox included, for reading. It's of course a vanity project. I won't lie about that. But it's also a way for me to practice some creative writing and think about poker when I am unable to play. The readers are a bonus. I am especially greatful, since I am sure I can come off like a showboating mofo. Well, that's me I guess. I just am glad that someone gets it. I might not play up the sincere stuff like Coxy, but it's there. So, um, thanks. Now, go be productive.

Thank you, your honor. With God's help I'll conquer this terrible affliction.

posted by Jordan @ 8:55 AM,


At 11:37 AM, Anonymous iamhoff said...

Interesting that you should post on Omaha. Last night I just started playing (with play money) PLO. I had a blast, and really padded my fake bankroll. You're is a fun game. I've not played 8 or better or high/low, so I don't know the particulars of those. Rest assured I will check into them. Good luck in the tourneys. Maybe I'll see ya on Stars.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous kaellinn18 said...

You're such a showboating mofo! ;-) Hopefully I'll have rebuilt my bankroll enough to throw away some of it in the DADI tourney next week. If not, I might sweat you guys and see how it plays out. I've never played any versions of Omaha, so I'll have to check it out in the play money games if I'm gonna play.

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Jordan from HighOnPoker said...

Quick lesson on O8b, aka Omaha Hi/Lo:

A low hand is any hand consisting of 5 cards, 8 or lower, with no pairs, such as 8642A. The best possible low is the wheel: A2345, followed by A2346 and A2356. In Omaha, you must use two of your hole cards for the low to qualify. There may be no qualifying low, such as when a board is: 9T24Q.

Now you are ready for O8b, Hoff. You too kaelinn. Get to it!

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous GaryC said...

Your sincerity comes off just fine, brother, just fine. Here's to a prosperous New Year on and off the felt. Cheers!

BTW, I am astounded at your Omaha knowledge. I never knew.


At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Ingoal said... training mode, ey? Cool stuff though...from my own Omaha 8b tournament experience (best result was 4th place in a 3$ tourney at PokerStars so far):

1. Playing tight is a good idea, like you already mentioned. With split pots most of the times it's harder to get back your chips once you've donked them off.
2. Play possible nut/nut hands aggressively (i.e. A-A-2-3, A-K-2-4, etc), best case: you hit the nut low right on the flop which might as well be the nut high (i.e. wheel) and it'll pay off!
3. Play possible nut high hands (i.e. A-A+another pocket pair, A-K-Q-J, etc) only if the limit is still low or if you're feeling lucky - I can't count the number of times I've folded a boat or quads, but the number of times where I wouldn't have hit (and still payed major chips for it) is faaaar greater.
4. Playing only for the low can be quite costly...this is especially true if you've got a feel that not all players are competing for the high pot...(happens more often than you think, if there's an obvious straight, flush or similiar chance...once that happens you might lose a lot of chips despite winning, a share of, the low pot...
5. Never forget that you need to use two hole cards + three board cards...this is especially critical for HE players...when I started playing Omaha, I ran into some pots thinking that I held the nuts...although in reality I didn't, as a single card of a suit with four board cards of the same suit won't make you a flush...
6. etc etc

I think this whole Omaha tourney thing should be fun and I'm totally in. Hopefully the other bloggers will like it too, so that it won't be the last one :-)


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