Shirley Rosario
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Omaha High Low Tournaments

2007 World Series of Poker

by Shirley Rosario

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2007 WSOP Omaha Tourneys$5000 Omaha High Low
Steve and I headed out for Las Vegas on Wednesday to play in the $5,000 Omaha Hi/Low event. We decided to drive out at night since we weren’t going to play until 5:00 p.m. the next day. The late start times have really worked out well for me because I am (have always been) a night owl. I get to sleep in and play when my brain is working at its peak, so it’s a double bonus.

My table line up was great. I had a couple solid Omaha players, but most of the players on my table were willing to throw around chips. The youngest kid on my table seemed like he fit into the first group (solid player), but I changed my mind about him when he opened for a raise with KJ75 double suited from first position.

We started with $10,000 in chips and at dinner break (four hours into the tournament), I had $14,000 in chips. Some of those chips came from a player who played one of his AA hands very poorly. He limped in first position and it was folded around to me on the button. I had a weaker ace hand (A779), but I had position and he hadn’t showed any strength. I raised and got two callers (one from the blind and the original limper). The flop was J93. They both checked to me, so I bet my second pair and the original limper called. The turn was a Queen and he checked, so I checked. The river was a seven and he bet out. I called and he meekly said “I have aces.” I told him I had a set and he nodded, but when I turned my hand over, he flipped his lid. I didn’t say that I won the hand because he played it like a sissy and I would have folded if he raised. I just nodded my head once and took the chips. I won another pot from him immediately after and had him on mega-tilt just before the break.

The rest of the night moved along smoothly and by quitting time I had $22,300 in chips. Half the field was still in the tournament, so I had a lot of work ahead of me the next day. I headed off to bed so I could get a good nights rest.

The next day most of the players seemed to tighten up their game. The only one that was playing a little reckless was the kid. He was raising a lot of pots and winning them uncontested. The two of us were involved in one hand that was wild where I had A22J. On a flop of QQ8, he check raised me and I three bet him. I had pegged him for a player who liked to make moves and I was pretty sure he didn’t have a queen in his hand and he didn’t have AA. He flat called. The turn was a four. He checked, I bet and he called. The river was an ace. If it hadn’t been an ace, I would have bet, but I thought the ace was good enough for me to win the pot. We both turned up AJ and chopped the pot. I looked at his hand (A49J) and said “What are you doing?” and he said “What are you doing with those deuces?” My deuces were good the whole time and that damn ace on the river screwed up my plans. He then joked, “You should have bet the river like a pro.” The great thing about the hand was that I was able to turn the hand over and show all the guys at the table that I wasn’t the stereotypical girl and they weren’t going to be able to push me around.

About two hours later, I was eliminated from the tournament. I lost two consecutive hands to the other chick at the table and was severely crippled. On the first hand, I raised with A346 on the button and she called from the blind. The flop was J75 with two clubs. She bet out and I called (I didn’t have the flush draw). The turn was a five of clubs. She bet out and I called. The river was another seven. She checked and I said, “I have three fives and she showed a flush.” The one thing I noticed about this girl was that even though she played decent starting hands and played pretty well, she NEVER value bet the river. On one hand, she checked a full house on the river. On one hand, she checked the nut low AND the flush on the end. I was not hesitant about playing with her because I would get those river bets from her, but I would not have to give up chips to her on the end.

After I lost that hand, I lost another when I had two pair and she flopped a set. I was spared a river bet and I was left with one $500 chip. I turned that one chip into four and then into six, but lost it two hands later. I was extremely disappointed to be eliminated from the tournament. I was feeling more depressed about that event than any other and questioned my ability to play. Steve watched a lot of the tournament because he was eliminated on the first day and said, “You played great.” I told him that it seemed like I made a mistake or two and that tournament poker is very difficult because you can play perfect poker and then make one mistake and that is the thing that you are going to dwell on for the next 24 hours. It has been 48 hours since I was eliminated, so the “dwelling” has subsided. I am ready to do it again in a few more days.

*Two of my friends ended up making the final table; Bart Hanson and David Flores. I liked David’s chances when he got down to three players because he only plays short-handed Omaha online. He ended up finishing third. Bart finished eighth.

$2000 Omaha Hi-Lo
The WSOP $2,000 event was the biggest rollercoaster of a ride that I have ever been on in poker.

We started the day with 4k in chips with $25-50 blinds. I was dealt a lot of hands right from the gate, but couldn’t make anything work. In only one hour’s time, I was dealt AAxx four times and didn’t win even ½ of the pot. I was also dealt a few low combination hands like A244. There are not many occasions when frustration gets the best of me, but in this event, it did.

About an hour and fifteen minutes into the tournament, I was dealt A246 on the button. One of the guys raised from early position, another person called, I called and the blinds called. The flop was J75 giving me the nut low draw and the straight draw. The original raiser bet, we all called and the small blind check raised and we all called. The turn was a nine. The small blind led out and we all called. The river was another seven. The small blind bet, he got one caller and the rest of us mucked our hands. I was so frustrated that I didn’t even pay attention to what the winner had. I got up from the table and called Steve. I told his I was officially on super tilt because I hadn’t won a hand and I was already down to $2100 in chips and we were barely in the second level. Always the sensible one, he told me to take a bathroom break because the limits weren’t important and composing myself was very important. It took me a good ten minutes to get my act together, but when I came back to the table I was focused once again. By the time break rolled around 45 minutes later, I had $4,500 in chips.

