Shirley Rosario
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2008 World Series of Poker

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by Shirley Rosario

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2008 World Series of Poker$2000 Omaha High Low
Here is a separate report about finishing in the money of the $2000 Omaha High Low tournament.

$10,000 Omaha Championship
There is also a separate report for the $10,000 Omaha Championship

$10,000 No Limit Holdem Main Event
I was really excited about playing in the main event this year since I have missed it the last two years. Things have definitely changed. It took me a long time just to get to my seat because Harrah's made me walk through the expo and then I had to fight through the spectators so I could get through the door. Once I found my seat, I waited because the tournament was running late. The TD got up and announced a few things and then the circus began. Wayne Newton came out and sang a song and was accompanied by a whole bunch of women who marched in front of him. They looked like a drill team group and I was shocked at the fuss that was being made. We were there to play poker and it looked like halftime at the Super Bowl. After Wayne Newton sang, a marching band came out and the guy across from me started talking about how ridiculous it was. Most of the table agreed and then finally we were told to shuffle up and deal.

For the first 3 1/2 hours, I didn't play a whole lot of hands. We started with 20k in chips and I had 23k in chips when I was dealt AA on the last hand of the second level. The player to my right who was the relentless one on the table raised the $200 big blind to $600 and I reraised to $1500. The player two to my left thought about it for a minute and then cold called. The player to his left thought about it for a bit and then disgustingly threw his hand into the muck. It got folded to the guy on the button and after counting out his chips, he reraised to $5500. The blinds folded as well as the original raiser and it was my turn to act. The dealer pulled in all of the chips except for the buttons raise of $4k. By this time, most of the players in the room left and the only players who stayed at my table were the three still involved in the hand and the original raiser who stuck around to see the action unfold. I looked at the player on the button's chips and saw that he had about 13k total and I was hoping to get all of my chips in against him, I decided to raise it an additional 5k, so the guy behind me had to call 9k more if he wanted to continue in the hand (he had about 25k total). He thought for half a second and then moved in, the player on the button moved in and I moved in too. The moron to my left had 77, the player on the button had KK and as I stated earlier, I had AA. The flop was 653, the turn was a Queen, and the river was a frickin 4. The guy took both of us out with his sevens and I obviously didn't make day 2 which was my goal for Day 1. No Limit Holdem is such a drag sometimes.

$1500 HORSE
I love HORSE tournaments because the players are generally so bad especially in the smaller buy-in events. This one was no exception!

I thought my table was going to be a tough one because the first two players who sat down at my table were Brent Carter and Amarillo Slim. It didn't end up being the case because a couple goofballs joined us. Some of the hands that were turned over simply amazed me and it confirmed that HORSE is a really good spot for me.

Even though some of the bozo hands were interesting enough to talk about, the drama at the table was even more interesting. It took us four minutes to play our first hand of Holdem and the long drawn out hands didn't stop for the duration of my stay. Brent Carter nitpicks on everything. He was constantly asking the dealers whether they changed the deck or would call a floorman for a ruling on something. If the dealer started to cut the deck in Stud before bringing in the antes, he would have them re-shuffle. There was another guy who was really critical of the dealers and was downright rude. The dealers at our table sucked really bad and I could honestly say they were the three worst dealers I have encountered during the entire WSOP. I actually said "Are we being punked right now?" One dealer split the pot and pushed it to two separate players because one person declared their high hand as two pair and Amarillo declared a low hand. The problem was that Amarillo had a 9 low and we were playing 8 or better, so the pot had to be re-created so Amarillo could give the other player the other half of the pot. Once, the dealer dealt to the wrong person on one hand (to the seat four player in Stud) and another dealer dealt one player two up cards on third street and we had to push all the cards forward one spot. I could go on and on. It was the most ridiculous thing I have seen and we were almost one full round behind the table next to us. They were on their fourth round of Omaha while we were on our third round of Razz.

I had some chips for awhile, but lost quite a bit in the Stud round. Once I had aces in the hole against rolled up kings and on another hand I had queens in the hole against aces. I couldn't really do anything about either of them. It was just an unfortunate circumstance. I lost almost all of the rest of my chips in an Omaha hand and you will see what I am talking about when I say "a couple of goofballs".

