We started with 10,000 in chips and I was one of the early tournament leaders with around 15,000 at the third level. I had a nice table with several passive players who were giving out a lot of free cards when they had the best hands. Bruno Fitoussi was to my right and Daniel Negreanu was two to my right with about 12,000.

In Omaha eight or better, at the 75-150 blind level, I picked up A J 8 5. I was on the button with two very passive players in the blinds. As people were folding around to me I had planned on raising on the button, but Daniel raised in for 300 and I took a few seconds to decide what to do.

Daniel hadn’t been doing too much dancing around, and he rated to be the best of my opponents at the table. Omaha eight or better is one of his stronger games in the mix. I didn’t know whether I should fold, call, or raise. Usually I process information pretty quickly, but I had been up until 7AM the last two nights because of playing and announcing the PokerStars WCOOP events.

What would you do?

I weighed the pros and cons of the options:


1. I’m double suited!
2. I was in pretty good control of the table at this point and I might want to keep the pressure on Daniel.
3. I have position after the flop.
4. Three betting gives me a chance to represent Aces and get him to lay big pairs down after the flop.
5. I can knock out the blinds who may have slightly better holdings than I have in either the high or low direction.


1. I am still double suited.
2. My hand is marginal, but playable in position.
3. There are some weak players in the blinds that I don’t mind playing with after the flop.


1. I wish the Jack was a King, since this is significantly better on the high side.
2. I wish the low was a little better, since my low is pretty mediocre.
3. It is a very slightly better hand if the second suit gives a Jack high flush, also because it would possibly allow someone to make a higher flush in the suit where I can make the nut flush.
4. Because I was tired and this is live poker, I have now hesitated (3-5 seconds more than normal) to the point where it may be obvious to Daniel that fold is one of my options, which weakens what I can represent. I certainly can’t represent Aces anymore, as I could have with a quick raise.

I decided to not go after Daniel, since there were so many easy play opportunities against the rest of the table. I made the conservative play and folded.

The big blind called him and the flop came down:

10 9 3

I wanted to be back in as a three better now, since I have a straight draw and tens and nines are not normal cards to be in your opponents hands in eight or better, so I might even win it on the flop.

Daniel bet the flop and got called, and I hoped for a card that wouldn’t complete my straight.

I wanted to throw up when the 7 came off on the turn, which would have given me the nut straight. Daniel again bet and got called.

I hoped for a club or at least a low card on the river, so I may not have missed out on a scoop. The river was the 4.

This made the final board:

10 9 3 7 4

Daniel bet and got called and showed:

J 10 5 2

He scooped the pot with the 3rd nut low and a bad flush. I had a dominating hand against his, both high and low and was very unhappy about my decision.

I think I forgot one crucial factor which became apparent when Daniel turned over that piece of garbage. Daniel was looking for any excuse to find a hand to play against those guys to my left, so he opened a hand he wouldn’t have played with stronger players in the blinds.