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September 01, 2003

Omaha Hi-Lo Poker

Recently we bought a house in an Active Adult (+55 years of age) community in Arizona and plan to move there in a couple of years. We may be renting it out until we do move since it is furnished and ready to go. It is a beautiful place in a great community with tons of things to do.

The interesting thing I learned about the community was that there were active card playing groups that played poker, bridge, euchre, and cribbage. For money!! My eyes must have gotten bigger than dinner plates when I saw those guys handing bills back and forth. I was, at one time in the Marine Corps, a pretty decent poker player and won enough to pay for almost one year of college so I think I can hold my own against some grizzled old guys like myself.

The guy at the membership desk told me that they only played 7 card stud hi-low and Texas Hold'em poker at the club everyday. So I went home smiling and got on the trusty computer and played Texas Hold'em in play money rooms night and day until I was pretty good (won close to $80,000 in play money in $5/10 games pot limit games). Confidently I went into the club the next week and signed up for a membership. Then I went over and put my name on the board to get the next seat. I put my name in the Texas Hold'em section of the board and started to walk away and a guy said "You must be new. No one plays Texas Hold'em here. Only Omaha Hi-Lo." I thanked him and visited with him for a bit before signing up for Omaha Hi-Lo even though I had never played it before. Someone once told me that the games are similar so I thought that I would pick up on it pretty quick and do as well as I was doing online playing Texas Hold'em.

I got my seat and pretty soon I learned that the games were quite a bit different. Luckily the guys were nice gentlemen and helped me learn how to play. I won one really big pot. Do not ask me how. That pot kept me from losing probably $10. I only lost $3. The game is 5 cent/10 cent so it is hard to lose a lot of money if you are a little lucky. A big pot is probably $8. I had no idea what I was doing. I left and when I got back home and found a good place to play and to learn Omaha Hi-Lo. I have been practicing ever since.

I am beginning to understand the game. This is poker spring training for me. At first I was doing very well against online opponents and said to myself "hey, this is piece of cake". Then I had 7 losing sessions in a row and couldn't figure out what my problem was. So I re-read everything and re-thought out my approach to playing. I started paying attention to every hand I played and how they played out. And I started winning. In my session today I won $11,000 in play money to add to the $8,000 I had won in 2 sessions yesterday.

There is a lot of luck involved but the old saw about preparing to be lucky certainly applies to playing Omaha Hi-Lo. The primary rule is that you should never pay big money to chase and make a good hand. I started asking myself "Is it worth $200 to see the next card?" and do I really want to get that next card anyway? If I get it and it makes a good hand is there someone around the board who can beat me? In play money games there is very little bluffing so if someone bets big they more than likely have something pretty good already. It is interesting and fun. The guys at the club are going to see a new person. They are expecting a fish to come back in and lose money to them but that is not going to happen. Spring training is almost over and I am ready to move north.

- posted by Mad Jayhawk and Seven @ 9/01/2003 05:13:00 PM    |

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