Sunday, August 30, 2009

Uphill ahead

Tiring of the .01/.02 slog, and the pain of three buy-ins lost the last time there, I've moved up to my old haunting grounds, the .05/.10 PLO game. A lot of old and new avatars. The villain in this hand has had my attention the last couple days as he is aggressive, yet doesn't seem to be winning.

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

CO ($9.30)
Button ($10)
SB ($10)
Hero (BB) ($10)
UTG ($29.25)
UTG+1 ($4.85)
MP1 ($6.10)
MP2 ($20.90)
MP3 ($12.25)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 5, Q, Q, 6

2 folds, MP1 calls $0.10, 1 fold, MP3 calls $0.10, CO calls $0.10, 1 fold, SB calls $0.05, Hero checks

Facing a raise from the field, I would likely fold this hand. Lately I have been experimenting with defending my blinds but that hasn't been working out too well. The only way I might play a hand like this is if it is double suited. Yet, I get to see a free flop, so...

Flop: ($0.50) Q, 10, 5 (5 players)

SB checks, Hero bets $0.50, 1 fold, MP3 calls $0.50, CO raises to $2.50, 1 fold, Hero calls $2, 1 fold

This betting sequence I find extremely interesting. There is no hand that the CO can have that is better than mine, so the only thing I can assume is that he has one helluva draw. I'm not quite ready to put it all in yet. If the turn brings a club or a Broadway card, I'm gone.

Turn: ($6) 4 (2 players)

Hero bets $5.70, CO raises to $6.70 (All-In), Hero calls $1

What in God's name could he have that is so appealing and he is obviously behind? The last buck is easy. If he hits, so be it at this point.

River: ($19.40) 4 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $19.40 | Rake: $0.95

This is a 60/40 hand in my favor on the flop. With my set on the flop it becomes 67/33. One of the difficult aspects of PLO is getting people off of draws heads up when they typically maintain 2:1 odds. I am a 4:1 favorite on the turn, which makes absolute sense. The river is just sick. (See below.)

Results below:

Hero had 5, Q, Q, 6 (full house, Queens over fours).

CO had 10, 10, A, 4 (full house, tens over fours).

Outcome: Hero won $18.45


Forrest Gump said...

The flop smooth call is interesting. I play a very simple 'jam with the nuts' game while I learn Omaha. So you called based on hoping for a safe turn card to limit variance rather than slow playing? I heard about this first from Galfond, but i sometimes wonder if it applies more to higher level players where you're almost guaranteed to be flipping if both parties get it all in? Yet at this level, its not uncommon for your opponent to simply be completely clueless....


bastinptc said...

I can go both ways with this type of hand. His raise on the flop tells me that he has either a set of tens (indeed) or a huge draw (indeedy again). On a drier board I might slow-play the set over set, except I rarely slow-play in Omaha, especially in the face of aggression.

Of course, with the size of the pot after the flop in this hand, it is likely all of someone's money is going in the middle on the turn. If that someone is me, it will be on a blank.

I had a similar hand last night. I was in the BB with double suited Kings. UTG opened with a raise and by the time it got to me, he had four callers. A king and two medium hearts came on the flop.

I thought about check-raising, but I figured I could get more information if I primed the pump. Sure enough, by the time the betting got back around to me,to call I would be nearly all-in.I figured I was getting good enough odds. UTG put me all-in. Four players all-in and ahead on the flop, the turn was a Jh, giving UTG the nut flush with his aces in the hole and 2 Broadways. Poor me. Js on the river. Come to Poppa.

Something I find interesting in shifting from .01/.02 to .10 is that the penny players in PLO tend to be nittier. Less variance, but less money to be made as well.

I'd like to write more about this later.