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Event #3 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better

Day 1
Buy-in: $1,500
Players: 918
Prize pool: $1,253,070 split between the top 90

Well a more realistic buy-in increased the number of players over Event #2. All players were given 4500 chips to start and will play for 10 levels on Day 1 in the good ol' Amazon Room at the RIO. Seen taking seats are Scott Clements, Shannon Shorr, Jimmy Fricke, Marcel Luske, Mike Matusow, Jan Von Halle, John Juanda, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Fabrice Soulier, Mickey Appleman, Tom Schneider, Daniel Negreanu, Lee Watkinson, Layne Flack, Ted Lawson, Kristy Gazes, Dutch Boyd, Linda Johnson, Ivan Demidov, Barry Greenstein and Max Pescatori. And that just names a few of the big names here! Here is the payout schedule:
  1. $263,135
  2. $162,110
  3. $106,373
  4. $73,405
  5. $53,293
  6. $40,612
  7. $32,404
  8. $27,029
  9. $23,520
It was announced that this is the largest field of players ever assembled to play Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better, so those who are here became a part of WSOP history! But some stayed longer than others did. The list of the departed grew quickly as players like Allen Cunningham, Bryan Devonshire, Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Mike Matusow and Barry Greenstein were seen headed to the rail. By dinner break there were 594 left in the field. After dinner Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Madsen and Tom Schneider were also busted. But the 2008 champion Thang Luu had over 70,000 chips on his side of the table and may have finished as chip leader on Day 1. Luu will be part of the 197 coming back for more on Day 2.
  1. Thang Luu -- 73,600 chips
  2. Ryan Hughes -- 60,500 chips
  3. Clint Steelman -- 51,500 chips
  4. Alex Michaels -- 50,500 chips
  5. James Vaughn -- 49,600 chips
  6. Brock Parker -- 48,600 chips
  7. Mark Robinson -- 47,700 chips
  8. Micah Brooks -- 46,600 chips
  9. Sven Arntzen -- 44,500 chips
Day 2
Even though this day got off to a late start at 3:00 PM, players focused on the opportunity at hand. Some of them got table draws so bad, they wondered if they were being punished by God. Erick Lindgren was at the same table as Phil Hellmuth Jr., Freddy Deeb and Michael Mizrachi. At one table a player broke out his copy of Doyle Brunson's Super System to review before the start. (We can't laugh at him because several of us have copies we use!) Well the bustouts happened anyway, starting with Justin Young who lost out to Layne Flack, John Phan, Lee Watkinson, Dario Alioto, Justin Phillips who was the bubble boy leaving in 91st place, Brandon Cantu, Roy Winston, Rafe Furst, Tony Cousineau, Phil Hellmuth, Jim Meehan and Dave Stann to name a few. Todd Brunson went out in 77th after losing to the full house (3's/5's) belonging to Thang Luu. Pat Poels left in 64th place courtesy of Freddy Deeb. A few minutes later tournament maestro Matt Savage ended up 60th coming out on the losing end of a three way with Freddy Deeb and Jordan Rich.

The player with the Super Systems book was Sebastian Ruthenberg who is a WSOP bracelet holder from 2008, proving that Doyle knows what the heck he is talking about. Ruthenberg became chip leader at one point with 180,000 chips. But for those who forgot their books, the pain continued. Other names to leave include Chip Jett, John Racener, Erick Lindgren, Eli Elezra and Annie Duke. Layne Flack finished in 44th place after moving in with a table showing J 4 2 3 with his opponent producing A 5 x x for a "wheel". So at this point there are 19 players that will return, defending champion Thang Luu among them, continuing play at level 20 where the blind will be 5000/10000 with betting limits of 10,000/20,000.

Day 3 -- Final Table
This finish is amazing and it can't be put any better than what the WSOP stated. Here are their comments:

The 2009 World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in Omaha High-Low champion is Thang T. Luu.

Luu accomplished one of the most astonishing feats in many years at the WSOP. He successfully defended his title as the $1,500-buy-in Omaha High-Low champion after winning the same event last year. Furthermore, Luu managed to finish second in this same 2007 event. This means Luu has now finished second, first, and first – in the same event over three consecutive years. In the future, poker historians will debate poker’s greatest accomplishments and this feat is certainly among them.

Luu stated afterward, "I know one thing for sure. I will play in this event every year from now on!" Luu collected $263,135 for first place, the largest cash prize ever awarded in an Omaha High-Low tournament. He was also awarded his second WSOP gold bracelet. He now has cashed five times at the WSOP and has amassed $727,755 in career winnings.


As this is poker history, the event should be broadcast on ESPN. Keep your eyes open for it!
  1. Thang Luu -- $263,135
  2. Ed Smith -- $162,110
  3. Ming Reslock -- $106,373
  4. Robert Price -- $73,405
  5. Pascal Leyo -- $53,293
  6. Jordan Rich -- $40,612
  7. Jim Geary -- $32,404
  8. Freddy Deeb -- $27,029
  9. Senovio Ramirez III -- $23,520