WSOP Event 37 – $10 000 Omaha Hi/Lo Split 8 or Better
Thursday June 19th at 17h00
The WSOP first introduced Omaha, in its purest form, at the 1983 edition of the world event and at this stage it was either pot limit or limit Omaha. Over the years varying forms of Omaha have been contested and in 2001 the current version became a permanent fixture on the schedule.
Over time Omaha has grown exponentially in popularity in both the United States and Europe and this growth has been ascribed to the frequently large pots the game generates. The World Series of Poker acknowledged this growth in favour and in 1993 two events including Omaha were part of the tournament and by 2000 there were three events on the line-up.
The Premise behind the Game
Omaha Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better is a simple game and the basic premise is to make the best possible traditional 5-card poker hand with the cards available. Unlike most variations of poker, the pot is split between the best high hand and the best low hand – hence Hi/Lo Split. There is a further qualifier however – ‘8 or Better’ – and this simply means that a hand must be at the very worst an eight for the low hand to be eligible to win!
Each player is dealt four personal, or ‘hole’, cards and a further five community cards are dealt face up on the board. It is then up to the player to make the best hand by using two hole cards and three community cards.
The Battle of Omaha
There is a whole pack of professionals who have won bracelets for their personal battle against Omaha and they include:
- Erik Seidel, who claimed the title to the $2500 buy-in event in 1993
- Men Nguyen who pocketed $110 000 and the title to the $2500 buy-in event in 1996
- ‘Yeah Baby’ Scotty Nguyen who outplayed Mike ‘the Mouth’ Matusow in the heads-up of the 1997 edition of the WSOP and then came back to the final table in 2001 to claim over $205 000 from runner-up, Phil Hellmuth!
- Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson outgunned Scotty’s namesake, Men, to clinch the title of the $1500 buy-in event in 2001. Two years later Ferguson held out for his second Omaha bracelet and a cool $123 680.
- In 2002 Mike Matusow finally made good by whipping Daniel Negreanu into second place of the $5000 event