Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cap PLO Games At Full Tilt - All About The Flop?

After an entertaining (oh, and profitable!) dabble at the low-limit Cap PLO cash games at Full Tilt, I thought it would be good to look at strategy ideas for these games here at Plan3t Gong.

The tables have the same format as a PLO game, with one major difference - there is a limit on what you can bet on each hand. The table I selected was a 10c / 25c blind 6-max with a cap of $10... so, each player can bet a maximum of $10 on each hand.

For me the beauty of Pot Limit Omaha involves the management of the pot size through the betting rounds - there is some strange pleasure in a big pot-sized bet on the river that you just know your opponent can't call!

Not the case with the capped PLO game at all.

Now, in 6-max PLO you need to raise - sure, calling raises in position is also important, but talking general concepts here... the ideal is to be in control of the hand. 3-betting is also poweful and can be done with a far wider range of hands than in a full-ring game.

Here is the difference in cap limit PLO... someone raises pot (in the game the other night this was a momentus 85c!) and gets 2 callers... you decide to re-raise from the button with a decent hand to $3.20 or so. Being a low-limit table you are going to get some callers!! Now, imagine 2 people call - the pot is now over $10... and the cap leaves you just $6.80 left to bet... hmmm

The interesting point here is that you are often correct to both bet or call with any reasonable made hand, decent draw or combination of the two.... due to the pot odds (if an out of position opponent bets $6.80 you will be getting approx 17/7 on your call after all). So, the money goes in pretty regularly right there. That major weapon in PLO of re-potting to force the decision back on your opponent is not there.... position having far less value in this game since there is no time to enjoy it's benefits.

So, what are the choices?

- 3-Bet less pre-flop? Possible but uncomfortable, the danger here is seeing too many flops with multiple opponents and little fold equity... lets use the 4 players @ 85c each pre-flop as an example... (all numbers approximate enough to illustrate the point only!). The pot is $3.50 ish and someone bets pot on the flop -thats a $7 pot with around $9 left for you to bet - so by the time it gets back to the original bettor (even if everyone else folds) they are looking at $5.50 to see a showdown for a $16 pot... no fold equity there unless it is a total bluff (unlikely in PLO!).

- Raise less than the pot? This one I like slightly more, half-potting the flop, assuming no pre-flop 3-bets, can chase out hopeless hands and will get passive opponents to call with their weak draws. Now a pot sized bet on the turn when a 'safe' card arrives will be a much better proposition. The problem with this is that it is very opponent dependant... if you largely miss the flop and you get re-potted all-in then the tough decision is back on you. Pick an opponent who is too loose / passive and they will call the turn bet anyway...

- Tighten Up + Increase The Aggression, Even Out Of Position? Here is where my current thought process is leading... with the advantage of position far smaller there is a case for the 'first bet takes the pot' in many circumstances. Of course, you would need some back-up for the times you are called... after all there is little point making a bet that would only be called by a better hand! So, wait for a quality hand, 3-bet where possible (even limp-reraise) and pot the flop where you have something reasonable (check-raise or half potting monsters and slowing down where the flop is just too ugly).

Ok... the Plan3t Gong jury is still deliberating this one, loads of possibilities but (for me at least) no 100% clear path just yet... what do you think the best strategy for Cap PLO games is??

GL at the tables, Mark

PS: Took delivery of a new machine today... goes by the name of 'i-walk....i-run', yep the scary spectre of a treadmill has arrived. My days of smoking 40 Marlboro a day and drinking far too much JD are coming to an imminement end... oh well, was fun while it lasted!

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Short-Stacked Shamus said...

I've tried these a couple of times for funsies -- not enough to give me much of value to add to the strategy discussion.

One, kind of odd phenomenon I noticed when I played these games, though: it seemed to me that some players tended to play as though they were wary of the big stacks, even though stack sizes really didn't mean anything (unless the person was below the cap). Meaning the guy who bought in large could actually bully a bit (though there was no real reason why he should be able to).

Might have just happened at the tables I tried, but I wonder if that's at all common.

Mark said...

Interesting thought! Maybe something to do with 'telegraphing' that a loss of the cap is not important to you? Will have to try it!

Cheers, Mark