I’m in San Francisco, and it’s been raining every day and night for the last several days. So, a couple of nights ago, I decided to forego my nightly battle with the elements to eat dinner, and just “stay in”. After the complimentary “Wine Hour” in the hotel’s lobby, I decided to go back to my room, put my PJ’s on, and play some online poker.
As many of you that play online know, “free poker” sucks, since some donkey goes all-in almost every hand. So, I logged onto one of the online sites that still allows U.S. players to play for real money. The site is not near as good as PokerStars; players don’t even have names or IDs, just a number (like Player 1), but it’s better than play money poker. I decided I would work-on my Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo game, and joined a “high stakes” , 2-cent/5-cent table, and bought in for $3.00. I played pretty well, and after an hour-or-so, had more than doubled my stack (too bad it wasn’t $2/$5).
Then a very puzzling thing happened, and it took me a while to determine exactly what had happened; because, if you’ve ever played Omaha (especially H/L) online, then you know the end-of-the-hand happens very fast. It seems the computer can “figure out” the high-hand winner, the low-hand winner, and any side pots much faster than we can in our ”live” home games. Anyway, I was holding A-2, with a possible low on the board (and I wasn’t counterfeited), so I had been building the pot throughout the hand. On the River, I bet and was re-raised all-in. Thinking I was probably going to get half of the pot (I didn’t think “being quartered” was a possibility because of how the hand had been played – and in the end, I was correct) I called. As the computer awarded the various pots, the “puzzling” part occurred; no chips came my way, and I was busted.
I clicked-on the link that displays the last hand, to verify that I did indeed have the nut low – and I did. Thinking the computer software had somehow “screwed up” (it happens, you know), I was preparing an email to their customer support to credit my account. Then, I noticed something in the top left-hand corner of my screen. That is when I realized that I had been playing Omaha (High only) for the entire night. Mystery solved, except for the fact that I doubled my buy-in not knowing what game I was playing. And, as I’m writing this, it just dawned on me, this is also similar to our home games, where we’re usually playing dealer’s choice, but almost everyone is calling Omaha Hi/Lo, and then a player (usually Randy), will call Omaha High only, and someone doesn’t hear him.
I just realized, it’s almost time for Complimentary Wine Hour, so I’ve got to go. Maybe I’ll play against you online later tonight, although I have no idea what game I’ll be playing.