Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Omaha Pauly on Party Poker

My buddy Jerry just signed up for Party Poker and I got a $50 bonus! Thanks Jerry. I am in the process of adding funds to a real money account (slight snafu... my mailing address does not match my credit card address so I have a little shuffling to do before I get the proper funds added) after testing out the site for a couple of weeks, I'm ready to play online.

The last few times I checked out the site, I found myself playing Omaha Hi/Lo for a couple of hours. I know that most of the poker bloggers out there are strictly Texas Hold'em players... but Omaha is really a different and a more challenging game. I think I saw a few Omaha posts on Chris Halverson's blog. I have been practicing a little bit on Party Poker, just to see flops and get a better understanding of what are the best starting hands. The pots are much higher than Texas hold'em since there's a chance to split the pot between the high and low hand (if a low hand qualifies).

Actually, Phil Hellmuth has a good section on Omaha in Playing Poker Like the Pros. I was first introduced to Omaha several years ago when I was driving cross country (from Seattle where I had been living - back to New York City in late 1998). I drove cross country with my friend Rachel and we stopped in St. Louis to spend the night with her family. Her uncle was a floor manager at a Harrah's casino (somewhere close to St. Louis, the exact location escapes me) and he was a serious poker player. I told him I had started playing Texas hold'em at the Indian reservations in Seattle and he suggested I learn Omaha. He gave me a small book (that I lost somewhere in the last few years) and a quick tutorial at his kitchen table. While I waited for texas hold'em games in Florida, I played a few hands of Omaha.

Anyway, I almost signed up for an Omaha game at Foxwoods since the lines for Texas hold'em were ridiculous. And I would like to add Omaha to the list of games I play. I sometimes play Seven card stud when I'm waiting for my Texas hold'em games.

Here's some Omaha tips from Annie Duke: Omaha Eight-or-Better: Starting Hand Strategy.

Here's a bit: "Because each player is dealt four cards in Omaha eight-or-better players often make the mistake of thinking this game can be played quite loose. They are fooled into playing a lot of hands that are, in fact, quite unplayable. Omaha eight-or-better is actually a game that in many ways plays tighter than hold'em. For example, it is much less correct to call weak in the blinds in Omaha than in hold'em where merely the price that the pot offers is often enough to call.

The reason for Omaha playing so tight is ironically the same reason people think they can play so many hands: because each player is dealt four hole cards. Just this fact greatly increases the likelihood that someone has a huge starting hand or flops the nuts once the board is down..."

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