The next four hours were very similar to the first hour. I was dealt so many monster hands and a lot of times the hands would win and sometimes they wouldn’t. When dinner break rolled around, I was one of the chip leaders with $16,000 and average chips was only $8,000.

Our dinner break was very long and when we got back I got moved to a new table immediately. I won the first two hands when I sat down at the new table and had about $20k and then things went haywire again. About an hour later, I had about 10k. The story is similar to what happened earlier – Twice I lost with AAxx and lost 3 hands with really strong low hands. Our table broke again and I built my chips up to 20k again on the new table and I am pretty sure the other players at the table were getting tired of me. I was constantly in there mixing it up, but whenever I turned over my hand, I would show a really strong hand so they knew I wasn’t getting out of line. As quickly as my stack moved up, it went down. Even though I lost a few pots in a row, I wouldn’t let it throw me off my game and I was in there raising again. One of the guys said, “She’s relentless.” I said, “I can’t let a few hands keep me down.” And he said, “I know you have been getting some monsters.”

I got moved one more time before I got busted. On the last table, I played two huge hands. On the first hand, I called a raise with A3KT suited in clubs. The flop was J72 with two clubs. The raiser bet out into me and I called and one other player called. The turn was an offsuit queen giving me the nut low draw, the nut flush draw and the nut straight draw. The only way I could lose the pot was if the board paired or if a three came. The raiser bet out again, I called and the other player folded. The river was a nine and after he led out, I raised. He called and I scooped the pot and it put me at the 20k mark once again (the guy showed JJ for a set). I raised a couple pots and got away from them when I missed the flop and then I was dealt A2KK. I raised and the guy on the button called. The guy happened to be the one that played with me on my raises on the previous hands and he seemed to be getting huge hands too. The flop was J65 with hearts. I didn’t have the hearts, but I did have an overpair and the nut low draw and was only facing one opponent, so I check called. The turn was a 3. I check called again. The river was a dreaded ace. If my opponent had 24, I was getting nothing. If he didn’t have a 24, I had the best low hand possible. I checked, he bet, and I reluctantly called. He turned over A247 with no hearts. I had the best hand on the flop and I made the right play, but at this point it wasn’t much of a consolation. After losing that pot, I didn’t have many chips at all and I knew that I needed to win the next hand or I would be eliminated from the tournament. I did not win that hand.

This tournament was really different for me because I have never been dealt so many desirable starting cards. I played more hands in this tournament than I have in the last three combined. There is a lot more to the game than the hands you are dealt and unfortunately on this day, the flops, turns and rivers decided to send me on the Omaha ride of my life. (Frankie O'Dell won the event.)

$1500 Omaha Eight or Better
I arrived in Vegas a couple of days ago and I am in seventh heaven. It has been so long since I have felt like I was part of the action and there is plenty of it here. When I got here, we immediately went to the Rio to sign up for the following days event and then jumped into a satellite. I made it down to three people, but donkey one and donkey two ended up chopping the thing once I got knocked out.

Yesterday, I played in the $1500 Omaha Hi/Low event and lasted until almost midnight. The location of the event was a big problem. I was assigned a table number and immediately went to the table because I walked into the tournament room with only 1 minute to spare. While walking to my table, I saw that somebody was sitting in my seat. Once I got a closer look, I realized that they were playing a Holdem cash game on the table. I eventually found a floorperson and he directed to me to the pavilion which was really just a tent outside the tournament room. There were paper signs with new table numbers taped to the original table plaques and I finally found my seat and sat down. We played a few hands and then we all heard a big crash. It was the back doors to the tent and they had slammed open by the gushing wind. Two security guards literally had to stand there and hold them so they didn't fly open anymore (which they still managed to do). The whole tent looked like it was going to collapse at any moment. The floor staff started moving one table into the main tournament room at a time because of safety reasons. The big problem was that there were not enough tables inside for all of us to move to. We had to go on break an hour early, so they could clear more tables for us to move to. All the players eventually were evacuated from the tent and play resumed as normal.

My table included Chip Jett and Peter Costa and almost all of the players were not donating chips easily. If you combine the tightness of the table with Jett playing his Omaha A-game, it wasn't a great recipe for me. I had chips for a little while, but Jett got a bunch of them when he made a full house against my flush on two consecutive hands. I was knocked down to about 2k in chips and sat there for some time without getting any hands.

Phil Hellmuth got moved to my table and I was amused that as soon as he arrived, he shook everybody's hands. It seems that he is nice to everybody as soon as he gets to the table so he has his bases covered in case he flies off the handle. After sitting there for awhile and after my stack had dwindled to almost nothing, I finally decided to get all of my chips from the small blind against Hellmuth with my crappy ace rag hand. On the turn, I was drawing to a three for 1/4 of the pot. I hit that three and won $275. The next hand I scooped and then built my chips back up to 2k. Hellmuth made the comment that it would make a great story if I came back from that 1/4 of the pot to place in the money. It didn't happen.

See also: 2007 WSOP reports, No Limit Holdem Shootout and WSOP 2010