Shirley Rosario
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Omaha HiLo $1500

World Series of Poker 2005

by Shirley Rosario

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World Series of Poker Omaha Hi LoI was looking forward to my first event at the 2005 World Series of Poker. I really want to win a bracelet and I think this is the year to do it. I have been playing well and my Omaha and No Limit Holdem games are good enough to keep me contention if the cards cooperate. But more importantly, the fields keep growing and every year it should become even more difficult to win.

The first tournament I would play was the $1500 Omaha Hi Low event. I picked up Steve Badger on Sunday afternoon and we drove to Vegas. We arrived around 6:00 pm and checked into the Rio. After heading up to our rooms, we headed to the Rio buffet. Steve loves finding good food more than finding a good game these days so the Rio buffet was what he looked forward to the most. After we ate, he went and did his own thing and I went to the tournament area. The walk to the convention center was a hike, but it was worth it. The huge room was amazing. I loved Binion's because of the history and the atmosphere. The Rio was nothing like Binion's, but it wasn't supposed to be. Poker is at a new level and the Rio projected the "new face of poker" image.

I immediately bought into the event for the following day and then walked around the room to see who was around. I saw a lot of familiar faces, but many more faces that were not. I went over to the satellite area and signed up for my first one (Omaha). I didn't do well in that one. In fact, I was never in contention. I couldn't pick up a hand and when the blinds were $200-400, I still had the same amount of chips as we started with ($1000). I posted my big blind and new I was pretty much pot committed. If I was dealt four cards that worked together at all, I was going to play. I played for all of my chips, but was eliminated on that hand.

I walked around the room again and checked out the final table for the No Limit event. I had a bet with Kevin Mathers (Kevmath) from twoplustwo that the winner of the event would not be a well known player. I knew I was probably going to lose the bet when the play commenced the night before. Of the nine final players, more than half were well known. Allen Cunningham won the event and my pocketbook was a little lighter.

I signed up for my next Omaha satellite and that didn't go any better. I decided to go head up to my room because I wanted a good night's sleep for the event. I woke up the next morning ready to play my "A" game. Steve and I went to breakfast and we talked about what was in store for us. He told me it was going to be a huge field and I had to play my game. He told me to stay focused and to not get nervous or excited. He said this was just another tournament and I had done this many times before. I know he was trying to get my head in the game, but what a pile of bull! This was not just another tournament; this was the World Series of Poker!

We hiked down to the tournament area and I found my seat. Shortly after I sat down, the event started. I didn't do well in the beginning of the tournament. I didn't find many playable hands and the few I played didn't go well. At the first break, I was down to $900 of the $1500 in chips we started with. The way things were going, it looked like I might not make it to the second break. There was one hand where I called a woman all the way down because she didn't understand the game very much. On two previous hands, she misread her hand and lost. The first hand, she led out on the turn with a board of A245 and she had a 73xx. She thought she had a wheel and didn't realize she had to use two cards from her hand. The next hand was the same. The board was JJ22 and she thought she had a full house with a 2 in her hand. So, on the hand I played against her, I figured I probably had the best hand with my two pair even though there was a possible flush and straight on board. After I called her bet on the river, she looked at her cards and told me, "You got it. I thought I had a straight." She turned her hand face up and I saw she had two hearts. The dealer announced, "flush" and I was bummed. Before I knew it, I was down to $200 in chips.

I put the last of my chips in preflop a short time later. I saw David Levi walking by and told him to come over and root for me. After the flop, I didn't think I had much of a chance. When the turn was revealed, I saw that I had a king draw. David whispered, "king, king, king", but the turn was a nine. I let out a small shriek as soon as I realized that card also gave me the straight and the players laughed at the table. I have a hard time seeing straights and if I have a double gutshot straight draw, forget about it! From that hand on, I went on a rush and eventually was the chip leader at the table. A little while later, I got involved in a hand where I lost two bets I shouldn't have lost. I raised preflop with AKJ6 and was called in two spots. The flop was KJ3. Both players checked and I bet. The next player called and Thor Hansen raised. I thought Thor might have read me for low cards, and put in the check raise to take the pot away if another high card came on the turn or river. But instead of slowing down, I three bet my hand. The next player thought about it and folded and Thor called. After Thor called, I thought he might actually have me beat. I told myself that I would take a free card on the turn and call him down on the river. The turn was a four and Thor checked. It was my turn to take the free card, but I didn't do it. I decided to put out a bet because I had a low draw too. Thor checkraised me and I called and I was mad at myself for not following through with my original plan. The turn was a high card (that didn't pair the board) and I called Thor when he bet. He showed me KK for a set of kings. We took another break and I found Steve and told him about the hand. I told him, "That hand cost me" and he said, "That hand cost you two bets. You still would have lost."

