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But I have the nut low!?

As you can tell from the title (or not), I decided to give Omaha a try last night. Come to think of it, there's no way you could tell from the title. It's still early and I'm only a quarter of the way through my second coffee of the day...

I didn't want to play Omaha for money since I was afraid of that the cold-hard truth that I stink at Omaha would jump up and bite me in the ass. The only time I've ever played any Omaha prior to last night was a 10 minute stint in the game World Poker Tour 2K6 (which well and truly sucks in hindsight). So the problem I was faced with was: Where can I play an Omaha SNG for free where a few of the players actually care about winning? PokerStars of course! Granted that the competition when playing for free is nowhere near as good as "real money" competition. However, I was simply hoping that PokerStars actually had play money Omaha SNGs and that one or two of the players at the table would take it seriously and care about winning.

Ten o'clock last night, I log in and check the play money SNG list. Lo and behold - Omaha! There seemed to be a bunch of different options for Omaha: 8 or better, pot limit, no limit, and I'm not sure if there was fixed limit or not...? After about 3 minutes of testing my reflexes and trying to get registered for one of the Omaha SNGs, I finally make it in. Let the comedy begin!

First off, I folded some pretty good hands in the first two levels because I thought I was playing 8 or better PL Omaha. I can just imagine the look on my opponents' faces when I bet the pot on the river with the nut low (A-2-4-6-7). One of my opponents had the straight and another a flush and there's me betting like a madman with nothing...embarrassing...

Anyway, as in most low-limit SNGs, it didn't take long for two players to really show their dominance over the field and by level 2, there was only 4 of us left (now that's different than real money play). The guy to my right had $5500 in chips, the guy to my left was sitting out the entire game and had only $1000 left, and the last opponent across the table had $6000. I had a measly $1000 left as well - a bi-product of my earlier crazy-ass river bet. I definitely had two things going against me in this SNG:

  1. I'd never played Omaha for real and I'd only read a few things about Omaha 8 and not straight Omaha.

  2. I'd never played pot limit and I'm still not sure how strategy should differ from NL or FL.
A few hands into the 3-way play, I manage to get a pretty big pot with a set of queens. I'm still playing a tight game since the blinds are still only 15/30. I'm making some good laydowns when I feel that one of my opponents has a flush or straight. The chip leader is amassing chips and I determine that he definitely has the most Omaha experience at the table. Mind you, second place guy was holding his own.

By level 4, the guy to my right finally loses to the chip leader when he overplays his set and loses to the chip leader's flopped flush. Myself, I tend to not push all in on only a set, although I guess he did have 6 outs to hit his full boat on the turn and another 9 to hit it by the river. Second place guy was pretty short stacked compared to the chip leader at that point, so maybe he'd had enough.

So I'm now heads up (more or less if you don't count Mr. Sit Out to my left) in my first Omaha SNG. I'm totally flying by the seat of my pants. The chip leader is holding $10K in chips, I'm at $3000 and Mr. Sit Out is at $500.

At this point, the chip leader starts to really bully me and I'm quickly down to $2000. Then, much like Luke in Star Wars, I let go and reached out with my feelings and started to pummel the living sh*t out of the chip leader. I slowplayed a few big hands to teach him to behave and not play so damn frisky! Then I switched gears and started fast playing some big hands to throw him off even more. I knew I was going to win when he started folding pre-flop hand after hand - he was playing scared.

I finally won the thing when I picked up Q-7-7-4 double suited pre-flop and gave it a little pop. The flop comes down 2 6 9. My opponent bets half the pot and I call hoping to see if I can catch anything on the turn: I had two backdoor flush draws and two middle pair (although I'm told that playing anything except top two pair can be bad...but I was heads-up). Anyway, the turn is a 7 and all the money ends up in the pot when my opponent's straight runs into my full house. Game. Set. Match.

I'll probably play a few more of these free Omaha SNGs before I even remotely consider playing any Omaha for real $$. The Omaha SNG was a refreshing change and I look forward to giving it another shot.

--

Damn...busy work day...

Some quick updates cuz I know you all care.

First off, EuroBet is offering an insane reload bonus right now: 100% up to $600! I know what you're thinking: "Klopzi, you have got to be kidding!". No, I am not! $600!! That's a lot of spinach dip and video games!

Now, I did some quick calculations on my play at EuroBet over the past while and here are the numbers that matter. In one hour of multi-tabling, I can clear about 33 raked hands. That means that I'm looking at 3 hours per $10 dollars in bonus. So, if I deposit $300 it'll take me 90 hours to clear or about 1 hour a day. I think that's easily do-able and so that's what I'll do.

With the rakeback that I get at Eurobet and my usual 1.5 BB/100, I should be able to clear about $400 in the deal. And why do I want $400?

I'm getting rid of my X-box to trade down to a PS2! There are a lot more games coming out (and already out for the PS2) that I want to play and the X-box has nada that I want to play.

That's it for now...

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