Pot-limit Omaha game of choice in St. Louis?

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Pot-limit Omaha is quickly becoming the game of choice in St. Louis.

Ask a regular what he thinks the face of poker will be in five years, and at least in the Midwest, many will tell you PLO. With exponential growth in the past two years, this once occasional oddity is a six-day-a-week staple. Popular poker rooms Harrah’s and Lumiere Place feature a standard spread of $1-$2-$5. At Harrah’s the buy-in is capped at $500, while Lumiere Place caps it at $1,000.

Said Lumiere Place supervisor Jerry Corrie: “On a scale of 1 to 10, our PLO games are an 8 or a 9 in terms of action. The best games are on the weekend. We have a solid backup for our games as well, which means the tables stay full and there is a constant flux of players wanting to play.”

Dual-rate floorperson Jason Menendez of Harrah’s added: “What used to be a small core group of players has grown into a solid two to three games, which run nearly all week. New faces are showing up to see what all the hype is about, and the games keep getting better.”

The $1-$2 blinds, with a $5 bring-in structureallows not only the bigger-game players to wager meaningful stakes, but also leaves it open for casual $1-$2 no-limit hold’em players to feel comfortable. Don’t let the small blindsfool you,$10,000 pots and winnings in excess of $40,000 in a session were reported at Harrah’s last month.

It’s only natural that in a post-Moneymaker poker world, avid enthusiasts would look for the next challenge. The complexity of PLO presents a new playing field, with dimensions that simply don’t apply in standard NLHE. Add to that massive pots, limitless action and poker rooms more than willing to oblige and you’ve got fertile ground for the next big thing in poker. See you at the tables in St. Louis.

— Jennifer Gay