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My Pot Limit Omaha

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  • My Pot Limit Omaha

    More Pot Limit Omaha discussion please. I’d really like to have more discussion of PLO games and hands in the forum, so I thought I’d start a new blog to see if it is possible to generate more interest in this fascinating game.

    I started playing this game in preference to NLHE this year and have been trying to improve my skills as I go along by reading books, watching videos and experimenting with plays at the table.

    The one thing that is missing is an active forum dedicated solely to PLO where players at all skill levels can discuss hands and bring about mutual improvement.

    To keep this blog going I will post 4 or 5 hands from low stakes cash/Zoom games, 2 to 3 times a week and hands from the occasional tournament that I’ll play. I'll also update my overall progress with the game.

    Hopefully this will generate some interest and maybe we’ll get an active group together and we can all move up through the stakes.

    So if anyone else thinks that PLO is more fun than NLHE it would be great if you posted some hands and/or commented on the hands I post.
    Last edited by DrIbbo; Thu Sep 13, 2018, 08:50 AM.

  • #2
    To start the ball rolling here are 4 BOOM hands I played in a 335 hand ZOOM session today. Hope to hear loads of advice.

    In the first hand, how does anyone feel about me calling this down, should I have played it by betting out on the flop? I must admit I struggled to make the last call, without hitting the FH. Perhaps others think this was an easy call.

    I think the second hand played itself until the last river bet from the villain. Even though I had the underfull, should I have put in a raise on the end? At the time I knew there was alot I was beating but didn't want to face a re-raise.

    It is a similar question on the third hand, again it sort of plays itself to the river, after I'd tried to represent a set of J's and/or nut flush draw on the flop. On the river I hit the straight and want to get to showdown and I think the only thing he'll call with is a small flush that beats me. Was I right or should I have bet the river?

    Lastly, I think I played this hand badly on the flop. I was happy calling his re-raise pre-flop. If he was playing AA, my hand was fine. However, after the flop I feel I should have checked and called rather than bet out. His re-raise gave him the opportunity to protect a straight, or get it all in with AA and a flush draw and forced me to fold a hand I might have won a big pot with.


    • #3
      Making bluffs and stabs at pots in Pot Limit Omaha. Much like all poker games a good part of PLO involves choosing good spots for bluffing or stabbing at pots in the hope of taking them down.

      In these few hands I was practicing bluffs during a PLO ZOOM session of 251 hands I played today. Happy to hear anyone's views.

      This first one is a really easy one to make. There are 4 reasons to bluff at this; position; no flush draw on board, 89 is easily in my range, both villains have checked. Any call or raise from villains and no more money goes in.

      This second hand was a poor spot to make a bluff. I missed my draws on the turn and river and so I had no show down value, but there were few reasons to make a bluff on the river. Actually the only one was that no villains had bet at the pot. I think a bluff here lacks credibility, after all why not bet the turn if I had the flush.

      In the following third hand I tried to make a bluff from OOP on an 862R flop that I thought was likely to miss his range. When villain called, I shut down and managed to fluke trip K’s by the river. Mistakenly, I checked in an attempt to catch a bluff from villain. Villain showed QQxx and checked back for showdown value.

      I liked this play from the villain that took this fourth hand down. We are able to see this play because another villain called the stab at the pot. Villain bet into a really nasty looking double suited, straight board on the turn, forcing me to fold the better hand, top two pair OOP. Villain2 called the turn bet with a 6 high flush draw and missed on the river.

      Finally, this hand shows why making semi-bluffs IP helps. On the 763R flop I hit the open ended straight draw on the button. Villain checks and I bet because the flop looks to have missed villain’s range, I had position, I could realistically represent the straight already and I had blockers to any draws he may have had in his range. The turn card gave me an 8 high flush draw in addition to the straight draw and with villain’s check I bet again. He called and I missed everything on the river. I did not want to make the expensive bet on the river and if I had been OOP, the villain could easily bluff me off this pot, but as he had to act first and checked I was able to check behind and get to showdown.

      Last edited by DrIbbo; Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:05 PM.


      • #4
        A bad beat to cheer everyone up. This was the hand that effectively finished my ZOOM session today. I was 68% favourite pre-flop, 85% favourite on the flop, 93% favourite on the turn. It was all going so well and then 100% dog on the river.


