When I last left off my WSOP Event report, I had just paid off the nut full house with second nut full house. Not only did my chip stack drop to roughly the 1800 range, but I kept thinking that I should have been able to fold to the river raise. I do recall thinking to myself however not to beat myself up over the decision. I still had chips and the blinds were still only 50/75. I was short, but not without life. The only problem was that in a PLO game, there is no "shoving" strategy in your arsenal. If you can only make a 3.5x pot-sized opening raise, you need to have a hand.
The table I was at was still fairly passive. In fact, I bled chips from the blinds when the pot-odds dictated a call with marginal run-down holdings like 4678 and the like. I bled all the way down to 1100 in chips and posted a twitter update lamenting my status. Still, I intended not to just blow my last chips away in disgust.
Reacting to my twitter update, AlCantHang wandered over to the table. His intentions were noble, he reminded me to get Medusa running on my iPod, a tradition we developed back in the Party Poker days. He railed me one time while I was short in an online tournament and I managed to somehow final table it only after switching iTunes to constantly play Medusa over and over and over again. I complied with his suggestion, it was an outstanding idea.
I finally was dealt a playable hand in the big blind. A late position player opened and my 9TTJ single suited was the hand I was going to go with. I re-raised pot and we got it all in. Of course, I was behind. The opener showed AJJx and had me pretty well beat. Cue the T-high, all heart flop. I took a second look at my opponents cards and saw no red. I dodged the 1 remaining Jack and doubled to about 2400. Medusa at work as they say. Then, our table broke.
My new table was filled with bigger stacks than the one I left, so I knew it would have more action. I got a free flop in the big blind with AQ63, suited Q in spades. The flop came down As9s6x, I flopped top and bottom and second nut flush draw. Vulnerable, but strong enough to lead at. I bet about 2/3 the pot and everyone folded except for the small blind. He check-raised me such that it was either push or fold for me. I felt I had to gamble at this stage and shoved. He called and showed A9xx with no spade re-draw. I was behind, but it was a great situation. I said, "Queen or a spade please to the dealer." I bricked the turn, but flushed up on the river and doubled up again. It was nearing the end of level 4 and I was over 5100 in chips with an average near 7500. It was a spot I could hardly complain about based on where I'd been.
The next hand of interest was the very last one played before the end of level 4. I called a raise in position (position is the NUTS in this game) with JT87 single suited. There were 4 players to the flop of 974 rainbow. I had flopped a 10-card wrap, any 6,8, or T gave me the nut straight, so when the initial raiser c-bet, I called. The turn came a 6, putting a second club on the board to go along with the 4 of clubs from the flop. I had the nuts, but no flush redraw. Again, the original raiser led out, but it was a bet less than pot size. My raise if I chose to do so, would commit me all-in effectively. I wasn't sure exactly what I was up against, but I felt that again, this was a time to gamble and get it all in with one card to come. My worst nightmare would be that I was up against the same hand with the flush re-draw, but I took that chance.
I raised pot, he did the same and we got it all in. What did my opponent have? Second nuts, but they were the 5c and 8c. He had no straight outs, but he did have the club outs. For a second, when the river came, I thought I was good. It paired the board 7. Unfortunately, it was the 7 of clubs giving my opponent a straight flush and me a ticket to the rail.
I'll admit, I was deflated. The guy had 3 clubs in his hand, so he only had 8 outs at most and was betting as if he had the nuts. But that was the level of skill in this tournament and the luck factor is just huge in Omaha. If I win the hand, I'm probably sitting on an 11k stack and well above average going into the break. Instead, I went to drown my sorrows at the Hooker Bar with Al and WriterJen. I ended up buying their drinks since they got to hear my bad beat stories. I'm good like that. Oh yeah, I also hit Quad Aces for $800 while I was there, so that dulled the pain a bit....
...More PLO cash game action to come...