Monday, July 6, 2009

The hard way

Hand converter-<span class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_0">Pokerhand</span>.org

I suppose I'm a bit like the kid in school who needs to be challenged to keep from acting out, pushing not to see who will push back, yet still interested in seeing what the outcome will be. I suppose.

I've become a bit bored with NLHE. Actually, it happened some time ago, which is partly the reason I switched over to PLO. It's not that I think I have mastered NLHE. On the contrary. I felt like I was stuck. So, maybe I wasn't bored so much by the game but more the way I was playing. I felt I was in a rut.

As regular readers know, I have experienced some mighty big swings in PLO, most likely due to aggression when it wasn't warranted or advised. However, the more I play the game, the more I realize that it doesn't have to be that way. Patience and paranoia are both advised, and I need to remember that.

Still, while I was experiencing some exponent of deviance, readers advised me to play full limit instead of pot limit, or switch to Omaha8. I have done the latter on occasion, more often now that I am nearly finished with Hwang's section on the game, and stick close to the style of O8 he advises.

The below hand is a typical "good" starting hand for Hwang. I'm doublle suited with the nut low and nut flush cards required, and should there be a low, I am pretty much assured a good shot at at least half of the pot. On the other hand, I have played this texture of a hand many times and gotten nowhere. I'll make a pot-sized bet and get two, three and even 5 callers.

Now, if this was Limit instead of PL, I wouldn't be able to play this hand the same way, and have less of a risk. However, I'm not so sure I played it as wisely (prudently) as I could have. The key is the preflop play. Hwang says to raise with A2s, so I do. When Jspot82 re-raises, I figure him for the same two low cards suited.

When tonyt (an aggressive player/ready caller) does the expected, I can either see the flop and then decide what to do next or re-raise. If I re-raise, I might get the hand heads up, yet it's clear I'm going to have to pot it again, essentially a 3-bet to get Tony out of the hand. And here is where I stray from Hwang's advice. He would prefer to have multiple players, yet (again) this the micros. Multiple players often like to get it all in preflop. Like on TV.

When Tony calls, even though I believe that in most cases he would have an inferior hand, and I'm still getting pretty good odds on my money, but only if I scoop. And Hwang's criterion is fulfilled. I know I will have to dodge some bullets. In fact,
I may be banking on my 4 a bit too much. I may be looking at three players having A2, maybe one A23X. After all, this is Omaha.

PokerStars, $0.01/0.02 Pot limit Omaha Hi Pot Limit Cash Games, 8 Players

stuporman1 (Button): $3.41
joker652 (SB): $.36
blckdrgnden (BB): $1.14
tonytchen (UTG): $2.55
bastinptc (UTG+1): $3.56
Kevkev84 (MP1): $6.48
codimis (MP2): $4.90
jspot82 (BB): $1.50
Dealt to: bastinptc
tonytchen raises to $.08, bastinptc raises to $.29, (2 folds), jspot82 raises to $.98, (3 folds), tonytchen calls $.90, bastinptc raises to $3.56 and is all-in, jspot82 calls $.52 and is all-in, tonytchen calls $1.57 and is all-in, bastinptc returns $1.01,
Flop:($6.63) (3 Players)
Turn: ($6.63) (3 Players)
River: ($6.63) (3 Players)
tonytchen Showed
bastinptc Showed

bastinptc wins $1
bastinptc wins $1
jspot82 Showed

bastinptc wins $2.17
bastinptc wins $2.16


KenP said...

Not much of a Omaha player but at lower limits raising isn't the powerful tool that many make it out to be. That's especially true in Omaha where drawing out is a big part of the game.

At lower limits most people who would play the hand cheap will play it raised. So, first the raise doesn't serve its purpose of limiting callers. Second, it creates a pot that now actually offers the pot odds need for someone with a draw to continue. Lots of people have the right to call the SB round when the odds offered are 8:1

Hands are also weakened by what TJ and Tom call a dangler. The 8 in that hand is such a beast that doesn't work with other holding to make a useful hand.

Although, it did fit the flush draw potential that HH shows you the trouble you'd have been in had it hit.

Middle cards like 6 through 9's are garbage enough. When they dangle, they depreciate the value of any hand markedly.

bastinptc said...

Thanks for the comment, Ken.

Yes, I know the pitfalls of raising in the lower limits. I don't understand it but it is a fact that little regard is paid to the isolation play. They just have to see that flop. I certainly have been guilty of it when in late position.

The issue with the 8 and the FD are understood. I suppose I was more interested in the A24 aspect of my hand, which, I know, is a hole in my game, and perhaps reflects, for the moment at least my approach to poker in general, which will keep me in the lower limit games.

I wrote "I had to dodge a lot of bullets" when I should have just admitted that I pulled this one out of my ass.

Crash said...

Another way to cut the boredom is the single table tourney, but I have a vague memory of you writing that you like cash only.

Anonymous said...

Enough with this spot limit omaha shit, already. It's like watching paint dry, twice.