Saturday, February 14, 2009

A fine line

I sat in on a pretty aggressive, get-it-all-in PLO game for a while this morning. Big pairs were pushing preflop, and drawing hands were staying for the ride. If the raise came from EP, as it went around the table, you knew folks were calling light. Well, maybe not everyone. PLO can be a minefield when you hit a set.

PokerStars Pot-Limit Omaha, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

Hero (MP3) ($9.85)
CO ($8.35)
Button ($5.70)
SB ($11)
BB ($9.75)
UTG ($6.30)
UTG+1 ($1.05)
MP1 ($14.25)
MP2 ($1.90)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with 5, A, Q, A

UTG raises to $0.30, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.30, 1 fold, Button calls $0.30, SB calls $0.25, 1 fold

Flop: ($1.30) A, 9, 8 (4 players)

SB checks, UTG bets $0.80, Hero raises to $3.65, Button raises to $5.40 (All-In), 2 folds, Hero calls $1.75

Turn: ($12.90) 5 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($12.90) 10 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $12.90 | Rake: $0.60

Main pot: $12.90 between Hero and Button, won by Hero


Button mucked 9, 6, 4, 9 (three of a kind, nines).

Hero had 5, A, Q, A (three of a kind, Aces).

Outcome: Hero won $12.30

I read this one fairly well. All of the other players in the hand were playing nearly every hand, and what I had seen of their showdowns was luckbox material, or completely second and third best hands. The initial raiser was the worst perpetrator, so I had no problem calling him with 3/4 of a hand. (The Aces are nice, and one is suited, which helps. The Q and 5 make for a lousy back-up.)

It would be no surprise that I’d not be pleased with the two clubs on the flop, so when the initial raiser made his C-bet, I felt that I had to get him off of it, and a pot-sized bet was my best shot. But then the player to my right jams all-in? Even if he was on a nut draw, I was committed. Had he made that baby flush, I would have been sixteen kinds of pissed off.

On the above hand I made back what I had lost on a hand that could have turned out a lot worse. I’m not entirely ashamed of the way this next (and previous to the above) hand went down.

PokerStars Pot-Limit Omaha, $0.10 BB (8 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

Hero (MP2) ($9.70)
CO ($2)
Button ($3.90)
SB ($9.65)
BB ($10.95)
UTG ($1.80)
UTG+1 ($9.05)
MP1 ($9.85)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with 3, A, 5, J

2 folds, MP1 calls $0.10, Hero calls $0.10, CO (poster) checks, Button calls $0.10, 1 fold, BB checks

Flop: ($0.55) 6, 5, 7 (5 players)

BB checks, MP1 bets $0.55, Hero calls $0.55, CO raises to $1.90 (All-In), Button raises to $3.80 (All-In), 1 fold, MP1 calls $3.25, Hero calls $3.25

Turn: ($13.85) 6 (4 players, 2 all-in)

MP1 checks, Hero checks

River: ($13.85) 6 (4 players, 2 all-in)

MP1 checks, Hero checks

Total pot: $13.85 | Rake: $0.65

Main pot: $8.15 between Hero, CO, Button and MP1, won by CO

Side pot 1: $5.70 between Hero, Button and MP1, won by Button


Button had 8, Q, Q, 9 (full house, sixes over Queens).

MP1 had 9, A, 8, K (straight, nine high).

Hero mucked 3, A, 5, J (three of a kind, sixes).

CO had 8, 4, K, K (full house, sixes over Kings).

Outcome: Button won $5.45, CO won $7.75

One might argue that I had no business being in this hand, and I would be inclined to agree. Is being double suited, even with the nut flush, and some vague possibilities of straights on the bottom and top end enough to limp from MP? Probably not.

When the flop gave me the Ace high flush draw, I thought it might be worth seeing one more card. With a couple loose players yet to act, I’d be getting odds if they called. The all-ins by both players were a bit of a surprise, yet, this is how this table was running. I was prepared to fold until the guy to my right called. I was again getting odds to continue. Checking it down after the turn paired the board was fine by me.

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