Last week I joined my buddy Jim at a local underground poker room for a Pot Limit Omaha tourney. Now I loves me some Omaha, but I’ve played very little tournament Omaha, or Omadraw as we like to call it. This was a cheap-o rebuy tournament, where your initial buy-in was only $25, with $20 rebuys. Yeah, that always works well for me. I should never, ever play in a cheap rebuy tournament. I should stick to tournaments with one buy-in or $100 or better, because then I care a little more. Or can at least fake it.
I bought in, and did the immediate rebuy to give myself a double stack. Then I shoved it in with bottom set against a made straight and a flush draw, got my full house when the flush hit, and was off to the races. That sounds like the recipe for a big stack, right? Yeah, not so much. I played like complete crap in the rebuy period and fished out a total of $145 out of my pocket before all was said and done. After the rebuy period, people were dropping like flies. The play in this even was pretty spectacularly bad, I’m pretty sure a moderately bright orangutan could have made the final table. And since Jim and I both made the final table, you can judge that for yourself!
I tightened up considerably once we got close to the money, but there was one guy who never shifted gears. He might have been the second-worst player in the whole event, so of course he built a massive stack. There aren’t many things that I consider to be unforgivable poker sins, but being a calling station is high on the list. This guy not only flat-called with flush draws, he would call with ANY flush draw, no matter how puny and no matter how big the bet. He took half my stack early when I led out with two pair and he was my only caller with a flush draw. He picked up bottom pair on the turn and called me again. The river paired his ace, and I checked behind him. He turned over his runner-runner two pair and started to pseudo-apologize for his play, saying he was on the flush draw. Of course he was on the 10-high flush draw, so not even close to the nuts, but regardless. I looked at him and said “Don’t apologize, you gave me the action I wanted. You called when you were behind, and checked when you pulled ahead. I couldn’t have asked for you to play it any better for me.”
Of course half an hour later he calls my all-in with the nine-high flush draw and bottom pair against my Kings and gets there on the river to send me packing two out of the money. I’ll definitely be back the next time they run that tourney, because there’s a lot of money to be made. I didn’t make enough adjustments once we got to the final table, but with a little tweaking, I feel fairly certain that I can pull down a pile of money out of that tourney.
Omaha is a great game, if you’re not familiar with it, you should check out Full Tilt Poker where you can play poker online for free.