Saturday, April 26, 2008

Calling Against 'Obvious Aces' In Pot Limit Omaha Poker - Part #2

Ok, time to look into the decision making process when an opponent who you are sure would only raise (or maybe re-raise) pre while holding A-A-x-x in PLO Poker. I do not have an answer to todays question - How Deep Do You Need To Be To Call This Raise?? - instead wanting to look at some of the factors which might influence our decision against a single opponent.

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... right... back to those aces which our inexperienced PLO opponent has just told us he has before the flop by making an uncharacteristic raise or re-raise. Forgeting other players how do we decide what percentage of our stack we can profitably call?

- This question would be much easier to answer... or rather the relative influence of the various factors would be much easier to assess - if we could create some boundaries, a top and bottom limit which we can then work within.

For example, if the re-raise is 50% of our stack then we do not have the implied odds required, assuming our opponent pushes on the flop then we are seeing 3/1 and can call with any piece or any draw worth thinking of. If this were the case then we are more or less calling an all-in pre-flop against a hand we know has us crushed... not good.

If the raise is 10% of our stack (and we close the betting) we have an easy call with virtually any 4 cards. The knowledge of our opponents hand gives us the opportunity to represent a lot of flops that we miss... and those times we do hit (2 pairs for example) our hand is very well disguised and we may win a big pot...

While 10% seems an easy call I wanted to try and narrow this number a little.... 15% and 20%? Sure, we can fold when an ace comes or if we totally miss the flop - but hang on, once we are talking about 25% of our stack a pot-sized bet on the flop would be pot-committing right? So what percentage can we call, based on knowledge of our opponents hand alone (will get to our hand a little later!)

100 chips each pre-flop.... 25% in the pot pre:

bet / call = 25 chips (pot 50 remaining stacks 75)
Flop bet of 50 into 75 chip stacks = no room for post flop play.

100 chips each pre-flop...;. 20% in the pot pre:

Bet / call = 20 chips (pot 40 remaining stacks 80)
flop bet 40 into 80 chip stacks = little room for post flop play (after all, a re-raise offers our opponent 3/1 on the call... which he will usually (and often correctly) take).

100 chips each pre-flop.... 15% in the pot pre:

Bet / Call = 15 chips (pot 30 with remaining stacks 85)
flop bet 30 into 85 = some re-raise fold equity here, enough chips left for a meaning full turn or river bet too.

Well - I'm happy with 15% as a starting point - but we did not yet include the effects of some very significant factors including:

- Our position.
- Our Cards (after all a double suited rundown may even be a small favourite against those aces!)
- The tendencies of our opponent (will he bet any flop? capable of folding after the flop at-all?)
- Our table image (no need to get carried away with this at the lower levels...)

Wow, so many factors and we have not yet even included the influence of not closing the betting or other 'callers' in the pot ahead of us... after all relative position may be as important as 'button position' in this case....

Anyway, I digress... will put my head on the line with some rough numbers of what percentage of stack I would call pre-flop against an opponent who is 'marked with aces"

- No info, any 4 cards... Maximum 15%
- Position, any 4 cards.... Max 20%
- No-Position, unsuited rundown or pair + draw type hand.... max 20%
- Position + reasonable hand.... 25%
- No position, timid oppponent, reasonable hand... 25%
- Position, timid opponent, decent hand (double suited + connected cards) 30%

Well, I'm a 'learner' in the PLO game - would be great to see some thoughts on these numbers.

Plan to give them a try out over the next couple of weeks and see if there are any other factors / influences which show the need to change them... we will see!

GL at those tables, Mark

1 comment:

Nick said...

Interesting post... when it comes to "any 4 cards" though, I'd be reluctant to call off 15% of my chips preflop. Even when we hit the flop hard, our opponent is not necessarily going to go to the felt with just an overpair. Against most players, I just don't think we have the implied odds to call with trash hands. Disclaimer: I am also fairly new to PLO.