Negreanu, Rosen find edge in mixed events

Daniel Negreanu

No-Limit Hold'em will always be the most popular game at the World Series of Poker. But the other games are earning their share of the spotlight over the first week of the WSOP.

The appeal of the mixed games seems to be growing as almost everyone knows how to play No-Limit Hold'em properly these days, but that's not the case with games like Pot-Limit Omaha and Seven-Card Stud.

"There is always a bigger edge to be had in these games," said Daniel Negreanu, on a break in the Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha event.

"The old-school poker player was one that prided himself on playing all the games well. A lot of the new kids learn No-Limit Hold'em and that's all they can play."

Even though No-Limit Hold'em tournaments have drawn many more participants to the WSOP, there's already been a couple of stand-out events that didn't use only two cards.

Event 2, $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo, drew a record breaking 918 players, while Event 5, $1,500 PLO, saw over 800 runners.

More and more players are starting to see the value in learning the more obscure poker games at the WSOP. Online player Jamie Rosen entered Day 2 of the Hold'em/Omaha event as the chip leader and mentioned the tournament was one of his favorites.

Jamie Rosen
Usually has an edge in any tournament.

"I like this event a lot," said Rosen. "It's probably the most fun I've had in a tournament this year."

Rosen represents a new breed of mix-game players that are a stark contrast to mix-game masters like Negreanu, Doyle Brunson and the late Chip Reese.

There seems to be a shift occurring in poker where players are once again trying to find a new game to replace the thrills they used to find in No-Limit Hold'em.

And it's the players who are skilled in those games that are likely to benefit.

"These people are terrible," said Rosen. "When you play online they are good but the live players that come to these events are just awful. They don't know how to play with two cards so you can forget about four cards."

Out of the 55 events at the 2009 WSOP, a total of 25 are not exclusively No-Limit Hold'em. And as of June 4, a total of 2,016 players have taken part in these events.

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