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I FINALLY played a hand of Omaha right. (Omaha is the four-card version of Hold 'em in which you have to use two cards in the hole, combined with three from the flop).

What happened was that I was dealt !Q-#Q-2J-!10, one off the button. This is a good hand, with possibilities of a flush, straight and high trips. One player bet a routine fiver and five others called all the way round. But when the betting came round to me I did not raise back, because I knew that under these circumstances all I would win was a small pot.

The flop came down 2Q 26 #3. The first player to act checked, and the others checked along.

In one from last position, I checked, too! My reason was that the last player to act, sitting immediately to my left, was Irish Billy. I knew him well, and knew that in this position he would bet. There was absolutely no way that Billy could sit pat after four checks.

Sure enough, he bet a speculative pounds 25. Everyone read him as on a "steal", of course. Three players ahead of me called. Now I could raise my trip queens and thereby trap a lot of dead money.

I bet the pot about pounds 150, whereupon Billy gave a shame-faced grin and folded quickly. But, with so much value in the pot, the others felt obliged to call. Someone certainly had a flush draw; the other two probably had two pairs or low trips. When a 29 came down on the turn I was a bit worried about a flush, but I stuck in what little money I had left. The river card paired the nine, giving me a full house. One player thought he had won with a full house sixes on nines, until he saw my queens. Billy had raised on a bare ace of clubs.

OK, this wasn't such a brilliant play by me. But it was based on a very accurate reading of the players and the position. Instead of picking up the antes, I managed to win a good-sized pot. Normally it is best to have the wild raiser immediately to your right; but this time it paid off the other way round.

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