Red's Ramblings, Event #9 — $20+Rebuys Pot Limit Omaha
by Mark "The Red" Harlan
A small, but perfectly formed, group of eight people squared-off in RGP Open Event #9. As with all the RGP Open events, it was to specification: 20 minute rounds, 2000 starting chips, $20 buy-in with a $20 rebuy for 2000 chips through the second break, and a double add-on possibility at the second break of $20 also for 2000 chips. With three places paying money, the odds of cashing were high — although with the assembled field, you'd be lucky to see a penny.
After two-and-a-half hours of play, four contenders were left: dougman, TARKUS, Ace1177, and iron81. With nine rebuys and ten add-ons, the total purse sat over $500.
Ace1177 easily had the strangest tournament, claiming to have missed hitting an action button, only to eliminate a player because it appeared he had no hand; and then again, accidentally clicking call and folding a winning hand. With this as a background, Ace1177 found himself short stacked at the table with 5k in chips, with a table average of 12k.
On the button, with blinds at 100/200, and no front caller, Ace1177 was dealt As 6s Jd Qd and flat-called. Iron81 called from the small blind and there was a check from dougman on the big. The flop of 5s 6h 9h was checked through. A turn of Ad brought a 600 bet from iron81 (a hyper-aggressive player in the tournament up to this point), dougman gave it up, Ace1177 made a call with his now-two-pair. Ace's dream river card hit, 6c, filling him up. Iron, sensing a previous lack of sincerity on Ace's part, bet 1400, Ace quickly re-rose to all-in and got a call from iron's baby full house, 6's over 5's. This was the shot in the arm Ace needed to raise out of the Immediate Death Zone.
But it was useful to Ace1177 only for staving off a don't-put-your-tongue-on-it-deck and spent hand-after-hand being blinded away by the larger table monkeys.
With the blinds now at 200/400, dougman and iron81 opened a fire-fight pre-flop that resulted in putting dougman all-in with the deadman's hole cards of Ah 8h As 8s, and iron81 with the all-underpaired-and-all-rainbow 5 5 10 10. The upcards of Ad 4d 5c, Jd, Ac gave dougman the only set of quads for the tourney and iron a metal filing to the soul.
(In retrospect, this was the pivotal hand of the tourney, moving iron81 out of his until-then Mojo Jojo position of both chip leader and town bully. There was a palpable sense of rustiness to iron after this loss and it left the positions with the stoic TARKUS at 22k, iron81 at 15k, dougman close behind with 13k and Ace in his once-again-the-pack-mule-position of 8k.)
As Ace dwindled, he decided to make a play with Ac 7c Js Jh against his constant chip stack antagonist, iron. A pre-flop battle found Ace all-in against iron81's low-crawling, yet straight-seeking, 3 4 5 7 rainbow. The flop of 4c 8h Qh looked like potential for iron81, but an anemic set of runners 8s, 9h, doubled through the Ace.
Like a Shaolin master, dougman began turning the table's fierceness against itself — mostly at the expense of iron81 — by backing people off of large(r) pots pre-flop and eventually pushing the standings to: dougman 25k, TARKUS 16k, Ace1177 11k, and leaving iron81 weaning on the last teat at 7k.
The fateful hand came down when iron81 was dealt the doubly-suited Jd Kd Kh 6h, getting a call from TARKUS's armadillo face tank with 10s Js Qs Ad. A flop of 9s 5d 10d was bet 800 by TARKUS, but raised to 4800 by iron81, with an over-pair and high-diamond flush draw. With a turn of 5h, TARKUS made a bet that would put iron81 all-in, feigning a hit flush. Iron81 wasn't buying it, and already deeply committed, called all-in. The river was a brutal Ac, producing one of the very few beats of the tourney, and sending iron to the scrap yard with no funds. TARKUS, ever the mute, responded with no comment.
As has often happened in RGP events, the very next hand spilled yet more blood on the killing floor. Ace1177 made a post-flop trapping check-raise with 5c 5s Qs Kd figuring his hand was tops with a 10c 7d Qd board. Dougman called with a flush-drawing 9d 4d Ad 10h. A diamond turn made doug's hand and sent Ace packing $54 on his somewhat-happy trail. All things considered, Ace may well have played the best game to earn cash. Cold-decked, and always under the club of iron, he managed to stay out in the bad times and win the squeakers. Exceptional play by Ace.
This left TARKUS with 22k to the now-virulent dougman's 34k. Three hands later, dougman flopped trip 5's and managed to remove nearly all but 1k of TARKUS's stack before he mucked, a situation from which he never recovered.
All things considered it was a very interesting tournament. The play was of exceptionally high caliber, there was only one set of quads (which always seem to be so prevalent in Omaha) and bad beats were an extremely rare exception. The table was jovial and sincere and dougman, a late entry to RGP events, has clearly colored himself as the latest darkhorse contender with his second consecutive in-the-money.
Pay ins vs. pay outs by player:
Ace1177: (1 rebuy + 1 add-on) $60/$54
TARKUS: (1 rebuy + 2 add-ons) $80/$162
dougman: (1 rebuy + 2 add-ons) $80/$324