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Guth seeks to buck trend in Omaha Split event
As the World Series of Poker continues to churn out bracelets at a rapid rate, the next installment of the $10k World Championship Series is set to go today at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better is one of two Omaha variations set to be showcased in the Championship Series. The other is Limit Omaha, which will follow on June 29 and be the last $10k Championship event before the T.J. Cloutier, Erik Seidel, Amarillo Slim and Phil Hellmuth.
The first winner of a WSOP Omaha bracelet was prolific poker author David "The Mathematician" Sklansky. It was the last of Sklansky's three bracelets.
Last year's winner of this event when it was a $5k buy-in was John Guth of Vancouver, Washington. He took out 279 other entries to take the bracelet and the $363,216 first-place purse.
Guth is an Omaha specialist but previous to his bracelet win was little-known outside the online world, where he goes by the handle "sirscoopsalot." That of course changed with last year's win and everybody will know exactly where the former champ is sitting in 2008.
Guth will be looking to break the streak of 30-plus 2007 bracelet winners who have not cashed in the same event in 2008.
In Omaha, players observe virtually the same rules as in Texas Hold'em, except that they receive four hole cards instead of two. The flop, turn, river and betting patterns are all the same. Players then have to and can only use two of their hole cards to make the best hands.
With the Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better variation, players split the pot between the best high hand and the best low hand. The best low hand is made with cards higher than seven. Straights and flushes do not count so the best (or worst) possible hand is 5-4-3-2-A. If there is no low hand, then the player with the best high hand wins the entire pot.
Three Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better bracelets have been awarded in this year's WSOP thus far. Thang Luu, Farzad Rouhani and Andrew Brown strapped on the gold after winning the $2,500, $1,500 and $2k buy-in events respectively.
Brown raked in $226,483 of a $1,002,820 prize pool by beating 550 other entries, including Ted Forrest in heads-up play. No word yet on whether any of them will be playing in the $10k World Championship.