Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Monday, June 2, 2008

Omaha in Florida? who'd a thunk it

Because of the holiday weekend and being a little flush with cash from finishing second on Saturday night, I decided to play in the Sunday night Omaha tourney at the Tampa dog track. I don't usually play there because it's a little bit of a haul for me to go that far and they almost never have an Omaha Hi/Lo ring game going and I don't care for low limit holdem anymore. They don't usually have that going there either come to think of it, its almost all 1-2 no limit going there. But they do have a Sunday night Omaha Hi tourney. It's not my best game by a long shot but I do enjoy it so I decided to play it.

Only about 40 people sign up. You start with 2500 in chips for $25 and you can do 1 rebuy for $20 to get 3000 chips and 1 add on at the end of the first hour for another 3K chips for $20. So I start playing. A lot of young players at my table. As Teddy KGB said "Aggresyeve and Strong like a bull". I of course folded most of my hands because I was getting utter horseshit and when I had a decent hand, someone is raising the pot and I don't have that good a hand to put my whole stack in on at best a draw and not even 50/50. You know in Omaha a lot of times you'll fold a hand and the flop will come and you are wishing you could take that hand right back out of the muck because it hit you so well? I wasn't even getting that! My hands were so bad, so many times I had stuff like 2-3-7-J all different suits and crap. So I just kept dumping hands. I played a couple and the closest I got to winning was a having a 5-6 to go along with the 7-8-9 on the board but another guy had 6-10 for the higher straight so I lost that one too. Fortunately I didn't put many chips in so it didn't cost me much.

We get to the end of the hour and they ask if I want to rebuy and/or add on. I'm thinking if I shouldn't just say the hell with it since my cards are running so bad but I take the 6000 chips for $40. We start back up and it's more of the same except now the blinds are up and it's costing me chips every go round to fold. I do get to see some of the these young guys do some stupid crap with their chips though. 3 people call the $400 big blind and the button pots it to something like 3300. He has about 20K and is one of the chip leaders. All 3 people call. Flop comes 10 and two low cards and he pushes the rest of his stack in. 2 people call, guy to my right is all in with Q-Q-9-8, guy to my left is all in with J-10-10-9 and the original raiser is in with A-A-7-3. There is no flush draw on the board to speak of and he is pissed cuz 3 people called his raise and the guy with pocket 10s makes a boat and wins a monster pot. I can tell he is normally a holdem player just from his cards and his reaction. Yes having AA in Omaha is good but not so much with a 7 and a 3. Also he thinks these people called with crap but a good wrap hand like the winner had was probably a better hand than Mr AA had, especially after the flop. Even the guy who busted with QQ had a good enough hand to call the raise with, though maybe not the all in after the flop. Anyway, this guy could have gotten away after the flop with losing less than a quarter of his stack. Instead he is down to 4K after the hand, in my range now lol, and he immediately pushes all in on the next hand and loses the rest of it. I'm thinking, I can't even sniff a decent hand and these idiots are going busto with them.

So I'm still getting blinded down but we are down to 15 people or so. We've been playing for almost 2 hours and I have not won a hand. This is getting sad. I finally get into a hand from the big blind and I've got the nut flush draw and a back door straight draw I'm not even looking at, up against a set of 8s. Turn and river are the 3 and 5 and I make the wheel I wasn't even looking for to win the hand. This puts me up to the lofty amount of 6K in chips. Guy next to me is sitting on 25. Luckily people are going bust left and right it seems. I am still bleeding chips from the blinds trying to get some kind of playable cards when the director announces we are down to 11 people and one more bust puts us at 10 and the final table. I'm down to 2K in chips again, when some guy at the other table goes all in and loses and they break the action to seat us at the final table.

I get seat 4 and luckily they redraw the button and it's at seat 6 so I have a few hands to play before the blinds come my way. The blinds are up to 1000-2000 now so I have just enough to play one hand. A couple of hands after we start up, I look down at AK of clubs and 6-9 of hearts. Not a great hand but not bad either, especially compared to what I have been getting. So I push all in. There are 4 callers at this point so I can turn my 2000 into 10,000 if I get lucky. Flop is perfect for me, 5-7-8 and I pull the nut straight. I'm sweating because there are 2 diamonds and I'm just sure someone has 2 in his hand. A couple of big stacks start betting and 2 other guys get all in on the hand. Turn is a black 10 and now I'm worried someone is sitting on a J-9 for a higher straight than I have. Last card is a 4 of hearts. Big stack lady to my right bets 10K and gets called by the remaining big stack across the table. He flips over a set of 10's, she has 5-6 for a low straight and takes the side pot (which is a lot bigger than the main pot lol) while my 6-9 hold up for a bigger straight in the main pot and 2 guys are knocked out.

