LAS VEGAS – Tuesday, 2:32 PDT, and I’ve just bought in to the $1500 Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better event at the World Series.
For those of you who only know about poker what you see on television, Omaha is a Hold’em variant where every player is dealt four cards face down, with common cards dealt as in Hold’em three card flop, one card turn, one card river. You must use two cards from your hand and three cards from the board to make your five card hand. Hi-Lo Split means that the best hand takes half the pot and the worst hand takes half the pot. “8 or Better” means the game is played with what’s known as a “qualified low” – someone has to have five cards lower than eight without a pair for there to be a low hand. Thus, there is always a high hand. About half the time, there is no low hand. (If the flop comes KQJ, there will be no low)
The idea in Omaha is to play “scooping” hands which are good for the high AND the low – the perfect low hand, the lowest of the low, is A2345, known as “the wheel”. It is also a straight, and thus a high hand. You can have a low and a flush. You can even have a low and a full house.
If you’re really interested in Omaha strategy, Steve Badger’s a great Omaha player, and here’s a link to his home page http://www.playwinningpoker.com/omaha/strategy/
Time to prep – this is the scene in the movie where Rambo straps on his guns, sticks a knife in his boot and ties that silly looking bandana around his manly forehead. I’m in a hotel room in Vegas doing tai chi form and listening to water sounds and trying to get Zen with my bad self. In the fullness of times, mine enemies’ asses shall kick themselves.
First goal. Don’t be the first one out.
Second goal, make it to dinner break, which is five hours into the tournament.
Third goal, Be aggressive, B-E Aggressive – Omaha is a game that encourages passivity, and that’s a rut into which one does not wish to get. A
Fourth goal. Win the tournament. Get the bracelet. And the big stinking pile of cash.
Hmmm… That should really be my first goal…