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Red's Ramblings, Event #16 — $100 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Low

by Mark "The Red" Harlan

RGP Open Event #16 was a Pot-Limit Omaha Hi/Low tournament, for $100. By RGP request, it was 3000 starting chips and 30 minute starting levels. 12 sat down to try their luck and skill, but only a quarter of them would walk away with prize money.

The early and mid-tournament was characterized by hard hitting flops and very few river cards. A truly nice spectator event with plenty of card gore for all.

After three-and-a-half hours of play, the toughest four were left: ackbleh (5900), Omaholic (6000), RAD (8200) and rarmentull (1600).

The always aprophistic Omaholic, and the silent-yet-stable ackbleh, went all-in against each other almost immediately, only to the chagrin of the bystanders and other players when they split a pot with a wheel and capped straight.

The table then immediately went tight-and-dry. With a triskaidekaphobic retching 13 hands won for nothing more than the blinds.

A critical swing hand hit next. Now sitting at 9800 chips, ackbleh had the pretty, but all-high 9c 10c 10d Qd, and called under-the-gun, only to get a raise to 1000 by rarmentull. Ackbleh called, as did the tag-along Omaholic. A semi-scary flop of 5c Kc Kh saw a 1000 bet from rarmentull, a pass from Om, and a call from ackbleh. The Jc turn set ack with the second-nut flush and a straight-flush draw, allowing him to readily call rar's 3000 bet. Rarmentull incorrectly sensed weakness and fired another 3000 on the 8d river, only to get a quick call from ackbleh. It turned out that rar was playing nothing more than the board, and ackbleh easily scooped a pot of 11000.

This put ackbleh handily on top with 16000, a perch he'd grow accustomed to, and a place from which swoop for the remainder of the tourney. Rarmentull was still not-hurting at 9600 with Omaholic and RAD bringing up the end with a little more than 5k each.

It was a few hands later that Omaholic managed to get all-in for a possible double-up, post flop with a Ac As Qs 8s on board of 8d 7h Qh against ackbleh's 3c 5c Ad Kd -- only to watch running 5's hit the turn and river. This sent Omaholic home, "on the second bubble in a tourney for the evening." We all have to have pride in something I guess — especially when that pride has no cash value — but it was made that much worse by what appeared to be his wife coming online and laughing at him.

Ackbleh now held 21000 chips, more that his two competitors combined, and an impressive 50 times over his tournament low of 410. It only a few hands for him to throw his weight around and push rarmentull off a pot of 4800.

Rarmentull answered by taking a disproportional number of blinds from several orbits of the tri-seated table. And rarmentull followed that by crippling RAD with a push off an 11k pot -- a situation where RAD had clearly missed a low. This would put rar within 500 of ack — both towering eight times over the stack of RAD.

RAD bit it to the tune of $240 when his wheel-playing As 2d 3d 4c failed to follow up on a sweet-looking 5 6 10 flop to ackbleh's anemic-yet-deadly pair of 5's.

Ackbleh had a 2-to-1, then 3-to-1 chip lead over rarmentull, but saw that vanish on a hand set thusly:

ackbleh: Ad 3s 3c 4c
rarmentull: 3h 4h 8s Qc
flop - turn: 6h 5h 5c - 10s

Rarmentull felt his hand was good enough that he bet half his stack on the flop. Ackbleh, sensing a low draw, and with the added bonus outside straight draw, called. On the turn rar pushed and ack called. The river of Qh put ackbleh uncomfortably close to rarmentull, with a narrowed lead of 1500.

Rarmentull took the lead briefly, and ackbleh, deciding that was one step beyond unacceptable, powered back in a heavy way, showing a straight-on-the-turn a few hands later to scoop a 16k pot. This set rar back on his heels once more.

On the final hand, rarmentull was sitting at 10k to ackbleh's 26000. Rar sensed ack had missed a low and made an all-in move on a pot where ack held two-pair. Ack thought about the situation for the max time, sensed weirdness in rar, and called.

This was rarmentull's first appearance in an RGP tournament and he was rewarded $360 for his efforts.

Ackbleh also was fresh into the RGP tournament world and took home the largest slice of bacon at $600.

All in all it was a nice, strong, tournament with a remarkable amount of difference in playing style.