The back of my throat was dry, crackly and scratchy. It had been a while since I sunk down into that glorious feeling of playing Pot Limit Omaha. I craved the opiated nourishment.
Mini SCOOP PLO on PokerStars. $20 to enter the insanity. $20 to purchase more bullets before you step onto the killing fields. And if you survive the initial onslaught, $20 more secured you even more ammunition in melee of Eurodonks, Eurotards, and other four-card worshiping zealots.
I had just completed my acting debut and collaborated in a short film with some friends. I was riding a natural high but felt the evil urge to obtain an fabricated state.
Mini SCOOP PLO attracted 4,344 runners. Addicts. A very socialist pay-out schedule with 840 lucky comrades sharing the inherited wealth of a $188K prize pool. Not too shabby for $20+2 buy-in tournament with 1 rebuy and 1 add-on. $62 was the max and the amount I spent overall for a lottery ticket.
Mini SCOOP PLO is perfect for a variety of players...
... Low-limit junkies. The dabblers. The kids who bought nickle and dime bags in Washington Square Park or in the Sheep Meadow in high school. They were most NL players branching out a bit.
... The curious cats. Deep down they wanted to dive head first into the abyss. But something always held them back. They lived lives of ordinary people and PLO was their one vice. Their chance to live on the edge. Push with absolute nothing and a draw. Then when the games over, they retreat back into their everyday lives.
... The addicts. The fiends. The assholes who consumed all of your stash without every returning the favor. They probably spent their last $22 on the entry fee and pestered every single one of their friends for $5 so they could get a couple of rebuys. Their only fifteen minutes of fame? As a mugshots on the Smoking Gun after trying to rob drunken tourists who stumbled off the Strip.
... The thrill seekers. The people who jump out of planes or drop acid at 2am and show up for a sales meeting at 9am. Those are the people who turn $200 into $200,000 in a week and then piss it all away taking a shot at the big time. To quote one of my fraternity brothers, "In order to win big... you gotta lose big."
Short-handed PLO offered to chance to kick up the action yet another notch. Sort of like snorting both cocaine and heroin, or popping two 750mg generic hydrocodone after drinking a six pack.
My starting table? Only four players. Wanna talk about even more jacked up action? Shit, I was going to play every hand when it was six handed. With four players, I was going to raise every fucking hand.
Great Fuckin' Flops
Less than ninety seconds into the tournament (if you want to nit pick, here's the time stamp via the hand history 2009/04/04 16:31:48 ET)... I found Ah-Kh-Kd-2c. Eurotard opened and I Scandi-min-raised him. LAGCanuck called. And the Eurotard also called. The flop was 3h-2h-2d, I flopped trip deuces and an Ace-high flush redraw. I loved my hand. That's the sort of hand that poker book writers love to use as examples of "great fucking Omaha flops."
Canuck & Eurotard checked to me. I fired out. Cannuck folded. Eurotard shoved all in for his last chips. I quickly called. He held the case deuce with Qd-Qc-8s-2s. The turn and river could not save him. I doubled up.
Eat Shit, Coassack
Less than two minutes later (16:33:43 ET), I got involved in another hand with the Eurotard in a battle of the blinds. He raised from the small blind and I called with Ac-Kd-Jd-2c. The flop was Kc-Qh-10s.
"I flopped the fuckin' joint," I screamed out loud. "Get ready to eat shit, Cossack!"
Eurotard bet 150. I Scandi-min-raised to 300. He raised to 1,200. Pot. All in. Call. Eurotard's bitch-end of a straight is a big loser and he went busto. Fuck you, pay me.
All of a sudden, those two quick scores thrusted me to the front pack in the first few minutes... and I'd stay up on the leaderboard for the next few hours until my demise. Along the way, I built a stack with a ton of aggression and pre-flop three-betting. I also caught a couple of lucky cards along the way.
"Are you gonna bark all day, little doggy, or are you gonna bite?"
One player with a screen name inspired by Reservoir Dogs sat to my right and open-raised a significant amount of pots. I popped him on the button with As-Qc-4s-3s, just to see what he'd do. The big blind flat called along with the Reservoir Dog. Three way. The flop was 10d-9s-4c. I whiffed. Bottom pair. Absolute shit in PLO. Both opponents checked. I potted and the big blind called. 10c fell on the turn. I still have shit. Two pair with an Ace. We both checked. The river was the 4h. I didn't have a boat, just trips. Better than two pair, but not strong enough that I didn't cringe when he shoved on the river. I took a deep breath and called expecting to lose to trip tens. Nope he had Queens up and I busted the fucker and passed the 10K mark.
Gutshots, Coolers, and Floppen Jackens
At the first break, my stack topped 12.4K with the add on. In the first hour of play, 1,800 donks, dildos, and other sheeple were merciless slaughtered. My head was above water with 615/2533. Not surprising, a Scandi whose screename with an Umlaut (dot over an O) was the chipleader.
I pushed towards 20K on a dirty nasty disgusting foul smelling suckout. We both flopped top pair with a flush draw. Except, he had a better kicker and a better flush draw. I held one hope... a gutshot Broadway draw and I nailed it. Thank you, Riverstars.
I vacuumed up more chips on a cooler. My As-Ah-Kh-2h held up against Kc-Ks-Js-10c. We got it all in pre-flop after a raising war ensued. I was cruising with 30K and somewhere in the Top 80. I quickly passed 40K when I flopped a set of Aces. Then it was time for me to crack Aces with Queens via a backdoor flush. Up to 70K. I passed 80K when A-A single suited held up. I was 21/865 with the bubble looming.
Everything was going smooth until a Dutch supernova was moved to my right. His avatar? The Swedish chef from the Muppets. Floppen jacken.
I slipped a bit when I lost a hand to another Eurodonk. A few hands later, I exacted revenge. I doubled up when I made a sick call when I picked him off check-raising with air and no draws. Up to 125K.
It seemed like it was too good to be true. We were ITM and I was guaranteed a cash. With under 400 players to go, I was well in the top 80 until I got caught slow playing a hand. I flopped a set and didn't bet out. I checked-called with the intentions of checking-raising the flop. Instead, he checked behind and rivered a straight. Foiled. I lost more than half my stack and was on tilt.
I misplayed another hand and lost after I flopped a set and failed to push him off the hand. Gutshotted again on the river. I was crippled. I busted out shortly after. I got my money in good with a pair and an amazing draw against a big stack. I whiffed and my opponent rivered a bigger pair. Tough way to go out.
I finished in 338th out of 4,344. I cashed but the money was nothing to sneeze at. If anything, I got a tremendous PLO fix without actually losing money. I embarked on a lengthy bender and turned a profit in the process. No complaints, with the exception of how I played a couple of hands.
Bad Moon Rizen
After I busted, I sweated Rizen's run in the baller SCOOP $215 PLO event (with the same 1R & 1A). He was in the lead pack most of the night and advanced to the final table as the chipleader. It was way after 1am PT when he found himself heads up against Rolf Slotbloom. USA vs. Europe. Sadly, Rolf got the best of Rizen and he finished in second place. Valiant effort, for sure. Congrats to both Rolf and Rizen for an epic heads up battle.
I might play another mini SCOOP event later in the week... work permitting. Thanks to everyone on the rail on Saturday afternoon (especially if I forgot to mention you)... Gr8tfulMouse, Predator314, Homer, Iron Girl, Jose, Willythewise, Trane420, Markofink, and CarlYork. A couple of loyal readers insisted they were going to smoke a bong hit for every pot that I won. For a while during my rush, I must have gotten them silly stoned.
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