WSOP Event #4: $1500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8/Better (Live Blog)

May 31, 2018

It’s time.

The World Series of Poker is here. Technically it kicked off with the Casino Employee Event and $10k No Limit Hold’em Turbo Bounty yesterday, but today will be my first day in action.

The Leak and I left Tacoma at about 7:30 PM on Tuesday night and I drove straight through until 8 AM, which put us just across the Nevada state line. The Leak took the reigns from there and got us to Las Vegas by about 2 PM yesterday.

I didn’t sleep much in the car, so after driving through the night I wasn’t about to play any meaningful poker on my first day in Vegas. I just lounged in the Bellagio sports book watching the Stanley Cup, Mariners, and the Super High Roller Bowl on PokerGO while The Leak played 20/40.

I have to say this is the most prepared I’ve ever been for the WSOP. I’m in the best physical, mental, and financial shape I’ve ever been in while I’m here and I actually feel well rested in Las Vegas for what feels like the first time ever.

I probably won’t be doing much live blogging for most of the tournaments here (stack and break updates for sure though) but Omaha Hi-Lo is probably the easiest variant to write during, so check back for updates all day!

Cards are in the air at 3 PM.

1:43 PM: Eating a light lunch before the tournament starts and I’m near the sports book and I am quite horrified by the World Series odds I can see from my seat:

Angels 13-1

Giants 33-1

Mets 20-1

Rockies 22-1

Twins 35-1

Mariners 50-1




I don’t necessarily think the Mariners have a real shot to win the World Series this year – the Astros, Indians, Red Sox, and Indians are all clearly better teams just in the American League – but looking at the odds for some of these other teams, that price is extremely attractive. I’m going to torch a Benji on it.

I don’t think any of the teams I listed above are clearly better than the Mariners and the Angels being seen as that much better than Seattle is baffling to me. I’ll give them an edge in starting pitching, but when healthy, I like our lineup and our bullpen more. 13-1? Jesus.

That is just crazy talk.

1:55 PM: Omaha Hi-Lo is definitely not the variant I’m the most prepared for. I just checked my YTD numbers and I’ve logged a total of 16 hours of O8 in 2018. That’s the culmination of two tournaments and six “sessions” in which I played more than 45 minutes once (2.25 hours).

Still, I feel good about my general strategy and I seem to play tournaments better than I play cash games.

I have top five finishes in LO8 at the LAPC and at the Round-Up in Pendleton over the last couple years, plus a cash in this same event last year, so I know I’m capable of a deep run even though I’m a bit rusty.

2:21 PM: First look at the Thunderdome:

Looking to make an appearance there for the third consecutive year.

2:34 PM: Last year saw 902 entrants for this event with over $238k for first place so… yeah… this would be a nice one to ship!

2:45 PM: Longest hour of my life! Let’s do this already. I’m the first player at my table which is fine. I can name check everyone’s receipts as they sit down and look at their Hendon Mob stats.

Players start with 7500 in chips for this event with blinds leading off at 50/100 and 60 minute (!) levels.

3:06 PM: Impressive start from our dealer. It took him over three minutes off the clock to deal the first card.

Six opponents at my table currently and I only recognize one of them. I don’t really think he’s a notable but I’ve seen him around at the WSOP and LAPC.

3:12 PM: Scooped on my first contested pot. I open cut off with A854 suited ace of hearts and the big blind 3-bets. I call down on 872hh97 and he scoops with AA3x.

Pretty great flop for me – top pair, nut flush draw, second nut low with backup – but I showed some restraint and put the minimum in to get to showdown.

From my seat, I can see two players that play at Palace sometimes (no nicknames).

A Pacific Northwesterner just sat down at an open seat at my table! Represent!

Sandman sighting.

3:44 PM: First scooper! I open AA2x with hearts and make the nut low and nut flush against one opponent.

3:54 PM: Cold call a raise with AK62 suited in diamonds and we go five ways to ultra sexy K53 two diamond flop. PFR leads, I raise, and two call. Turn is an offsuit 8 and they both call again. River pairs the 5 and I get check-raised by the PFR. The third player calls two bets on the river also, so I feel pretty fortunate to chop with the PFR’s 5432, but… that could have gone better.

4:05 PM: 6175 after L1. About to take my first mid-level bathroom break because this is what life as a hydrated diabetic is like!

4:14 PM: Tormund is staying with me and was on the fence about playing this event, but he is now confirmed in the field.

4:23 PM: I raise one limper with A732 spades on button and bet all streets on J83cc79 and… scoop! Above starting stack for the first time.

4:29 PM: I have seen seven marked cards. Could be a coincidence or one player just looking at their cards the wrong way, but six of the seven have been wheel cards.

Sigh. Scummy.

We’ve already had two cards replaced. I’m not the type to bring it up and have them removed but I’ve definitely noticed it. No one will be seeing the backs of the cards I’m playing, that’s for sure.