        • #5
          I do not play Omaha Dribbo so maybe you can teach me something on the first hand you are in the small blind is this still a major disadvantage in Omaha as in NL ?

          Seeing as we are in small blind is this hand strong enough to call the raise ?

          As for the call on the river , I think the call would depend on the read I have on the player, but it is micro stakes so they could show up with anything .

          I wish I could be more helpful, good job trying to get some discussion going in the forum, do you know about Pokerstars discord channel, you would probably get more discussion there .


          • #6
            Thanks 73REX73 for being the first to make a comment on this thread. I wish I could offer you a prize LOL. You should try PLO though it is fun, lots of action. IMO and also the opinion of most authoritative books being OOP is a much bigger disadvantage in Omaha than NLHE, because with four cards you have to give the IP player credit for the hands he represents and it is harder to get paid off with your good hands.

            I think you are right to ask whether the hand is strong enough to play from the SB. I think it is good enough, the flush to the J is weak, but it is reasonably connected for the straight draw. I think with this hand it is more of a question of whether I bet out on the flop or check raise. If I do either he folds but IMO I played the hand badly by calling because villain gets a cheap turn card which opens up both flush and straight draws for him, and his actual equity goes up from 10% to 25%. In his eyes his equity on the turn is even higher hence his turn bet.

            The way I played the hand he had to consider a flush draw was part of my range and IMO with his 2 pair he would have been better checking back for showdown value. I called the river because it was hard to give him credit for the hands he was representing. I'm beaten by a better Q but I have one in my hand, he could have had 44 to give him a full, but that is a less likely holding given his pre-flop raise and the straight or other fulls would have to have been back doored. I had to consider an over-pair was a good part of his range.

            IMO I think we both played this hand badly, but luckily I was the beneficiary of a good pot.

            I'll have a look at the discord, thanks for the tip


            • #7
              Naughty Player 2, bluff catching or slow playing. Whichever I think I would have bet this at some point. Even if villain was waiting for Player 6 to c-bet this very dry board on the flop, betting the turn could have got action from someone holding a 7. Glad I didn't hit a J on the river though.


              Low stake PLO Zoom does seem to contain a fair bit of bluffing. In this next hand I can't say I was trying to bluff catch exactly. I checked the flop with my set of 9's in the hope of seeing a c-bet from Player 4, but on the turn I thought it possible I was behind a straight so didn't want to bet out, being happy to call his bet instead. The second T on the river gives me the underfull, always dangerous in PLO, so my check does turn into a bluff catch. I didn't like villains bluff on the river though, even though he had position I didn't think his play made it clear he had me beat. Maybe I could even have check raised the river hoping he would call with the straight he represented on the turn.


              I feel more comfortable making a bluff if I've got more reasons to believe it will work. In the next hand, when the turn brings an 289T board and I'm holding 2 Js and I've got position I was happy to bet and represent the JQ for the nut straight. After villain only called I was reasonably certain he did not have the straight himself, so when the board did not improve on the river and he did not bet, I felt reasonably sure he would fold to my next bet. He may have been behind my JJ anyway, but he could easily fold 2 pair or even the non nut straight.



              • #8
                A failed squeeze. I get a pretty decent starting hand in the cutoff and raise, there's a call behind and then a raise in the SB called by the BB. I could just call but decide to try and reduce the field by raising again. Everyone comes along though apart from the original re-raiser. When I look at the equities for the 3 hands preflop they are 37%, 33% 29% in my favour. Is the squeeze attempt worth playing? Or are the equities always so close in this game that you are always all-in preflop with any decent hand.



                • #9
                  Set of Q's OOP on a draw heavy board.

                  I thought I'd post these two hands which were very similar and came very close together. In both cases I hit a set of Q's on the flop OOP against 2 villains on draw heavy boards. On both occasions I elected to check on the flop, with the intention of calling any bets to see the turn card or check raising if I could get pot committed before the turn. If a brick came on the turn I would pot bet then. Do you think this is an OK way to play this situation, even if it is just part of a varied strategy or should I bet out straight away to build the pot.


                  Last edited by DrIbbo; Sat Sep 22, 2018, 05:34 PM.


