Shirley Rosario
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$5000 Omaha High Low

2006 World Series of Poker

by Shirley Rosario

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World Series of Poker Omaha High LowI arrived in Vegas for the 2006 World Series of Poker on Wednesday night. It was one night prior to the $5,000 Omaha HiLo event and I was ready to play! I checked in to the Rio and made my way down to the Buffet with Steve Badger. Eating every meal possible at the buffet is Steve's favorite part about making the trip to Vegas. He just doesn't get the enjoyment out of playing that he once used to. Fortunately, I can always bribe him to come with me if I mention the food.

After we ate, we made our way to the tournament area. He immediately signed up and I decided to wait until the following morning to register. I wanted to make sure that I was fully rested and had enough energy to make it through a two day event before forking over that kind of cash. He asked if there was anybody I wanted to see at that moment and I said that I wanted to see Mark Seif, Rusty Mandap and Pauly before calling it a night. Rusty was the first person we saw. He was one of three players left (including Jeff Madsen) in the previous Omaha event. It was nice to see him there especially because he told me three years ago that he wanted to be like Steve and win an Omaha Hi/Low bracelet from the WSOP (he eventually got second). While Steve was talking to another player, I spotted Mark sitting at his table. He still had two minutes to spare before the dinner break was over, so I made my way over to him and had a two minute conversation. It was enough time to wish him well and to tell him to take no prisoners. Pauly decided to take the day off, so I went up to my room and called it a night.

The Omaha event started at 2:00 p.m. so there was plenty of time to get a good night's rest AND squeeze in a trip to the buffet for Steve. After eating, I went over and registered for the event.

I was surprised to see that Bart Hanson was sitting at my table. I wasn't too familiar with too many other players. I knew of Perry Friedman (sitting directly to my left) and of a guy named Kevin sitting in seat three, but other than that, I didn't know the other players. As soon as the event started, Patrick Antonius took the empty seat on my right. I have only seen pictures of him and have never seen him in person. He is a thing of beauty. He has stunning good looks and an amazing smile that gives David Williams a run for his money. It didn't take long for me to realize that he wasn't only great to have on my table because I enjoyed looking at him; he was great to have on my table because Omaha Hi/Low is definitely NOT his best game.

About three hands into the tournament, the following hand took place. On a board of A64 there was a bet and a call. On the showdown the caller showed QQ47 and won half the pot with trip queens (he hit the queen on the river). I looked at the board, I looked at his hand, I did a double take, I looked at Bart, and at Perry and we all had the same shocked look on our face. What the hell was that? He had no low, a horrible live low draw, his pair was almost certainly no good unless he hit the queen and if he did hit it, he was probably only getting half the pot. How could somebody throw $5,000 out the window like that? He wasn't the only one who didn't understand the game and I was happy to be on that specific table.

Winning an event isn't only based on your table draw. You occasionally have to make hands once in awhile. My three biggest hands did not scoop me any big pots. On one hand, I held A2JJ and my raise was called in a few spots. The flop was J77 giving me jacks full. I led out, Bart raised, the other players folded and I called. I check raised the turn (an eight) and Bart dumped. I thought for sure when he raised the flop, he had a seven and I would have got paid off. But his fold meant he had a big pocket pair and he later revealed he had KKxx.

My other two hands were huge starting hands AAQ2 double suited and AA24 double suited. The first hand lost on a board of QQ946 with my opponent holding QTT9 and the other hand got me the low half of the pot because my opponent won high with T998. I raised both hands preflop and still got called by those players. I told Perry, "I feel like Rodney Dangerfield. I don't get any respect"

Our table broke and I was disappointed to be going to a new table. I didn't think there was any way that I go to a table with as many weak players. Wouldn't you know that my next table was as bad and I still couldn't make anything work? On my final hand, I was dealt A56K single suited and raised (I didn't have many chips). I was called in four spots including the big blind. The flop was Q65 and I wasn't happy with my hand, but I wasn't going to check fold the last of my chips either. I bet and was called by the other players. The turn was a three. The big blind led out and I called the last $100 of my chips. When he bet out, I really disliked my hand. He could have two hands in that spot A3 or 34. If he had the 34, he had me beat and there were still two other players behind me. It was looking grim and I grabbed my stuff and stood up. A queen hit the river and I just knew I was done. The first person showed A3, so I had him beat. The next player dumped her hand and then the last player showed KKJ9 for two higher pair. Damn! I wasn't happy with my hand and it was good until the river.

I made my way to Steve and told him I was out and I would wait around for the dinner break. I found Pauly and did some catching up with him in the meantime. He is always great for some laughs (and for some ego boosting). We chatted it up while watching Phil Hellmuth go for his tenth bracelet (he ended up second) and while a drunken dude screamed obscenities at him. Poker at it's finest!

After the dinner break, I headed back to my room and called it a night. Steve ended up finishing out of the money and we were on the road to Los Angeles the following morning. Steve vowed that he won't come back with me for the $3,000, but we will see if he truly means it. If I make the final table AND promise him a buffet dinner, he won't be able to pass up my offer.

See also: $3000 Omaha High Low, World Series of Poker 2008, World Series of Poker 2009, WSOP 2010 and 2011 WSOP Events report