Shirley Rosario
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$2000 Omaha HiLo Tournament

2008 World Series of Poker

by Shirley Rosario

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World Series of Poker 2008$2000 Omaha High Low
When I first arrived at my table in the $2,000 buy-in Omaha Hi/Low event at the WSOP, I was not happy. Typically in Omaha tournaments, I see a handful of talented players spread out around the room. On this particular day, I had a handful at my table including Mike Wattel, John Guth, and Perry Friedman.

For the first hour, chips werenít being pushed around. It seemed that even the players I didnít know had somewhat of a clue and there werenít a lot of major mistakes being made. When Phil Hellmuth sat down in our last seat, things changed.

It is so funny how the table dynamics change when Phil is around. The whole table focuses on him because he makes sure of it and not only the players at the table, but the people around do too. There was a media frenzy when he showed up and we were definitely the most popular table in the tournament. Players on the rail were hollering and asking for pictures and autographs and Phil sat there in his glory. On this particular day, I didnít mind that the attention was focused solely on him. In fact, I enjoyed it. He talked about how people throw hundreds of millions of dollars at him and about how he hadnít cashed yet (which made me feel better about not cashing in the two previous events I had played) and about how he makes the rules at the WSOP (I think he meant he was on the committee). I asked him ďare you serious about making the rules?Ē and he said ďmore than you even know.Ē So I let him have it about that stupid rule of players buying in late but receiving a full stack of chips (see my previous report). He liked the rule and I could see that I didnít get through to him, but if he really made the rule and really understood it then why did he show up an hour late and have some of his chips blinded off rather than buying in late and receiving a full stack? It didnít make any sense to me.

Chips started to get pushed around a little once he was at our table. He did most of the pushing, but a couple other players loosened up as well. Mike Wattel was not one of them. He played his solid poker game and racked up additional chips by making two royal flushes in a ten minute time span. I have never seen anything like it and he was the chip leader at our table for at least half the day. Phil Hellmuth was the first person to go and a couple others fell after him, but our table was still pretty tight. At the end of day one, I ended with 13k in chips, but other players had more than 20k.

We received new seating assignments for day 2 and my first table wasnít so bad. I was familiar with some of the players including the beautiful Kristy Gazes. She is a mixed player and I know that she isnít going to screw around. I played one hand against her that I should have gotten away from, but by the time I had tangled with her I had accumulated some chips so it didnít cost me too much of my stack. I canít remember our exact hands, but I know she made a wheel on the turn and I had two pair with second low. The river was a blank and I called her down and she showed me the wheel. Our table broke shortly after that and I ended up with about 30k in chips.

Players were getting knocked out quickly and before I knew it we were close to the money. We took our dinner break with 57 players left in the tournament and they were paying 54. I was in good shape and didnít see any reason why I was not going to make it in the money. Once we officially made the money I breathed a sigh of relief and then got ready for the next portion of the tournament.

I was fortunate that I was seated at a great table. The chip leader of the tournament was sitting at my table and he was playing some random hands. He was certainly getting hit by the deck, but I still liked his action. One other guy at my table was having a rough time with me. He tangled with me four times and he lost all four of them. Three of the hands I was in the blind and would turn over A2xx and I put him on tilt. One hand, I took A235 against his A23K and I got ĺ of the pot with my nut low and a pair of fives. On another hand, I beat him with A22Q when the final board read 888Ax and I beat him with my full house (we were chopping before that with our AQ). He was yelling at me saying ďAre you serious? You have sucked out on me every hand.Ē We ended up redrawing for the final three tables and he ended up going with me to the next table, but things changed over there.

The final three table redraw was seated me at the same table with Ted Forrest. Right out of the gate, I was dealt some good hands and I wanted to make sure he knew that he couldnít push me around. I got heads up with him on one hand where I flopped a straight and third low and he kept betting into me and I kept raising him. I normally wouldnít have pushed as many chips around as I did on that hand, but I really wanted to show him that I wasnít going to play scared. We ended up chopping the pot because his second nut low beat my third nut low. The hand after that I lost a large portion of my chips when I had AA in my hand and made aces and nines against my opponents turned straight. I had the nut flush redraw but I missed. My final hand was the next hand dealt and I was eliminated in 19th place. I received $6541 for my finish.

More 2008 World Series of Poker reports, plus the $10,000 Omaha Championship