                  • #10
                    Should I have called. In a blind v blind hand I'm in the BB and call an open raise with a low, one suited hand. The flop gives me middle pair, a gut shot and 9 high flush draw and the turn gives me 2 pair. The villain barrels the flop and turn and does not seem concerned when the river makes an on board straight (not mine). He barrels again. I feel I can only beat a bluff so fold, but with 2 pair should I have called. I don't have any information on the villain.



                    • #11
                      Missed value. I'm wondering if I missed value on the end of this hand. The flop hits my, IP hand hard, giving me a nut flush and straight wrap draws (always nice). I raise the villain on the flop and lead out the turn, when my flush gets there getting calls to both, but the board pairs on the river and the villain checks back to me. Do you think he would call with a worse hand than mine. In his eyes can I have anything he can beat with his T high flush and if he's better than me he's definitely raising.

                      Last edited by DrIbbo; Tue Sep 25, 2018, 06:59 PM.


                      • #12
                        OOP Bluffing. Occasionally I'll bluff from OOP, when I've completely missed the flop but the board looks really dry to try and pick up some small pots. I'll always let this go if I get raised, but it also gives me cover for when I hit the set of K's. Is this too risky?



                        • #13
                          Quad Aces. What a great flop, don't get that very often. But instead of being the hand that should wins all the stacks it turns out to be a frustratingly difficult hand to get any value out of, especially OOP. Slow playing it here didn't get any action. I suppose betting out might have worked better but it doesn't seem likely.



                          • #14
                            Getting full value. Sometimes I'm left wondering whether I'm getting the best value with my good hands and I'm not sure I'm doing a good job. Here are three hands to demonstrate.

                            In the first I figured the villain might have AAxx, busted heart draw, 2 pair, small set or same straight as me. I decided to bet about half pot to try and get calls from 2 pair and above as my hand was quite well concealed, but I'm wondering if I could have bet more.


                            In the second hand I hit the nut straight IP on the flop and check back. I think I should have bet out immediately instead of waiting for the turn or making a smaller bet on the turn. Perhaps this was doomed to get no action from the beginning.


                            In the third, I river the straight and as my c-bet was called on the flop I felt sure he had something he could call a half sized bet with as the flop doesn't contain many draws, but he folds. I put him on 2 pair, Qxxx, KKxx or maybe some straight draws. Maybe I should have put a smaller min bet out to see if he'd call with these weak hands.



                            • #15
                              PLO Update Sept 2018. As it is now 3 months since my last update blog ‘PLO progress:Interim Report’, I thought it was a good time for me to look at how I’m doing again. As a reminder at the beginning of 2018 I set about learning and trying to improve my Pot Limit Omaha game.

                              During the last 3 months, in addition to the games in the table below, I played a WCOOP event courtesy of a free ticket awarded by Pokerschool. Unfortunately I don’t think I played this well and failed to cash. I’ve regularly posted hands at Pokerschool on ‘My Pot Limit Omaha’ blog and signed up to Discord to post hands where discussion has been really useful and quite lively. Thanks to all the contributors there. Of course, I continue reviewing my play, watching videos and reading a lot.

                              Table 1. Pot Limit Omaha results by format 1 July 2018 to 30 Sept 2018
                              Cash (Format) Hands Profit/Loss ($) Win Rate BB*/100
                              $2 6-max (incl Z) 5037 27.85 27.6
                              $2 Full-ring 4902 55.92 57.0
                              $5 6-max (incl Z) 550 0.55 2.0
                              $5 Full-ring 519 -1.33 -5.1
                              Total 82.99
                              Tournaments No. of Ts Profit/Loss ($) ROI (%)
                              Micro up to $5.5 51 52.21 49.2%
                              Total 135.20**
                              *BB = Big blinds ** Excludes free $11 WCOOP ticket

                              Overall, my game is improving and the last 3 months results have been better than they were when I first started learning PLO at the beginning of the year. Tournament results have been particularly pleasing and I feel that I’m beating the $2 cash game. In the cash game I’m especially enjoying the Zoom format as you can get through so many hands in a short space of time.

                              Over the next 3 months I think I’ve got to focus more the $5 cash game to turn that more profitable and keep playing the tournaments. I don’t feel the need to buy a HUD yet but that might change over the coming months. Still a long way to go and a lot more to learn.

                              Apologies for the double entry of this blog post. I entered this as a separate entry when it would have been better as part of this Blog series.



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