Sunday, July 7, 2013

Why are they dealing me four cards?

I went to the Horseshoe Casino Tunica last night to play poker. I called ahead and got on the list for Omaha Hi-Low. The stakes are $4-$8 with a full-kill (meaning if a player scoops both high and low and there is $40 in the pot, the stakes for the next hand are $8/$16 and the winner has to post $8 as an extra blind). I started at the must-move table, the feeder game for the so-called main game. Casinos do this to keep the main game going.

Both games were great, but the must-move table was crazy. There was a guy on my right who either folded or raised. When he raised, another player two to my left would re-raise. There were a lot of capped pots. Would you play tight? Would you loosen up to try and win a big pot, figuring you can see a flop and go from there? I tried to always have A-2 and something good to go with it, and managed to win two fairly big pots.

The main game wasn't as crazy, but there was plenty of action. They used to have a half-kill ($6 and $12 limits after a scooped pot), but now they've upped it to a full kill. "They" means the players who asked management to do this, and were accommodated. Bigger pots = more fun, or something like that.

One cute hand. It was a kill pot and I was first to act with K-K-6-3 and I folded. The flop came K-J-J which would have given me kings full of jacks with no low hand. I'm so dumb. I watched as each street was bet by one guy and called by two others, building a huge pot. On the river, however, a different guy led out. He was called and he turned over J-J for quads -- I'm so smart.

I ended cashing out for four times my buy-in for a nice profit. I usually quit if I lose my buy-in. If I lose, therefore, I lose a minimum, but if I win, it's often a big score. I think that's the secret of handling a high-variance game like Omaha-8.

Do you play it? Do you like it or does it drive you nuts?


  1. In my case I love it and it drives me nuts. A perfect combination.

    Congrats on the nice win.

  2. Well done. I need to think it through, but I believe your quit-after-one-buyin-lost approach might be something I an incorporate in my own game. Cool beans.

  3. Well done Mojo. The variance is a killer, I will usually buy back in once because I know the variance means I can make a big comeback but some days it just doesn't pay. Maybe better to take one buy in loss and come back another day and score big.

  4. If the game is good (players are weak, etc...) and I'm feeling good (not tired, etc...), I'd buy back in if my bankroll was sufficient...

  5. It is a fun game, but the variance can really kill you sometimes ... particularly when you are ready to scoop and the river counterfeits both the high and the low!

    As for losing the buy-in, I often find that on those days when it just is not my day, the carnage continues. If I am playing at a particularly weak table, however, I will always give it at least one more chance.

  6. Very nice! I haven't ever played it because of the variance, but I like your 1 buyin strategy. Great fold with the KKxx hand. Funny how poker can make you feel like a total idiot one minute and then an absolute genius the next in one hand LOL.

  7. Fun game! Bad enough that you have 4 cards to make a high hand, but negotiating the low and avoiding being quartered... makes your head spin!

    Nice take home, BTW! 4x buy in is a good return.