No-Limit Hold’em may be king, but many poker players still enjoy playing other tournaments, including Omaha High-Low Split. In fact, many players turn out specifically to play in these less popular events. Variety being the spice of life, many players – especially those who have been around the tournament circuit for awhile – like doing things that are different.
“I came out tonight for one reason only which is to support the Omaha tournament,” said three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner “Miami John” Cernuto. “I play in every Omaha High-Low tournament that I can.”
The 14th event in this year’s World Series of Poker Circuit schedule at Caesars Palace Las Vegas was an Omaha High-Low Split competition. Notable poker players who participated included John Cernuto, Sam Grizzle, Al Barbieri, Matt Savage, Richard Tatalovich, Jason Stern, and others. The $300 buy-in single-day tournament attracted 112 entries, generating $32,592 in prize money. The top 18 finishers collected payouts. All the action took place at inside the poker tournament room. Typical of the plodding style of Omaha and a High-Low splait game, the event lasted nearly 15 hours and finished up at 5:30 am.
The winner was Scott Auerbach, a.k.a. “XYZ” from Henderson, NV. He is a 48-year-old physical therapist who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation. First prize paid $8,638 plus the coveted WSOP Circuit gold ring. This was Auerbach’s first Circuit victory after coming close to winning a few times previously. Auerbach was the runner up in an event at the WSOP Circuit held at Harrah’s Atlantic City back in 2006 when his opponent spiked an inside straight on the final hand to take down the top prize. However, Auerbach estimates that he has more than 30 first-place finishes in local poker tournaments held in Las Vegas since he moved here from the East Coast three years ago.
The runner up was James Markley, a builder from Boulder City, NV. Markley is no stranger to making final tables having made several in the past as well as in-the-money finishes. Second place paid $5,215.
Third place went to Richard Tatalovich, perhaps best known as the 1997 U.S. Poker Championship winner. Talalovich has numerous wins and cashes dating back to the early 1990s. His most impressive WSOP accomplishment was cashing eight times in a single year.
With fourteen events now completed at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, the tournament has attracted nearly 3,000 total entries and has awarded in excess of $2 million in total prize money. The WSOP Circuit continues through April 30th.