Shirley Rosario
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World Series of Poker 2006

by Shirley Rosario

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World Series of Poker Omaha HiloI took a flight to Vegas late Friday night and got to the Rio at about 11:00 pm. The person at the desk wanted to put me in the tower that is a mile from the main casino floor. The walk from the casino floor to the tournament area is already a mile long and I didn't want to be put in the BFE towers. After a little pleading, he got me a room in the tower I requested. I settled in and relaxed for the big day ahead. I didn't even have to make a trip to the buffet before I called it a night because Steve didn't make this trip with me.

The tournament didn't start until 2:00 pm, so I had enough time to sleep in, order room service, make the mile long walk, and get to the event with time to spare. I scoped out my table and recognized Sam Grizzle and Kirill Gerasimov. There were two other players that I have seen, but I didn't know their names.

The first hand of the tournament, I was dealt AKJ4 with the KJ of hearts. I raised and was called in two spots. The flop was AQT of hearts. I flopped a royal flush! Both players checked to me and I decided to check. Normally, I will bet out with my strong hands (when I flop a set or trips), but I had way too much hand in this spot and I had to let them catch up. The turn was a jack. The first person bet, the next player folded, and I flat called. The river was a queen. I hoped it gave my opponent a full house, but as soon as he checked I figured I was going to be lucky to just get a call from him. He called and I was able to turn my hand over. He said, "Royal Flush? It's not a good sign to run into a royal flush on the first hand of the tournament." I immediately sent Pauly a text message about the hand, but he was still sleeping and didn't respond.

It was only a short time after that first hand that Sam Grizzle started in. He had his nice moments, but then he would try and get under my skin on the next one. He was unable to do so because I have known him for so many years, but I did tell him that I was going to write about him being such a pain in the ass.

On my first table, the only person that I was able to beat was Kirill. It is a rare occasion when I can find a player that can actually play Omaha Hi/Low and I was amazed at how well he could play the game. Unfortunately for him, he would have a good hand when I had a monster hand.

Our table was one of the first tables to break and I got moved to a table with an all-star line up. Daniel Negreanu, Marcel Luske, Chris Bjorn, and Brett "Gank" Jungblut were sitting on my new table. I didn't know the other players, but they weren't donkeys either. I played only two sizeable hands to the river. I chopped one with Daniel and I lost a huge one against another player. The one I lost left me with barely any chips. On that hand, I flopped a straight draw, flush draw, and the second low. I ended up missing my draws for the high hand and ended up calling with my second low hoping to get half the pot. My opponent had a huge hand and scooped me. I built my chips up a little bit and then got moved again.

My next table had Allen Cunningham and Mike Woo sitting on it. I folded my first two hands, played the next one and was eliminated. Mike mentioned having dinner with me and I told him that I would come back in an hour to meet him for break. I spent the next hour talking with Pauly. We talked about anything and everything and before I knew it, Mike was on break. After dinner, I headed to my room and ran into Rich Korbin from PokerStars. He was on his way to meet Isabelle Mercier and asked me if I wanted to join him. I agreed and we drove to the Bellagio to meet her for dinner (I was just along for the ride). We had a great time and finally called it a night at 2 am.

The next morning, I was off to Los Angeles and disappointed that my time at the World Series was over, after only being able to play two events. Next year, it is no fewer than 12 events for me.

See also: $5000 Omaha High Low