Sunday, March 29, 2009

Something new

I've been threatening to start playing Omaha, but how do you learn to play? Readers suggested various things that I tried:

BamBam suggested that I go and search this web site for Omaha tips: B.W.o.P -- and so I did. She writes just super and knows what she's talking about. Thanks, CK.

Bastin suggested playing in the micro-stakes online. Twice I did that -- bought in for $1.00 and tried to figure out what was going on. The first time I lost my dollar, but the second time I ran it up to $5, w00t.

Crash suggested I read books. There are two chapters in Super System 2 that were terrific.

Finally, Wolf's Howl sent me a cheat sheet that I tried to digest.

I didn't play poker Friday night; I was watching the basketball games. But last night I decided to play, so I called ahead to the Goldstrike to get on the list. When I asked what they had, they said 1/2 no limit, 2/5 no limit, 4/8 limit and 3/6 Omaha 8 high low. What was that last one again? Sign me up, please!

I was fourth on the list, but in less than an hour, I was in the game. There were two problems. The first is that I found it hard to read the board. I had to concentrate to figure out what I had, what my outs were, etc. and wasn't able to try and figure out what the other donkeys players had, based on the board and their betting. The second problem was I still had no clue what a good starting hand was.

I held this: 10 9 4 3. It was $3 to me and I folded. I watched in horror as the flop was J-8-x rainbow and the turn was a queen. The river was a rag, with no pairs or possible flushes on the board. I had folded the nuts. The guy sitting next to me is someone I've known for a long time, and I asked him later if I should have folded. He assured me I made the right play, regardless of the result.

I did win some pots, of course, one on a bluff! I bet my draw on the turn and again on the river when I whiffed and the other player folded. I should also add here there was a kill. What that means is if a player scooped both high and low, he had to post $6 blind for the next hand. The betting began with the seat after him and the it began at $6 instead of $3. I suppose you could say it's similar to a straddle. After a kill, you could get some juicy pots -- just sayin'.

Here's one deal that I made a big mistake on. I had A-A-low-low. I had already figured out that aces in the hole were not anything great, so I limped in. The flop consisted of all low ones, and the first player checked and the guy on my right bet. We both called. The turn gave me the nut low. It went check, bet and I called. I didn't want to raise if I were only getting half the low. The river was the A! The first guy now bet, the second guy called and I raised. There were no straights on the board or pairs, so my trip aces would be high and I would get at least half the low. The first guy raised me and it was called. Before I reraised, I looked at the board again. I had misread the board and there were three diamonds out there! Arrgh. I just called, and sure enough the first guy had hit his flush draw and the second guy and I chopped the low. I apologized to the other low hand, but he started whining and complaining. "I said I'm sorry," I repeated, this time in a louder voice. In other words, put a lid on it, I've heard enough.

What's the bottom line? I played for nearly five hours and lost around $70, but I loved it. There's action on just about every hand, and because of this it was fun. Also, I believe it will be profitable as soon as I learn what the heck I'm doing.

ALERT: This afternoon, I'm going to the North Carolina/Oklahoma basketball game. Yes, I'm taking my camera, so you've been warned.


  1. Good luck to ya. I think I'll move on to 7-Card. ;-)

  2. Ray Zee's Hi-Lo Split Poker for Advanced Players is a must read :-)

    Isn't Omaha fun???

  3. What is that squiggle above the 'J' in "MOJO?" Either a very energetic sperm or a wlaysiisp of illicit smoke?

  4. Looks like a wisp.

    When I started the Memphis MOJO thing back in 2002 (fantasy sports and before poker), I went online and found a bunch of mojo logos and stole them. This one was my favorite.