The night finally arrived. For the first time ever, a WPBT event that scheduled that was not NLHE. At 9:00pm last night, 93 players began a strange journey into the world of HORSE (a mixed games with alternating rounds of Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven-Card Stud and Eight or Better) at Full Tilt Poker.

And all I can say is, we need to do this again, soon. I’m no expert on any of the games that make up HORSE, but I have played them all and read some about them. And apparently this small amount of knowledge can provide a huge edge against the typical WPBT player. I kept losing large chunks of my stack, but managed to build it back up during the ORSE rounds.

Unfortunately, most of my memorable hands were bad beats. The first was with 68/2 in Razz. I bet it the whole way down and was called by fhwrdh who at the end was drawing to a 9. Of course, after adding an A to my hand on 4th street, I managed to pair up with each of the last three cards. Sure, when I paired the 2 on fifth street, I can see a loose call, but when I catch an 8 on 6th, I can’t fathom a call with a made 10 and a draw to a 9. But who am I to criticize, I lost the hand and a few thousand in chips.

The other big loss was pretty standard, a made hand that lost out to a flush on the river. But it left me in precarious chip position.

Of course, this biggest frustration of the tournament was a particularly poor play on my part, at the final table no less. I was playing AKQ4 double suited pretty strongly in O/8 and after a flop of 9Tx, a beautiful J came on the river, giving me the nut straight and the nut flush draw. Unless the board paired, my hand was a lock. Except, I didn’t see that, and only called the turn bet thinking I needed an AKQ or heart to make my hand. Even worse, when the river came an offsuit three, I checked along with my opponent. I guess I should be happy he didn’t bet, as it’s entirely possible I would have folded. Of course, looking back it is entirely possible that he wouldn’t have called any further bets with a board like that, but it was still a stupid, stupid mistake. In my defense (slim as it is), I was working on my other machine throughout the tournament. Still, I should be able to read the nuts at all times and really should notice when they are in my hand.

This actually put me in decent chip position, with T17000 with other stacks ranging from T5000 to T30000. Not optimal, but at least it was something to work with. Or it would have been had the deck not gone suddenly cold on me. With the rampant calling I’d seen throughout the tournament and the fact that the big stacks at the table were displaying a bullying mood, I had to bid my time to try to find at least marginal hands before making a move. Of course, this was all necessitated by the fact it was a limit tournament and could push a hand only so hard.

After blinds (and bring-ins) stripped me down to T10000, I decided to re-raise with AQ/2 against the XX/3 that completed my bring-in. The game was seven card stud and I figured my opponent for a pair. I’d seen play those small pairs all the way through the hand, so I figured I was getting reasonable value for my money, and frankly, my patience had given out. With a J for me and a 2 for him on 4th street, I got the rest of my money in. He had hidden nines and though it was a higher pair than I expected, I still had three overcards and a 3-card flush. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there and his unimproved nines took me out of the tournament in fifth place. Good read, questionable bet, but the antes were eating me alive and I was going to need to get some chips to have any chance at the first place money.

The tournament was a lot of fun though, and I have to say I really like the Full Tilt software. I had the chance to chat with some poker bloggers and play a little HORSE, which is quickly becoming my poker preference. My thanks to Iggy for setting up the tournament, and Felicia, who was the impetus for the whole thing.

3 Responses to “WPBT HORSE”

  1. Felicia says:

    Thanks for the write-up! You did extremely well.

    We have all checked with the nuts on the river in O8. I don’t know a single pro who hasn’t made some kind of faux pas like that, acknowledged or not. Someday you’ll have to look up the Ted Lawson story, he has kind of become the unfortunate frontman for the O8 faux pas. It’s simply overwhelming to play for hours, then days on end without making a huge mistake in O8. Everyone does it, everyone laughs…next hand, please.

  2. Pauly says:

    Good job!

  3. fhwrdh says:

    your comment system was bombing on me the other day when i tried to reply, so i posted a reply on my site: