Monday, March 17, 2008

Slowplaying In PLO... The Ugly Way!

Not done as many PLO posts as planned over the last few weeks... some redress here in what is becoming a standard format of looking at a horribly played hand! The really terrible ones, the kind of hands that cause you to stare for a few immobile seconds in disbelief - they are the hands that get thought about... the ones that cause me to ask - what can we learn from that?

So, Party Poker on over a week ago - all from memory (+ notepad!) here so exact bets / stacks, I folded before the flop so this is all observed.

10 handed, 25c / 50c blinds.... limper from EP, 2 callers from MP + 2 Blinds ... no short stacks involved as far as I recall, everyone between $30 and $70 (max buy-in = $50), pot $2.50c

Flop 10-2-10 rainbow

Hmmm, 10's are popular cards with combinations of 3 high cards being popular starting hands at Party! Would expect at least a 10 out there.

EP Player Min Bets 50c... everyone calls!

Yep, a mini bet at party is not going to get anyone out... pot now 5-handed and $5

Turn = J (putting 2 clubs on the board too)

Checks around!

River - 5 (non-club)

EP Player bets pot, all others fold - EP shows, 10-10-3-8 unsuited and wins all of $4 with his quads.

Hmmmm, a strange little hand and some insights into Pot Limit Omaha to discuss... firstly the EP player called with a horrible hand. A pair of 10's with no help would go fast into the muck for me... if you hit a 10 then there are usally a whole gang of straight draws (and maybe flushes) out against you, potential to lose a big pot.

Anyway, the hand was played, as in fact were most hands by this particular player... and a miracle flop came along, flopped quads = happy days!

So, first to act what does one do here?

Difficult to answer that one without some more info on the players at the table, since I was sat to the immediate right of this 10's guy I had a good read... he played every hand and bet (or called bets) on every flop, turn and most rivers! The others were a mix of the usual very loose, very passive players at Party who would usually stay in with an overpair if things did not get too expensive and were happy to call with any draw...

So, we would expect the EP Player to bet out here, which he does - but 50c into a $2.50c pot? This was out of character and what drew my attention to the hand in the first place... a half pot, pot or check would have been expected... pretty sure I gave him a 10 at this point.

What the others called with we will never know...

The turn put some strong draws on the board. This is where the real error was made IMO(we will be charitable in calling the pre-flop call and flop mini-bet 'smaller' errors!)

We expect EP to bet (based on history), we know that drawing hands will call (based on loose-passive table), there are 4 opponents to bet into (making flush and straight draws almost a certainty) and these players are less likely to bet since:

a) They are passive and wait for the nuts before betting!

b) They have just seen a mini-bet from a known loose-aggressive (bad!) player and may be wondering what is going on.

But there is another argument for betting out here, if anyone has made a monster draw (flush + partial wrap + overpair for example) and was thinking of betting then surely the same player will raise a bet from mr EP!?!?

So here are some outcomes from a bet:

1) Everyone folds.... unlikely though possible (if this is the case Mr EP was unlikely to have made much more than a half-pot bet on this hand anyway)

2) A Re-Raise - strong draw builds the pot for him (not really concerned about a straight flush.,.. just too unlikely) or tries to chase him out with a big semi-bluff

3) Callers - chasing their straights and flushes...

Here is the bottom line in a long winded post (!) in order to make any money out of the (probable) drawing hands out there the guy with the 10's needed to bet while they still had a chance of making their hands.... this would probably have got some calls... and even better possibilities would have arisen on the river....

Had a straight card or a club have come in on the river it would have been possible to get some value from the quads based on a larger pot... for example $7 instead of $3 (with one caller) or $12 with 2... by waiting until the draws were busted the EP guy erased any likelihood of getting paid off at all.

The moral of this story?

If you think opponents are drawing (and let us face it - in Omaha players are always drawing!) then get the money into the pot while they believe they have a chance of winning!

Oh, and do not limp 10-10-3-8 unsuited in early position either.

GL at those tables, Mark

PS: For many more Omaha strategy articles check out Omaha Planet today - banner at top right hand side!

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