Thursday, June 19, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 21: No Expectations

No ExpectationsAmid discussing the last event I covered, I remember babbling something on here prior to my Day 2 that it could well be a short day. Turned out to be the longest I’ve worked yet, extending well into dawn of the next. Ain’t gonna be so bold this time around. (I did read Mean Gene’s recent discussion of jinx protocol.) So I’ll just share the facts of the case and let you decide.

There are 48 players left in Event No. 34, the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha with rebuys event. The top 36 spots pay, so we weren’t that far from playing down to the money on Day 1. The plan today, as is usually the case on Day 2s, is to whittle the field down to the final nine. The final table for this one looks to be scheduled as another one of those ESPN360 live presentations -- I’m hearing good things about those, by the way, for the lucky ones getting to watch -- so I wouldn’t expect any audibles to be called with regard to the plan to play down to nine.

There were a lot of rebuys in this one. The 320 entrants rebought a total of 1,350 times, making the prize pool over $2.4 million. That means we have over 4.8 million chips play. With 48 players left, the math is easy -- average stack is about 100,000 heading into Day 2.

When we start play today, we’ll be at Level 11, with blinds of 1,000/2,000. I don’t believe Harrington’s “M” applies to pot-limit Omaha the same way it does to no-limit hold’em, so it really doesn’t mean much to say the players have an average “M” of 33 or whatever. The pots in PLO tend to balloon rather quickly. An opening preflop raise with these blinds can range from 4,000 to 7,000. Say a guy in the cutoff opens by betting pot (which happens a fair amount), and then the button reraises pot. Suddenly you’ve got over 30,000 in the middle. One more raise and folks with average stacks will be pot committed.

Even so, I think there’s a lot about PLO that tends to thwart strict mathematical analyses. People talk about playing by “feel” and whatnot, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. There’s a weird kind of momentum that takes place in PLO tourneys whereby players feed off of each other’s desire (or lack of desire) to gamble it up. (By the way, if you didn’t read Dr. Pauly’s elegy to PLO from a couple of days ago, it’s worth it. He does a nice job there trying to characterize the “action game.”)

Fact is, PLO doesn’t always live up to its maniacal, flying-without-a-net reputation, particularly if you get a table of clear-headed individuals who realize their stacks are deep enough to allow them to be choosy when it comes to picking spots to put their chips in the middle.

Like I say, no expectations here about how long today is going to take. Just gonna play the cards I’m dealt here.

Speaking of jinxes, I have to add that after I got back last night I was too wired to sleep (as usual) and fired up some more o’ that 1/2 Razz. And simply killed. I’ll refrain from saying how much I made at this relatively low limit, but it was a nice little session (by my short-stacked standards). I’ve probably done enough damage crowing this much.

I mentioned before how F-Train’s nice run in the Razz event had inspired such experimentation. Have also been discussing Razz hands with the Poker Grump. And last night I ended up chatting with one of our reporters, Mickey, about Razz, which is a favorite game of his. Mickey routinely plays 3/6 and 5/10 online and is doing well, so I paid attention to what he had to say. A little bit of strategy goes a long way in Razz, especially when up against players who aren’t exercising sound reasoning in their betting decisions. (As always -- with any poker game -- the best formula for success is to find the bad players.)

There’s a lot to be said for playing different games. Definitely keeps the interest up. One reason why I’m intrigued about the event I’m next scheduled to cover after this one -- Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball.

As has been the case most days over the last couple of weeks, there are six different WSOP events going on today. So head on over to PokerNews for all the latest.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Looking forward to the final day of PLO... is this your last Omaha of the Series? My eye caught on Jacobo... fairly quietly (i.e., without winning a bracelet), after finishing at worst 9th in today's finale, he will be in first place in the WSOP Player of the Year standings. That's quite an accomplishment, even if it doesn't hold up. Hoping to read some more about him in the play-by-play.

6/20/2008 12:53 PM  

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