Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Variance at the PLO tables

I've been playing a bit of PLO (pot limit omaha) lately, to give myself a change of pace.  I still haven't built up the courage to solidly 2 table or more; I'm still adjusting to simply the hand reading aspect and figuring out my own equity... much less introducing more complexity by adding more tables and hands to sort through.

The following hand leaves me -300 for the night:

Hand #7354006-231 - 2013-05-22 00:11:05
Game: PL Omaha (20 - 100) - Blinds 0.50/1
Site: Seals With Clubs
Table: PLO 6max .5/1 #2
Seat 1: Player1 (96)
Seat 2: DONKEY (456.48) - 100/50 in my estimation
Seat 3: AveragePlayer1 (105.15)
Seat 4: LAG1 (1010.15)
Seat 5: Hero (100)
Seat 6: AveragePlayer2 (196.21)
AveragePlayer1 has the dealer button
LAG1 posts small blind 0.50
Hero posts big blind 1
** Hole Cards **
Dealt to Hero [Ad Ah 9s 4d]
AveragePlayer2 folds
Player1 folds
DONKEY raises to 3.50
AveragePlayer1calls 3.50
LAG1 calls 3
Hero raises to 17.50
DONKEY calls 14
AveragePlayer1calls 14
LAG1 calls 14
70 in the pot and 83 behind
** Flop ** [As 6d 7d] - I flop top set with the nut flush draw and 2 blockers to the up & down straight draws
LAG1 checks
Hero checks
DONKEY bets 68
AveragePlayer1raises to 87.65 (All-in)
LAG1 raises to 399.20
Hero calls 82.50 (All-in) - snap call fist pump
DONKEY raises to 438.98 (All-in)
LAG1 calls 39.78
** Turn ** [6c]
** River ** [6h]
** Side Pot 2 Show Down ** [As 6d 7d 6c 6h]
DONKEY shows [4s 5h 6s Kh] (Four of a Kind, Sixes +K)
LAG1 shows [9d 8s Ts Td] (a Full House, Sixes full of Tens)
DONKEY wins Side Pot 2 (702.66) with Four of a Kind
Rake (0)
** Side Pot 1 Show Down ** [As 6d 7d 6c 6h]
AveragePlayer1 shows [8d Qc Ac 5d] (Three of a Kind, Sixes +AQ)
DONKEY wins Side Pot 1 (15.45) with Four of a Kind
Rake (0)
** Main Pot Show Down ** [As 6d 7d 6c 6h]
Hero shows [Ad Ah 9s 4d] (a Full House, Aces full of Sixes)
DONKEY wins Main Pot (398) with Four of a Kind
Rake (2)
Got it in with HUGE equity vs. the field: 2 4's, 2 5's , 2 8's, 3 9's - 9 outs against the field - and I get runner runnered by quads...  hrmph!

Immediately followed by this hand which puts me down -400 for the night:

Hand #7354156-233 - 2013-05-22 00:14:13
Game: PL Omaha (20 - 100) - Blinds 0.50/1
Site: Seals With Clubs
Table: PLO 6max .5/1 #2
Seat 1: Player1 (96)
Seat 2: DONKEY (1186.73)
Seat 3: AveragePlayer1 (40)
Seat 4: LAG1 (548.67)
Seat 5: Hero (100)
Seat 6: sigmasquared (129.59)
Hero has the dealer button
AveragePlayer2 posts small blind 0.50
Player1 posts big blind 1
** Hole Cards **
Dealt to Hero [Ad Tc Td 8s] - I call here because DONKEY has PROVEN he only has 3 buttons: "pot" for what he believes to be his value hands, "call" for his draws, and "fold" for his rare misses
DONKEY calls 1
AveragePlayer1 calls 1
LAG1 raises to 4
Hero calls 4
AveragePlayer2 folds
Player1 calls 3
DONKEY calls 3
AveragePlayer1 calls 3
** Flop ** [8h 8d 2c] - Trip 8's with an Ace kicker; boom
Player1 checks
DONKEY checks
AveragePlayer1 checks
LAG1 checks
Hero bets 10
Player1 folds
DONKEY calls 10
AveragePlayer1 folds
LAG1 folds
** Turn ** [Ts] - It just gets better!
DONKEY checks
Hero bets 20
DONKEY calls 20 - This guy has an overpair who desperately wants to get to showdown; he doesn't understand that his overpair is no good.
** River ** [Qc]
DONKEY bets 78.50 - There's so much in his range that he's value betting thinking he's good here.  He has no problem dumping in with random 8's, so I'm not too concerned about his shove.  I think this is a snap call.
Hero calls 66 (All-in)
DONKEY refunded 12.50
** Pot Show Down ** [8h 8d 2c Ts Qc]
DONKEY shows [Qs Qd 3c Jd] (a Full House, Queens full of Eights) - 2 outted!  WTF?
Hero shows [Ad Tc Td 8s] (a Full House, Tens full of Eights)
DONKEY wins Pot (210.50) with a Full House
Rake (2)
Hero adds 100 chips

Now, as I said, I've been learning the game.  Poker is poker, and reads still are reads.  Since I've been playing live, I've improved my reads a TON.  Since there is no HUD for PLO on Seals With Clubs, I've focused on discerning hand ranges and player types.

