Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Pot Limit Omaha Cash Game Strategy - Balance Those Raises

Back to Pot Limit Omaha Strategy for today's post... quick note here, was writing about Omaha s*n-g%s and found that my coveted Google searches contained text about Omaha for terms that NLHE players would be searching for... so I left the Omaha for a while to get things back to normal there!!

Anyway, todays thought is not specific to any one format, equally valid for Omaha cash games, PLO tournaments or the 0ne table tournaments that shall not be named (in this post at least).
Sticking to the basics and building blocks theme. Today the thoughts are about Pre-Flop Raising In PLO Game Strategy...

Going to start with an 'extreme', yet something you should be able to spot at the tables all the time. The PLO player who only ever raises pre-flop with aces!

Spot one of these and you have an instantly profitable situation. They will fold most hands, call or limp with some strong 4-card holdings and then *bam' suddenly stick in a pot-sized raise. This breaks one of the 'golden rules' of any form of poker - defining your hand (telling obsevant opponents what you hold) at exactly the same time as giving your opponents the right odds to outdraw you!

If you spot an aces-only raiser then call, every time with anything but the worst hands. If you hit 2 pairs+ or an unlikely straight the likelihood is that your reward will be the ace-only-raiser's entire stack... experienced PLO players know that an overpair is not worth building a big pot with (though a perfectly good hand to semi-bluff from position - particularly with other draws), the kind of player who only raises aces will not!

The key factor:

- No hand is that much of a favourite pre-flop in Omaha... it is a post flop game. - Since you know your opponents hand you can get away cheaply when you miss.

Of course there are variations on these opponents, some people will raise with KK (even 3-bet with them sometimes) while others will raise all sorts of hands (up to 80% in some extreme cases).

If you want to raise your aces pre-flop in Pot Limit Omaha then you must raise other hands too... must, must, must. Great candidates are 4-card hands such as 8-9-10-J or even 5-6-7-8, double suited hands containing high cards A-K-10-8 with 2 suits to the A and K is a strong holding, even 2 pair holdings on occasion to mix up your play.

You want to build a pot when you have the advantage, if you define your hand by only ever raising aces you are actually building in such a way as you'll lose the pot when it gets big and win it when your opponents miss and it is small... and that is not how you make profits in poker!!

So todays thought is to make sure you have a balanced raising strategy in pot limit omaha poker, raising those strong hands is fine (and in fact necessary - otherwise you give opponents the opportunity to limp all kinds of speculative hands without fear of a raise from you) what you need to avoid is giving away too much information about your hand when you do raise!

Cheers, Mark

1 comment:

Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Absolutely correct, sir. Good advice here, y'all.