Decades on from my Introduction to “the Fun Game” the First Ever Omaha Series Arrives on partypoker
In the late 80s, Terry Rogers decided to hold the Irish Open in the Griffen Club in Dublin as you couldn’t swing a cat in the Eccentrics Club. It was to change poker in Ireland dramatically, as not only could you swing a cat in the Griffen if you so desired, you could also play PLO, which Terry had been advised was worse than the bubonic plague. So, he had banned it from the Eccentrics Club. At the time, the cash action in the Griffen was mainly dealer’s choice or 7stud but our English visitors, who included the usual suspects like Micky Moran, Mick The Clock and Tall Alan, kindly introduced us to the “fun game” PLO. It was certainly fun for them, though not so much for us because not since Cromwell visited was so much carnage left behind by The English. We had no chance. And didn’t realise it till they, and our money, were gone.
Learning the game of PLO – Then vs. Now
After they had gone, we didn’t take the attitude that we weren’t going to play PLO again. We loved it! And gradually, but slowly, figured it out. Because we knew how far behind we were and there wasn’t any quick way of learning, we were pooling information and figuring stuff out together. Stuff like the “idiot wrap” was discussed in the pub with great gusto. Maybe it was because we liked being in the pub that no stone was left unturned. But it took time and was certainly far from the perfect way to master a game. It was to be years before all the maths and strategy was at everyone’s fingertips as it is today.
I laughed when I was told partypoker are putting on an Omaha Series starting today, 28th April until 5th May. WOW. Tournaments of all shapes and sizes to fit all skill levels and bankrolls. What fun! Most importantly, it gives players the opportunity to quickly gain experience that can lead just about anywhere. The only limits are how far your imagination can see.
Even Advanced Players Make Mistakes!
At the recent Irish Open, I was telling Scott and Surrinder a good beat story from a few years ago in the Aviation Club in Paris. I had played the PLO at the WSOPE about thirty minutes outside Paris. It was all going fine until just before the final table and I was starting to think bracelet. Then, I got the aces and blah blah blah. I was out and on the train having forgotten to collect the €8k prize money I was due. A bit stupid but I really wanted the bracelet and I am Irish.
A couple of nights later, I went for dinner with my friend partypoker chairman Mike Sexton who was in Paris commentating on the WPT event in the ACF. He was booked to fly to LA on the final day of the €5k PLO event so I had to play that. You have to like the logic! Anyway, I played and made the final. That wasn’t as good as it sounds as there were only 25 runners but that wasn’t my fault!
The final was weird. A Lithuanian was knocking guys out all over the place and built a huge chip lead. There was a lot of ducking and diving as we all forgot about winning and tried to cash. The chip leader knocked out the last remaining French guy to leave him with 85% of the chips in play, with the rest split between me and the other lad, who was also Lithuanian. I had just figured out my best chance of nailing the €40k second prize was to play a pot with the other shortstack when, to my surprise, the 2 lads went at it and I was in the last two. Then, I made a right eejit of myself.
We had been playing for second for so long I had a stupid attack, thought I’d finished second and headed for the door. One of the tournament staff stopped me, saying there was no break before the heads up. Heads up? What heads up? Oh yeah. That heads up. The inevitable happened. I had nothing to lose and went back in overdrive. It was all over in no time. I at least had the decency to look embarrassed as I posed with the cup for photographs. The other lad looked sick. I was going to tell him what happened to me the previous week, but I didn’t think the timing was quite right for that.
I left the trophy behind but took the money. At least I’d learnt something! I phoned Mike who’d just arrived in LA and told him what happened. Some of it anyway…
Over a decade ago Jesse May talked me into writing a magazine article by just telling a story or giving my thoughts on the poker world as though I was talking to a guy in a bar. I didn’t need to practice. This is the result…