Sunday, May 02, 2004

Omaha is close to Texas

I win! Real! Money!

I enter an online one table tournament poker game, real money ($5 entry). But I was a bit too hasty, I just saw that there was a seat available at a table and jumped it. I'm a bit surprised when I get dealt four cards.

Oops, it's Omaha, not Texas. I should have looked more carefully in all the columns. You'd better learn how to play, and learn fast, pardner!

Google, clickety-click. OK, it's basically the same as Texas Hold'em, but you get dealt four pocket cards instead of two. You can and must only use two of the pocket cards to make a hand.

Same strategy as my other tournament games, survive in the beginning (let the eager ones strike themselves out). And it works, just check or fold, call when you have "the nuts". And I even manage to without too much risk bust one all-in guy out, leaving six players including me. First time I sort of actively outplayed someone in a real tournament, I think. And for a while with four players left, I'm chip leader. This is going much much better than I expected. I feel like Wil (Uncle Willy).

I finish in 3rd place, earning me $10. I lost with three of a kind deuces. That was what my opponent also had, but he had better kickers. And that's why they call it gambling... No too bad for a first-time Omaha player.

Well, that's enough excitement for me. Or is it?

Tomorrow night the NBC documentary "World Poker Tour Battle of Champions" is on (Swedish) cable/satellite TV. I'm so there. Before that, on the same channel, it's the premiere of the drama series "Las Vegas" (with James Caan and Nikki Cox). Vegas, baby!

Nope, it wasn't enough excitement. I enter another 10-player tournament, real money, $5. I just sit there and let the others drop off. Never chase. When someone is short-stacked, they usually go all-in just to get out of the game gracefully. Don't chase even those, thinking "easy money".

In online poker, there are no tells per se. But keep a poker face; don't chat, don't comment. Another player jabbered constantly about the other games he was in on simultaneously, and how well he was doing. Annoying, and he could be bragging or bluffing. Try to avoid using "autoplay" buttons that many poker interfaces have, where you can select bet, call, fold, raise (BB), call/raise any and such beforehand. That looks eager and is a sort of a tell.

Oh, back to the game. Suddenly there are only five left, then four. I am the short-stacked guy and the player before me is stealing blinds, plays aggressively and is chip leader. 7000 to my 900. After a while I only have enough chips left to go all-in and do so. Busted out at fourth place.

I got a confirmation from the bookstore (online of course) that Carson's Complete Book of Hold 'Em Poker that I ordered has been shipped. I'll probably get it tomorrow Monday. Hopefully I'll go from "busting out early" to "slightly above average" (where I'm now, since I end up in the middle of the field in multitable tournaments) to a winner.

No comments: