The Birth of Omaha is truly a great poker story – When I met my husband Robert, I was blown away by his poker stories. Played for more than 50 years, he played with many colorful characters. Here are some of my favorite stories.
Of course I was curious about how Omaha came to be. He joked that everyone in the poker games he ran in Alabama in the ’60s held cards, and when you took cards for a deal, there weren’t enough cards to play.
So Robert said, “Look, I’m going to give everyone two extra cards, but you can only play two of the four.” And that was the beginning of Omaha; I almost believed it.
The real story is that he played many versions of four-card poker in the south from Spit in the Ocean to Greek Hold’em. As the game gets shorter, you give people more cards.
Sometimes the game is four hands, and each card will be dealt ten cards each, but you can only use two cards. Sounds ridiculous. Robert said it was true. How do you hold that many cards?
Then Robert along with a woman from Seattle named Gwen introduced the game to Bill Boyd at the Golden Nugget in 1982, and now Omaha is the second most popular form of poker after hold’em.
Robert was a regular at Stardust in Las Vegas in the early 80’s. He knows every dealer. Before the dealers started their shift, they would line up on the walls and the players would all greet them.
Then something strange happened. Robert noticed the three new faces and asked who they were. Nobody knows, which is very strange in Vegas because in those days, there were only two big poker rooms and everyone knew every dealer visited.
They were older men, who stood out. Word gets back to Robert that strange things are happening in the game. He went to the poker manager who said he would call him when it was ok to play bonus138
You can only play there or Golden Nugget if you are a hold’em player. Whether or not something is going on, he can’t say for sure, but as a professional poker player, you have to be careful.
Things are different now, but stories like this need to be preserved. Robert has always wanted to write a book. He had been talking about it ever since he met me and learned that I was an English major. I think it’s time.