The WSOP’s $1,500 MIXED OMAHA Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event finished on October 13, with Dylan Linde coming away with a a bracelet and $170,269 in prize money.
Today saw the conclusion of the WSOP 2021 tournament that boasts the longest official title of the series. Written with a liberal use of capitalization, the structure sheet lists the contest as:
EVENT #21: $1,500 MIXED OMAHA (ONE RE-ENTRY) Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better; Big O (5 Card Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better) (7 HANDED).
Anyone likely to play the event would have understood “PLO8, LO8 and Big O” just as well and in far less reading time.
The mechanics of Omaha Hi-Lo
As the abbreviated title of Event #21 suggests, the rotating games of this tournament are all Omaha variants. The basic mechanics of the game follow the rules of hold’em. Small and big blinds are posted, with betting action preflop and on the flop, turn, and river.
Traditionalists demand that Omaha is played with four hole cards, exactly two of which must be used with three board cards to make the best (or worst) hand. In this event, however, the 5-card variant of Big O is included. All variants in the tournament are played “Hi-Lo,” meaning the pot is split between the highest and lowest hands tabled by the players.
The real test for players in this tournament, beyond remembering which variant they are currently playing, is that Omaha Hi-Lo plays very different depending on the betting structure. Specifically, the switch from limit to pot-limit betting changes the relative strength of many starting hands, and has a profound impact on postflop play. In the pot-limit variant, most of the money usually goes into the pot on the last round of betting. This means that “quartering” (winning half of one side of the pot while losing all of the other half) is far more punishing when the game is played pot limit.
Attendance and action
Like many other tournaments this WSOP, the number of entries for Event #21 (641) was lower than in the corresponding event in 2019 (717). Entries created a total prize pool of $855,735.
Despite the low $1500 entry cost and relatively small prize pool, many well-known faces graced the tournament. Mike Matusow — who rates Omaha Hi-Lo as his best game — was eliminated on Day 1. Daniel Negreanu had a stronger showing, making it to the final day where he finished 18th for a small cash. Ari Engel, fresh off his win in the $10k Omaha-8 event, also made it to Day 3.
The chip leader going into the final day was Las Vegas local Scott Abrams. While knocked off that pedestal half way through Day 3, Abrams made the eight-handed final table sitting seventh in chips.
Las Vegan Hernan Salazar entered the final table with a commanding chip lead. Meanwhile Abrams was hanging around and slowly chipping up. Then in knocking out David Matsumoto in 4th, Dylan Linde edged ahead of both of them.
The end of Scott Abrams came in a Big O round when he got all in with Salazar. Despite flopping the nut straight on a high-only board, Salazar filled a flush to knock out Abrams and take the match heads up.
Linde began the duel with a 3:2 chip advantage as well as an experience edge over Salazar. With the game switching to PLO8, Linde quartered Salazar and extended the chip advantage to nearly 4:1.
The final knock-out mirrored its predecessor in another Big O round. Salazar flopped the nut straight, and all the chips went in, with Linde tabling a flush draw and better low draw. The flush came in, and Dylan Linde was the latest WSOP bracelet winner.
Featured image source: Kat Martin