Still on the final two tables of WSOP Event #14: Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better tournament, stacks are getting short. Vanessa Selbst has just shown up to rail her good friend Maria Ho, with her posse of friends and significant other. In person she comes off as sober and intense, just as at the TV tables I have watched––emanating a vibe of super intelligence. Giving Maria vocal support from the rail, Vanessa comments that Omaha 8 is a completely different game from hold’em––with NLHE, you can be out in an instant, while in Omaha 8 the end is like a slow motion train wreck that envelops you piece by wrenching piece.
Maria Ho is down to her last few chips and Vanessa’s rail starts a chat of “Walk walk walk walk” for her all-in in the big blind. A collegiate atmosphere arises, as everyone in the stands joins in. Greg Raymer folds the button, giving into peer pressure and even joining in the chant, which has by now reached a deafening crescendo. Defeating hopes, Konstantin Puchkov in the small blind puts Maria in for her tournament life––how could he not with his stack? Unfortunately, things do not quite work out Maria’s way and she is out in unlucky 13th, for a merely respectable $16,000 payday. Vanessa & co. make their quick exit, presumably to console the prematurely felted, among the best in a field of more than 1,000 runners and still achingly far from the real money.