Having had a bad week and not up for much in the sense of going out and getting sloshed, I decided to have a proper dabble at Omaha a variation of poker that is said to be the game of the poker intellectuals and elite.
Boy what a hard game to read and play! I think I have mastered the finer points of Texas Hold Em and I definitely got the game of Five Card Stud under orders, but Omaha is blindingly difficult and not the sort of game to play when you have had a can of lager or two.
The game must be played when you are total in touch with your faculties and prepared to throw in your hands when sitting on two pairs. It’s a game where you play the man more than the cards. Online poker is so difficult to read players because there are pretty much standard ways of raising, checking and bluffing which most players who have read the numerous websites and books, have elaborated on at length.
With Omaha I finally realised that most players haven’t really got to grips with the maths of the game so it helps people like me who have no patients and subtlety to take liberties, which I do constantly.
Anyway, I was in a cheap game looking to learn by osmosis the maths and strategy Omaha. Luckily I had managed to get to the final table playing some risky cards and was able to check out the playing styles of other players who had quite clearly been at the game for a while because they were chatting away amongst themselves and abusing an online player from the Ukraine for being a fish.
For a while I thought they were in league together as they were comfortable in each others little gossip and chit chats. I did feel sorry for the guy from the Ukraine because he was playing loose and aggressive which may be bad play but you don’t have to ridicule a guy for playing like that especially when the game is for pennies. In fact you should keep your mouth shut and just nick his chips of him.
Anyway I managed to bluff and blag my way to second chip leader, basically stitching up the Ukraine guy, and the leader was quite clearly a good player so I avoided him like the plague unless I had a very pretty hand. These ‘gossiping guys’ had obviously read some manual about playing Omaha and literally had the same moves, so, it was a question of waiting to get them on their own and just watch their betting patterns because these guys never went in without a decent hand.
The other player was like me bit inexperience and tempted to go for ragged hands hoping to make a decent hand on the turn and river. It may not be standard poker playing, but, when you are playing with text book merchants it’s the way to play until they know your moves.
After the tournament break I must admit I got bored and just wanted to shut the ‘gossiping guys’ up, and, didn’t really care if I won or lost so I went into super aggressive play on two of them who followed me in the betting. I nicked their blinds by raising aggressively and watching them fold. They were determined to get into the money so unless they had super pretty hands they just folded. They caught me a couple of times but I wanted their blood and targeted them like a heat seeking missile.
In the end I was left with the chip leader and the other rookie who had caught onto the strategy of targeting the ‘gossiping guys’. The rookie eventually took down the chip leader and I kept out of the way and when the chip leader was no longer chip leader me and the rookie just went mad and eventually I won. If we could of split first and second I certainly would of and I suspect that the rookie would have done likewise because the online Omaha game is seriously difficult and taxing. Our heads up game was over and done with in 3 hands.
Omaha poker is definitely a game to be played live and not online if you don’t like folding hands constantly. Now I have won my first Omaha tournament (I have done well before but simply ran out of patience and got bored) I may go for Sit and Go Omaha tournaments because it gives you a better chance of reading your opponents and taking out the randomness of online Texas Hold Em tournament game. As for the ‘gossiping guys’, I hope to god I never have to play those muppets, their online chit chat just drives me crazy.