The following are the upsides to last night, as I went on a mini heater after all the bad stuff.  A little background is that DONKEY doubled me up in the next 2 or 3 hands or so (with my bottom 2 pair vs. his TPTK AK), so I'm sitting on 200 or so chips when we get into another hand:

I have A K J 9 double suited and I raised pre.  He opts to 3bet to 12 and I think we're heads up and the flop is:
K Q 9 two spades

He leads pot ~26.
I think for a little and call; J T is a possibility, but even though he raises 50% of his hands, he 3bets rarely; like this is his second time - and AA is squarely in his range.
Turn is the 8s - bummer shitty.
To my chagrin, he pots again; 78.  If I call, I'll have 84 behind and a huge pot in the middle.  It's shove or fold time for me.  I just don't believe he has the spades, and I'm trying to collect my thoughts with regards to his ranges.  He can 3bet AA and KK holdings.  I have a K in my hand, so it's less likely for him to hold 2 K's.  He has a habit of mashing pot when he believe he has value.  He has no consideration for his opponent's hands; he's a level 1 player.  His value hands that beat me are AA K Q, AA JT, AA XX with 2 spades.  Any other AA xx hands are beat.  I opt to shove and he does not snap it off; I breath a sigh of relief - no JT, no spades.  He calls with AA xx and I double through again - 400 to finish the hand.

Then, I get into a hand where I hold AA double suited against a standard-ish player.  I raise pre and he calls; we're heads up and he has ~200 to start the hand:

7 in the pot and the flop is K J 3, rainbow.
He checks, I lead pot and he calls.

21 in the pot and the turn is a 3.
He checks and I lead pot again.  He calls

63 in the pot and the river is a J.
This time, he leads pot.  I snap it off; he can have random jacks, but I think 2 pair are going to check raise at some point in the hand - mostly the flop.  This bet does not make any sense, hence the snap call.

K J 3 3 J board and am shown A K Q T.

I'm learning.


  1. I am certainly no Omaha expert, but: 1) It is a game of draws; 2) Straights and flushes win much more often than at Hold Em. Two pair is a weak hand in Omaha; 3) Any good hand can get counterfeited at any time when the board gets paired of someone hits the more frequent sets in Omaha; 4) Omaha variance sucks worse than almost anything in poker.

  2. It's fun, though. I enjoy playing it. Tonight I was two-tabling; I stunk up the joint, but it's a far cry from NLHE. Way more action, way more thought.

  3. yay ! someone who actually acknowledges the fact that you need to think whilst playing Omaha :)
    well it is the most variance ridden form ....
    no, wait, 6-max is the most variance ridden ....
    no, wait, 6-max zoom is the most variance ridden form of poker :)

    1. I figured that SWC is a fairly easy way to get introduced to PLO. I've been doing a bit of reading about it as well - Tri Nguyen's book as well as Jeff Hwang's book.

      Any other recommended readings?

  4. Ahhh...PLO the game of kings! This is my wheelhouse

    Hand 1...lead this 4 ways on the flop every time. Free cards no good in PLO...may not have mattered obv

    Hand 2...hand is meh but we have suited A in a line up of fish so w/e. Bet closer to pot in a 5 way bigger on turn against stationey opponent. c/c, c/c, bomb river line is either Q8xx or QQ always...against a thinking opponent this is mostly a fold. Against a fish...close your eyes and click the call BTN with 2nd nuts

    The AA hand is an absolute check back on flop or c/f...a good player should be c/r you there and you can't call. He is way ahead on that flop with his actual holding. Turn is good one for you obv.

    Just read Hwang. Maybe some of the low stakes PLO forum on 2p2...then jump in the 5/5/10 PLO game with us at Perryville ;)

    I'm playing PLO all summer at WSOP so follow on Twitter

    1. I was waiting for your comments. I'm going to try to put more PLO hands up now that I'm 2 tabling min stakes PLO. It's a fun game, and a great change. Dover offers a 1/2/ 5 bring PLO game which I sat in on and got crushed.

      Have you read The Pot-Limit Omaha Book by Tri (slowhabit) Nguyen? I think that book was like $300 when it came out.


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