Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just because I'm on break doesn't mean I'm not railbirding games. The last week or so I've gotten into the habit of watching a bunch of games, sometimes four or six at a time. 200/400NL, 1000/2000 limit, and so forth. And I don't only watch the "big" versions of the games I play--I'll pull up some limit O8 or PLO tables and check them out, too, despite my hatred for all things Omaha.

In fact, while watching a PLO table the other night, I noticed a very big fish playing. I'm a horrendous Omaha player, so when I notice someone is playing badly, it means they're playing VERY badly. He had to have been playing 80% of his hands, and was calling huge river bets with one pair, that sort of stuff. I had no choice. I had to play.

Oh, did I mention this was 100/200 PLO?

Screw it, I'm going on the waiting list! (Not surprisingly the game was full and not budging.) While on the waiting list, I took stock of my previous PLO experience. Let's see...there were those .25/.50 $40 buy-in silly games I played with friends...there was that one half hour I played 2/4 PLO on Party 6 months ago...and that's about it.

It would be silly of me to just go from about 500 hands of PLO experience to playing 100/200. I'm smarter than that. So while waiting, I fired up a few tables of 2/4 and 3/6 to learn me some valuable experience.

One hour, and a few buyins later (in the wrong direction) it was my turn. Time to play.

I sit into the full six-max game, to the immediate right of the fish, who had gone through a few buyins before getting particularly lucky and running up a big stack, that was again slowly leaking away. I'd been watching the game all along, and knew exactly how to play him. Against anyone else, play for the nuts. Against him, value-bet, value-bet, value-bet, but fold any non-nut hand if he actually perks up and raises. Easy, right?

Not wanting to risk too much on this speculative venture, I only buy in for $8k. Okay, that might sound like a lot to some, but I was tied as the smallest stack at the table, compared to stacks of $19k, $20k, $36k and $57k. If there's a better way to broadcast, "hey guys, I'm just an incompetent fish taking a shot waaaay above my skill level and bankroll!" I can't think of it.

I fold my first ten hands. That's one good thing about playing way, way higher than one should--one has absolutely no desire to play those pretty-looking but crappy hands like when one is too comfortable at the present stakes.

But then I'm dealt AAJ6 with a suited A. Well, I'm here to play...

Full Tilt Poker
Pot Limit Omaha Ring game
Blinds: $100/$200
6 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: $8000
Hero: $7400
CO: $41342
Button: $13191
SB: $28174
BB: $57168

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with Ac Js 6s As
UTG folds, Hero raises to $700, CO folds, Button calls, SB calls, BB calls.

Flop: Qd 2c 8s ($2800, 4 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero checks, Button checks.

Turn: Th ($2800, 4 players)
SB bets $2800, BB folds, Hero folds, Button folds.
Uncalled bets: $2800 returned to SB.

Final pot: $2800

Er...well I guess if there's any kind of flop to bet in Omaha with a one-pair, no draw hand in a four-way pot, that's it. But my general instinct in multiway pots is to flop either a really strong hand or a nut draw (preferably both) or get out. Especially when I'm playing a game over 30 times bigger than I ever have before. So I checked and I think had a pretty easy fold on the turn. Being results oriented, a flop bet very well might have taken it down, but who knows if that's the right play in general. I'm sure there are a million people out there who know how to play better than I do, so feel free to chime in.

I had a few more folds, one hand where I saw a free flop from the BB and won it with an uncontested flop bet, another blind-battle hand where we each flopped three-pair, got all-in and chopped, won the blinds once, and then after feeling a bit more comfortable, I had two more interesting hands.

Full Tilt Poker
Pot Limit Omaha Ring game
Blinds: $100/$200
5 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: $7500
CO: $4499
Button: $33466
SB: $53168
Hero: $7396

Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is BB with Kc 4h 2h Tc
CO folds, Button raises to $700, SB folds, Hero calls.

Flop: 9c 3d 2c ($1500, 3 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $1500, Hero raises to $6000, Button folds.
Uncalled bets: $4500 returned to Hero.

Final pot: $4500

Yay? Nay? All I know is it worked that time...

Full Tilt Poker
Pot Limit Omaha Ring game
Blinds: $100/$200
4 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: $5496
Button: $52068
SB: $9598
Hero: $9094

Pre-flop: (4 players) Hero is BB with 2c 3c 8s Kd
2 folds, SB calls, Hero checks.

Flop: 7c Jc Qc ($400, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $400, SB calls.

Turn: 5h ($1200, 2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks.

River: 5s ($1200, 2 players)
SB bets $1200, Hero calls.

Final pot: $3600
SB showed 3d Qd 9c Jd
Hero showed 2c 3c 8s Kd

So my baby flush was good. I think I may have lucked into playing the above hand well, although I'm certainly open to other opinions from anyone who actually knows the game.

But yeah, by then the fish had left, and the table was breaking down. After paying my small blind, we were down to three-handed--me and two regulars who were also in the 200/400 PLO game. I may be developing a bit of a gambling streak, but I'm not that far gone (yet). With a strict eye on my EV, I left the table after folding my button.

And the final result? 20 minutes. 22 hands (was that it? Felt like 2200). And a decent $2800 profit. Most of which I promptly dumped back in a mix of 2/4 and 3/6 PLO games, a big tourney, and some 3/6 and 5/10 NLH games. Yay, poker!

And just like that, I'm back on break.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol....with the AA u have to make a bet on that flop and then make a determination where you are -- probably chcecking the turn. normally i hate raising in bad position in PLO. I play up to 25/50 PLO.

12:46 PM  
Blogger fidobuster said...

fun post to read.

5:35 AM  
Anonymous BKiCe said...

this is one of the best blog entries i have ever seen anyone write... i enjoyed it thoroughly.

taking shots FTW.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous paul said...

fantastic post eric. If your definition of a break is this, then keep it up :)


7:02 AM  
Anonymous Evan said...

Action junkie.

7:51 AM  
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