So we're down to 8 people, I have a few chips though only enough for 5 big blinds, and I finally start seeing some playable cards. I get all in on another pot with one of the big stacks and another guy who is also all in and pull it out though I cannot remember what I had. I pull it out though and increase my stack to 30K while the other guy goes bust. I'm still not a big stack but I'm not tiny anymore and people are respecting my bets, some of the time at least.

A few hands later I'm on the button and look at a beauty hand, AAQJ with the AQ of hearts. Guy 2 places to my right calls the blind and the lady with the large stack between us also calls. I raise the pot which bumps it to 11K and both of them call. Not what I'm looking for at all. The flop was also not what I was looking for either as it's 7-7-6 with 2 clubs. Guy bets the pot, lady next to him repots it and I know I'm up against it now and unlike the idiot at my last table, I can put down AA in this situation which I do. Guy pushes back all in and the lady calls him. He shows 8-9-10-J for a massive straight draw and he might have had 2 clubs for the flush too but the lady shows 6-6 for a made full house and he is drawing almost dead and goes out on that hand. The lady is now the massive chip leader with something like 90K cuz he had a fair stack and she got 11K out of me too. I am down to 19K now and in last place still but at least I avoided going bust. I'm talking to the lady telling her she has the money made now as she is such a large stack that she can fold down to final 2 or 3, but she doesn't want to play that way.

We go on break and a couple of guys are giving me a hard time telling me that everyone hates me because I have been all in 3-4 times now and not busted and we are one away from the money now. We are having fun but I am sweating it cuz I do want to hit the cash too. Next lowest stack to me has between 25 and 30 K so I am a fair amount behind and blinds are up to 2000/4000 now. I fold a hand when the guy to my left raises and the lady to my right calls him. He pushes all in on the turn, all low cards with 2 hearts and the big stack lady next to me thinks about it then calls him. He had a big straight wrap that he hit and she had 2 hearts and was trying to knock him out with a flush. Now he had a little over 40K preflop so she had to put in a nice chunk of change to call him but she didn't even think about it. Heart doesn't hit the river and he doubles up and becomes chip leader on that hand.

I don't know what is going on in this lady's mind to call that hand down and to play like that with such a big chip lead. I konw she won some races and marginal hands, maybe she felt invincible or something, but in her situation I would have been avoiding going all in with anyone unless I had the nuts or a massive draw with straight and flush. Or if she was up against a small stack like me, then the risk is minimal. Instead she gives up half her stack on one shot with just a flush draw. Next hand the 2 of them tangle again. She pushes on the flop and he calls her with a big straight draw again. Which he hits on the turn. She bets, he raises her, and she pushes all in. This time she has top set but he already has a made hand so she only has 10 outs. She doesn't catch and it's good night irene for her. From chip leader to bubble girl in 2 hands. And ole lucky Kevin is cashing now. Yippee!!

We shake our heads and talk a little bit after she is gone cuz we all can't believe she donked off all her chips like that when she was this close to cashing. Then play gets intense and I keep catching some good cards. I win a small hand with a set that I couldn't bet because of all the straight cards on the board. Then one guy goes all in against the chip leader next to me and damned if he doesn't catch another straight and take him out. I then manage to take out a guy in 4th place when I flop the nut flush and the board doesn't pair up to give him a boat. He was in the same position I had been with the lowest stack and the blinds eating him up and he found a decent spot to push it, just was unlucky I had already made my hand. We play 3 handed for a while and I am getting plenty of respect when I push now as I have been all in 5 times and won every one. And they can see I'm not pushing garbage either. Even though I am small stack now, I have 50K now. One guy has about 65 and the leader has about 130K and he isn't ready to chop as he has enough to cover us both right now.

Finally I flop top two pair with AJ and bet the pot. The next bigger stack raises me all in and I think about it a second then call him hoping we have a split or he's on a draw. Nope, he has bottom set which puts me behind. Unfortunately he also has a jack which is one of my outs. I don't catch on the turn or river and finish in 3rd. I am plenty pleased by this, especially the way the first 2 hours or so went, but I really felt I had a chance to win this one if I kept playing. But enough about that, I went about 6 places further than I should have lol. And that's 2 cashes in 2 days for me which is unheard of.

Now I felt fairly ready to tackle the WSOP satellite tourney I qualified for at Derby Lane. I'll post next about that.

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