Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bump in the road

Mr. Gumpo dropped me an email saying that he had seen me in the Big Boy Room (25PLO) last night and was wondering how I fared.

Saturdays are supposed to be easy pickings, right? That’s the assumption I’ve been working under recently. Playing against the weekend warriors and partiers is supposed to be a walk in the park. And if one plays into the wee hours, the rooms only get juicier. Well, not so last night.

I’m not complaining. I played well, or at least to the best of my ability. I made good laydowns, and when I made bad laydowns, it was at least a small pot. I didn’t chase. I was aggressive when it was called for. Yet my showdown stats sucked. Aces full of twos was one-outered. Check-raises were called.* I missed my draws. But I stayed focused.

Two nights ago I reached my goal of having 15 buy-ins for the 25PLO game. In fact, I had such a good night that I reached 16 buy-ins. Last night was the exact opposite, and instead of getting upset like I tend to do, I wrote it off. I had just been on an amazing run in the last month or so, and I was “due” for a bad session. The only question I had for myself regarding my game was: Now that I was now below15 buy-ins again, should I drop down a level?

This would have to be a questioned left to be examined in the morning. It was waaaay late, and while the action was good, I wasn’t getting any of it. I checked email and wrote Gumpo that I had been getting killed. Then I hit two good hands almost back to back, recovered half of what I had lost, and went to bed with a smile on my face.

* Hwang has written that check-raising is not used much in PLO. I use it fairly often and I am beginning to wonder if it is such a wonderful tool after all. It tips one’s hand to the other players. It says that I’m protecting a made hand, making a scare card an easy bluffing opportunity. I’m now also wondering if the check-raise can be used for betting on the come.


matt tag said...

check-raise for betting on the come? I'm not sure. So you checkraise the flop, then the turn card comes, and you're still first to act. What now?

Well if you hit your draw, then you want to bet and build the pot. But you've already shown extreme strength with the checkraise, the opponent is wary, AND a draw just came in.

If you don't make your draw, then you check again, which looks like an awfully strange line.

Need to think about this some more...

Memphis MOJO said...

I don't play Omaha (yet), but... If Whang thinks you shouldn't do it then why wouldn't you follow what he says?

Crash said...

Another trick I read-
Instead of checkraise, make a suitably small bet to tempt someone else to raise. Then you just call. The pot is built, and you have not tipped your strong hand.

bastinptc said...

Matt, I suppose the thinking would be that the opponent would be thinking that you are protecting a made hand and if you hit your draw, he would be discounting that as a possible holding. In Hold 'em this may not be viable, but in Omaha when one has a 16-out draw to the nut straight and flush, then why the hell not? OK, I'm being cute with the "why the hell" bit.

Memphis, I haven't gotten to a part of the book that explains why not. And I'm not so sure he says don't. He may just state tat it isn't employed much; yet, I can see its merit just on manipulating pot odds for simple draws (no combinations), which may be why it is not used much. In Omaha there tends to be a couple draws in a hand. Hmmmm...

Crash, I am familiar with that strategy. It seems to be the move de jour, or a variation of it — small bet, raise, reraise — at the small NL tables.

At any rate, as I've written in the past, I'm still very new to this game; yet, I find these strategy issues most intriguing, and therefore I remain engaged, wanting to learn more.

El Forrest Gumpo said...

"Instead of checkraise, make a suitably small bet to tempt someone else to raise. Then you just call. The pot is built, and you have not tipped your strong hand."

I like this strategy. I might use it for pot limit holdem as well.

I'm also a fan of Phil Galfonds strategy of keeping the pot small on the flop when you have a 'best hand' that's unlikely to improve. If you blank the turn, now you can jam and force the monster draw into making a mistake if they chase.


Crash said...

There is a 180 degree difference between small raise, raise, reraise- and small raise, raise, call. Exactly opposite representations.
Add the simplistic 'never always do anything,' and you can mix all the above strategies to the confusion of your opponents.