I raised in first position with A288 with the A2 suited in clubs. The player to my immediate left cold called the two bets and the next player did as well. The flop came out 549 with two clubs. I led out, the guy to my left raised, the next guy three bet, I four bet, the guy to my left capped and we both called. The turn was an offsuit ten. I checked, the next guy checked, the last guy bet, I called, the guy to my left raised and we both called. The river was a frickin deuce and we all checked. I had nothing but a pair of eights and I knew my hand was no good. I wasn't prepared to see their crappy hands though. The guy to my left showed TT99 ("nice Omaha hand dipshit was my thought") and the next guy turned over KK76 with the king high flush draw (WTF??). So some people think KK is a decent hand in Omaha, but seriously 76 is garbage to go along with the KK and what the hell was he so excited about anyway on the flop? He was almost drawing dead for a scoop, but he managed to get half with his 76 low and the guy with the set of tens took the other half.

I was knocked out a few hands later, but at least I walked away with the experience of playing with Amarillo Slim. He is getting up there in his years, but he was still quick witted. When Brent said "We are trying to figure out if you are a Holdem player or an Omaha player or what", Amarillo replied with, "I am a banjo player."

$1500 Stud Eight-or-Better
The Stud 08 or Better tournament was a smaller buy-in tournament ($1,500), so we got a lot less chips to work with. On top of the small amount of chips, we started out at a higher limit than I expected, so it seemed that the day would either be really short for me or if I managed to make it to day two, I would probably be close to the money. Neither actually worked out to be true for me.

I played really well and loved my first table that I was sitting on. I had several Los Angeles Hi/Low specialists at my table and I am very familiar with their play. Even though they are good players, I felt like I was in a good spot because I could make great reads on them. I stayed at that table for several hours and was disappointed when our table broke. I was especially bummed because the lady who managed to accumulate chips was also being moved and I knew those chips were going to be passed on to somebody eventually.

My new table included a couple well known players, but I am not going to mention any names. One player I can't mention because I have no clue what his name is even though half the room knew him (he is a Full Tilt Pro) and the other player I will just call "The Perv."

The second table was a little more difficult than the first because they were playing more aggressively. I ended up finishing when the night was almost finished and I was really happy with the way I played. My final couple hands were brutal because I was semi-short stacked and on one hand I had to chop when I had way the best of it and the guy hit a flush on sixth that also gave him a shot at making a wheel to scoop me. Fortunately, my six low (I also had a pair of aces for high) held up and I got half the pot. A short time later, I was short stacked and I knew I had to get my chips in with any pair. I managed to pick up pocket kings in the hole and got all of my chips in by fifth street against a player who didn't have much of anything. He improved and I was out.

I always like when I can call Steve and say "I gave it my best effort, but it wasn't meant to be." Even though I didn't make it to day 2, I made good decisions all day and am okay with the way I was eliminated.

$1500 Razz
The Razz event was uneventful and I was out before dinner break. In the $1500 events, the players start with $3000 in chips, so it is important to win a few hands so you have some chips to work with. I never really built my chip stack up and when I was eliminated I decided to head home for a few days before my next event which is the $10k Omaha Hi-Low tournament.

The only thing worth mentioning about the Razz event was that on one of the hands, the bring in was the four of hearts. I am pretty sure that has to be a record (for those of you who don't know the high card brings it in in Razz). The up-cards for the players at the table were 4 4 A A A 3 2 3.

$3000 HORSE
The HORSE event was a real drag because I was knocked out fairly early. My table wasn't very interesting except for the fact that Mike Sexton was sitting at it. It was similar to sitting next to Phil Hellmuth in the sense that he got a lot of attention. Observers on the rail were snapping photos like crazy and I told the guy on my right, "I am popular today because people keep taking my picture." He thought it was amusing because everybody knew that Sexton was the attention getter.

There isn't much to say about the event except that the best thing that happened was that I was rolled up with Aces in Stud 8 and another time with Kings in Stud. I got no action when I had the aces because my opponent bricked on fourth, but I did win a nice pot with the kings because the guy was chasing a flush and missed (wish he would have made his hand and paid me off because I filled up in five).

