Shirley Rosario
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$5000 Omaha Hi Lo Split

2005 World Series of Poker

by Shirley Rosario

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World Series of Poker Omaha High LowWhen Steve and I drove to Las Vegas to participate in the $5,000 Omaha HiLo event at the World Series of Poker we talked about some of the tough Omaha tournament players. Two names we mentioned were Miami John Cernuto and Can Kim Hua.

After checking into our rooms, I went down to the tournament area so I could play a satellite. I was one of the first people to sign up for the satellite. The seats were slowly filled in and two of the players who joined the game were: Miami John and Can Kim Hua. It looked like it would be a tough satellite, but I was going to give it my all. I quickly realized that most of the other players on my table weren't very good. In fact, one of the players was playing for his first time. I couldn't outlast the fish, but I was happy with my performance. I decided to go to my room and catch a movie before I went to bed.

I arrived at the tournament area with a few minutes to spare. I asked Steve to scope out my table and he said that it looked pretty good, especially considering this was a $5000 event. My table still had a couple empty seats and I figured at least one big name player would sit down and join me. About one minute later, Huck Seed sat down at my table. I went and asked Steve about him and he told me that Huck is a fine player, but Omaha is not his best game. I walked back to my table and saw that David Chiu was sitting in the other seat that was previously unoccupied. I walked back to Steve and asked him about David. He said that he is one of the best players around, and great in Omaha tournaments. Even though David was sitting at my table, I was pleased with my seating arrangement.

We started the event with $5,000 in chips which meant that I had enough chips to ride out a few bumps in the road. I stayed in the game for awhile, but was having a hard time accumulating chips. The funny thing is that the only players I beat were David and Huck! The player in seat nine (who I didn't know) got the best of me every time. I specifically remember one hand where our hands were almost identical (my hand was slightly better). The board was AAJxx and his AJ beat my AQ. Another hand that stands out was when I held KKQJ. I limped with that hand and the player behind me raised. After the other players called, I decided to make the call because nobody could raise behind me. The flop was K55. I was happy with the flop and I just called the bettor so I wouldn't drive out the other player. The original raiser called behind me. The turn was an ace. It was not the card I wanted to see because the original raiser could have had AA. The first player bet, I raised to see where I was at in the hand and the next player folded. I didn't have to worry about the possibility of AA anymore. The river brought another five. The player bet and I called. He had the five and I lost the pot.

Dinner break started and I was still surviving. I had about $2,000 in chips and I still kept up hope. I have been shortstacked in many Omaha tournaments and managed to make the money in the end. We got back from break and I couldn't get anything going.

Finally, when I was down to $200 in chips I doubled up. A couple hands later, I threw my chips into the pot. David called me and I told him, "You can't beat me David." He failed to knock me out again. I ended up building my $200 stack up to about $3,500. By that time, Can Kim Hua, Jim Meehan, and Howard Lederer joined our table. I doubled up again through Howard Lederer. He raised and I three bet with AT35 suited in clubs. I wanted to isolate the hand heads up with my small stack and it worked. When he reraised me, I knew he had a better starting hand than I did so I just called. The flop was T73 with two clubs. All the rest of our chips got in on the flop and I told him, "I have a two pair, a low draw, and the flush draw" and then turned my hand up. He turned up his hand and showed AA. I don't remember the other two cards in his hand because I was too busy looking at the board to make sure it didn't pair the seven. The turn was a blank and the river was a nine of clubs. I scooped the pot and had over $7000 in chips.

We went on break after that hand and David told me, "You are hanging tough!" I still had a long way to go, but I was in a better position than I was an hour earlier. I came back from break and things changed. The first hand I was involved in, David limped in first position. It was folded back to me on the button and I just called. In hindsight, I should have raised to isolate David. I ended up flopping a straight draw and a low draw and lost the pot to the player in the small blind. If I had raised, the player in the small blind would have never played the pot. I lost another pot just a short time later when I flopped the nut low draw and turned the nut flush draw. Neither of my draws got there and I was left with about $3,000 in chips. The $3,000 dwindled to almost nothing and I was finally eliminated from the tournament in the eighth round. (And it looks like I was the only person to get the best of David Cui in this tournament since he ended up winning first place!)

This was the smallest field I have played in at this WSOP, "only" 224 players (but the first Omaha High Low tournament with a prize pool over one million dollars). One thing I have learned to get used to though is that when you play with as large fields as we have had in the 2005 World Series, you must be able to take the fact that not winning is a lot more likely than winning or even finishing in the money. You just have to keep plugging away.

There were still 75 players in the tournament and Steve was one of them. If he made it through the ninth round, he would return the following day to finish up. He got knocked out about half way through the ninth round, but it was too late to drive back to Los Angeles.

We met for breakfast in the morning and then got ready to leave. When the valet driver pulled my car up, he pointed out a tire that was "low". I told him, "That tire is not low… It is flat!" We drove to the tire store to get the damn thing repaired. There is nothing like being forced to stay in Vegas when you are eliminated from a tournament. On the next trip, I hope to stay for the full two weeks. If I manage to win the next tournament (the championship), I'll just buy a new car if I get a flat!

2005 WSOP reports: $10,000 No Limit Championship
$1000 Ladies World Championship and $2500 No Limit Holdem
$5000 Omaha High Low, $2500 Omaha High Low, $1500 Omaha HiLo Split
$5000 No Limit Hold'em and $1500 No Limit Shootout, WSOP 2005 Parties