Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maximize every opportunity

I got invited to someone else's house to play cards for a change - things started off with a full table of dealer's choice, Holdem or Omaha. It seemed like everyone was dealing Omaha, so I chose Holdem just for variety. The host, a solid, math-based player with whom I had played before, flashed me a look and said something to the effect of "hey dummy, why are you dealing Holdem when it's obvious that most of these players don't know crap about Omaha and are just itching to give their money away?". He voiced this in a much more subtle, non-insulting way, but the message was received.

It was received even further as I watched the host bet over the pot on a monotone flop, and then shove the turn, to get called both times by a nine-high flush. The losing player says "I finally hit something in this game and am crushed by a higher flush". One might not worry about flush-over-flush in Texas Holdem, but putting lots of money into the pot with non-nut hands in Omaha is a quick recipe for finding your chips in someone else's stack.

We ended up playing the cash game for only an hour, as the host also wanted to play a Texas Holdem tourney. $30 buy-in with a $10 kill chip. I fared quite well in the tourney - Ace-Queen outkicking one of the bad players for one chip, and winning a race with another, to get me into the money, at which point we executed a 4 way chop for all but the last $20 of the prize pool, for which we played to the end. I was the first one out after this point, but I love the way I played the final hand, and even ended up with 19 outs on the river to basically a guaranteed first place finish, but the final card didn't come my way.

I ended up breaking even in the cash game, and posting an $80 profit in the tourney.

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