4:45 PM: Three aces have been replaced and our table is under heavy scrutiny now. It seems like a difficult problem to solve but the floor said if we keep having issues, he’s going to watch for an entire orbit and look at every hand folded and try to see who is doing it.


Extreme, but effective.

5:03 PM: 9550 on first break.

5:24 PM: Bad start to L3. I 3-bet AK42 double suited, the small blind caps and three of us see 642 two club flop. I have two pair and the nut flush draw here, but I’m clearly drawing to half the pot. I wind up getting trapped for three bets and, in retrospect, I’m probably best off just folding when it’s three bets back to me.

Instead, I call, call turn, and *gasp* call river when I make aces up and the third player folded on turn. I can probably save three big bets on this hand, but instead I get torched for -2200 chips when my opponent shows me a blatantly obvious A53x.


6:07 PM: Back up to around starting stack after scooping with AKT3 on QJ8A5.

For those that don’t know, check out PokerNews for regular updates on all WSOP events. I’ll be updating my stack size on the MyStack app so it will appear in their chip counts.

7:04 PM: Running cold. And bad. I 3-bet AAJ3 double suited and get heads up in position (with a 2 exposed). I get check-raised on T94 two spade flop (with no spades in my hand) and wind up folding on river when my backdoor low draw whiffs and the queen of spades lands on the river.

Down to 4900 with blinds going up to 150/300 in seven minutes.

7:36 PM: Starting 125/250 blinds with 5000.

8:21 PM: Solid dealer performance here: she flips up a card to the 3 seat (5th card exposed of his today) and sets it off to the side after she replaces it… and then mixes it into the muck.

I’m like, “what’d you do with the king of spades?”

She reaches into the muck and turns over a random card: The queen of diamonds. 🤦🏻‍♂️

She’s about to put that back and flip another one over and I’m like, “nooooooo…. just use the queen.”

And then it took what seemed like forever for her to figure out what to do with it.

“Just put it face down on the top of the deck. We’re gonna make it through this.”


8:34 PM: Chipped up a bit on the last hand before L6. Folds to button, he opens, and I 3-bet AT32 double suited. He calls. Flop is KQJ with two diamonds, giving me the nuts with a three high flush draw. I start with a bet and he calls. I think this is a perfect board texture to check-raise on bricked turns. I just expect him to bet a high percentage of the time, thinking this board is not good for my range. He does bet and then calls me down when the river bricks off also.

6k starting 150/300 blind level.

8:52 PM: Got back over starting defending my blind heads up with QJT8 and scooping on a KQ47A run out.

But then got quartered by A764 when I had AA54 and we both made lows but she turned a flush.

I have no had a suited AA with a wheel card hand four times and I’ve lost chips all four times. Amazing stuff.

9:03 PM: I did it! Open AAQ2 suited spades. Big blind 3-bets and I cap. He check-calls QTx flop and then check-folds when the ten pairs on the turn.

9:27 PM: Down to 5k after my AJ54 gets scooped by AQQx when I make aces and jacks and he flops a set.

My table appears to be one of the next ones to break.

9:51 PM: My table broke. No one I recognize at my new one though.

Kate Hoang sighting. Local LEGEND!

10:22 PM: Ron Ware takes the open seat at my table. I played with him at the LAPC earlier this year. He won the $1500 8-Game bracelet last year.

10:55 PM: I’ve literally been card dead for eight straight hours…

…but I’m still in there.

Tormund just text me that he busted.

11:29 PM: Extremely short after getting a free play with AK38 and flopping a king, second nut low draw and a bad flush draw against a set that quaded up on the river.

On the button with 1475 and blinds at 250/500. Yuck.

11:44 PM: Open AAKQ with a suited ace and get three callers. That’s a bad start.

I’m all in on K74 rainbow flop. One guy raises and the other cold calls. Sigh.

Turn is a queen. Hmm… okay. This time it goes check, bet, call on the side.

River pairs the 4 and it goes check, bet, fold.

I’m blocking sets of kings and queens, so I feel like it would be really unlucky to bust here, but the bettor has KK in his hand and I didn’t bother to look at his other two cards.

Gross. Not a fun start to the Series. Basically folded for 8+ hours straight and then had bad things happen most of the time I had premium hands. I do think I made some mistakes in a few spots, but mostly I just had nothing to work with the whole day. I spent 95% of the tournament below starting stack. Pretty disappointing but that’s how it goes sometimes.

Not sure what’s on deck for tomorrow. There’s a $300 Triple Draw Mix at Planet Hollywood that I’m interested in and the first flight of the WSOP $365 No Limit Hold’em Giant starts at 7 PM. Maybe I’ll play cash. Maybe I’ll let my wife decide what we are doing.

The WSOP Colossus starts on Saturday, there’s a H.O.R.S.E. event at Aria on Sunday that I’m playing and I might play the $1500 WSOP Dealer’s Choice on Monday, but the next WSOP event I’m 100% playing is the $1500 H.O.R.S.E. on Wednesday.

Until then…

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