The tournament ended up coming down to the Stud 8 or Better for me. In one round of Stud 8, I had three really strong starting hands and kept bricking. Two of the hands I started with low straight cards (one time I had 7654 and the other 8765) on fourth street and never made a low. On one of those I ended up making two pair which cost me an additional bet because I felt I had to call at the end because the pot was so big. On the other strong starting hand, I was dealt three low diamond cards in a multi-way pot. I hit a ten of diamonds on fourth which wasn't great for the low end, but I hoped I could at least win half the pot if I made the flush. On fifth, I bricked and the guy next to me hit a diamond and the same thing happened on sixth. This left me with very little outs to make my flush and I didn't succeed.

I hate those kind of days when you play, but it almost feels like you weren't really there because nothing exciting happens. This day was one of those days.

$2500 Stud/8 - Omaha/8 Mixed Game
The mixed games at the World Series of Poker were formatted differently this year and instead of playing a full round of one game before moving on to another, we are alternating games (8 hands of one game before switching to the next) during each one hour level. This is done to ensure that all games are given the same amount of playing time.

When I arrived at the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better, I had missed the first eight hands of the Stud Hi/Lo portion and the dealer said “We are just about to deal the first hand of Omaha.” Because I had missed the first eight hands, I had lost my antes which amounted to $200. My table looked alright except that I had Alex Kravchenko sitting across from me. I played with him in two events last year and he is a very solid Hi/Low player.

About fifteen minutes after I arrived, Scott Clements sat down in the last empty seat. Of course, I was not happy about it because he is also a very solid Hi/Low player. But I was even more pissed when he sat down and the tournament staff placed a full stack in front of him. I asked if they were going to remove any of his chips and they said “no.” They don’t want players who bust out of the noon event to be penalized if they decide to play the evening event. It’s all about the mighty dollar to Harrah’s and this was a stupid rule. I told the floor staff as much and he said “I didn’t make the rule” and I told him to pass it on to the person who did. So I started with $4,800 in chips, the guy to my left who arrived a little while after I did started with $4,750 and Scott who arrived after both of us started with more chips than we did. What a crock of shit!

I had a horrible run in the tournament and was rivered on three Omaha hands in about a ten minute time span. Scott got me on one hand when I flopped a straight draw, got there on the turn when an eight of diamonds fell and then another diamond came on the river and he showed the nut flush. Losing to Scott Clements was a drag, but losing to the total idiot at the table was excruciating. There was one guy who was such a calling station and I couldn’t beat him for the life of me. One particular hand, I flopped a set of queens when I held A3QQ and he flopped a pair of jacks on a board of QJ4. The turn was an eight and the river was a ten and he showed J976 for the straight. This was a typical scenario between us and it is impossible to accumulate chips when you can’t beat the worst player at the table.

I never had a large amount of chips and kept hoping for a comeback. The idiot had a nice size stack and I kept thinking that I was going to double through him at one point or another. While waiting for that opportunity, I watched as Clements took down most of the pots he was involved in. I have concluded that the guy spends his days off from poker helping cats out of trees and walking old ladies across the street. He is a do-gooder who has the karma of a saint and when you combine his karma with his solid poker abilities, you can win two WSOP bracelets like he has.

I got knocked out of the tournament shortly after the dinner break, but walked out with my head held high.

$1500 Omaha High Low
The $1500 Omaha Hi/Low event at the WSOP was a disappointment because it looked as if I was going to make the comeback of the century. At one point, I had $175 in chips and at the break I had $650. I actually told one of my friends, "I am on break for thirty minutes and I might be out of the tournament in thirty-five. Instead, I went back and ran my chips up to almost 6k and stuck around to it was almost quitting time for the night.

I seriously have never seen so many people trying to give away $1500. There were 832 entries and probably 600 of them had no idea how to play. The main hand sticking out in my mind is a hand I wasn't involved in. There was one guy who called a raise preflop. Called a raise on the flop of 865. Called a bet on the turn and on the river when a 7 showed up won with 9TJK. Don't ask me how he can call two bets on the flop with a gutshot for half the pot, but that is similar to what I saw all day.

World Series of Poker 2009, WSOP 2010, 2011 WSOP Events report