I went back to my table after the break and built my chips back up to $10,500 by the time dinner break rolled around. Steve got eliminated by Sirous B two hands before the break, but took the break with me. I told him that I needed to go up to my room to plug in my ipod before we went to eat. After dinner, I headed back to the tables. There were 180 people left in the tournament and they were paying 63 places. I made a few phone calls to let some people know how I was doing in the tournament. I told one person, "You want to hear something funny? We are down to 180 players." I thought it was humorous that an Omaha tournament would normally just be getting started with 180 entrants, but at the WSOP, I was down to 180 players. (699 players started.)

I was involved in the first five hands after the dinner break. I was dealt great hands, but couldn't scoop a pot. I was down to $8500 in chips. One hand that might have cost me the tournament was against Thor Hanson. I raised a limper with AKJJ, another player called, and then Thor three bet from next to the button. One of the girls from PokerWire came by to get a chip count on Thor and he told her to wait till he won the hand. I told the girl, "You can get my chip count after I win Thor's chips", even though I was sure he had to have AA with either a 2 or 3 to make that three bet. The flop was T62. Thor bet and I folded my hand because I was sure he had two aces (the other two players called). I should have called because there were four players and it was three-bet preflop. After Thor bet and another player called, I was getting 15.5-1 (including the blinds) on my call. A jack would have given me the best high on the turn and a queen would have given me the wrap straight draw. If I made the straight, I would have scooped the pot. The turn ended up being a queen and the river was a king. I would have made my straight. Instead, Thor won with aces. The pot was about $6000 and I would have likely made it into the money if I won that pot.

During the play of one hand, I noticed my ring was missing one of its diamonds. I have a nice platinum ring with three diamonds in it and I was beside myself when I realized it was gone. I knew I had it before dinner break, but I didn't know where it would have fallen out. Steve was sitting a short distance away and I told him to help me look for it under the table. We couldn't find it. There was nothing I could do about it at the moment, so I had to erase the problem from my mind and continue playing. I played another hand a little while later and ended up folding on the flop because there were two other players in the pot. If I had been heads up, I would have called the bettor because I figured I would get half the pot. With two people in the pot, I didn't think I would my A6 for low or AK for high would be good enough. At the showdown, the first player turned up aces and the next player turned up total garbage (so my A6 would have been good for low). I was a little upset that he called because I would have increased my chips a little if he hadn't called, but I can't control what other players do with their hands. I played my final hand on the next one dealt. I raised with AJJ9 and was three bet by the player two seats to my left. I called the six chips and knew my remaining two chips would go into the pot regardless of the flop. The flop was TT8 and I threw my last chips in and my opponent called. He turned up AAQQ. I kind of figured he had me, but I wasn't expecting that four of my outs would be taken up. I couldn't hit the queen for a straight because he would have a full house. I needed a jack or a seven. The turn was a queen and I was done. I finished in 100th place.

Steve never likes to stay at a tournament any longer than necessary, so we went to our rooms to pack our belongings. As soon as I packed my stuff, he knocked on my door and asked if I was ready. I told him that I was, but I wanted to look for my diamond. I told him the only place it might be is where I plugged my ipod in. I knelt down and saw it immediately.

We took the long ride home and discussed how the tournament went. I told him, "I know my competitive spirit makes me a better player, but I can't stand losing." When I dropped him off, he told me, "I am proud of you." It is not often that I hear those types of words from Steve. I hope the next time around he is telling me the same thing because I have a bracelet on my arm.

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