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PLO starting hands requirement

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  • PLO starting hands requirement

    Hi geezer,

    I've started out pot-limit Omaha lately (high and 8 or better), and I find it quite addictive.
    As I'm a rookie, I play very tight to be on the safe side and only the hands that looks good to me (aces double suited, 9TJQ etc...).
    I read Ciaffone, McEvoy/Cloutier, and Zee book on omaha, so I got the basics more or less right. My main fear is to play too many hands, as I understand that's the most frequent error beginners do (along with drawing to non-nut hands).
    What are ur starting hand requirements on PLO high and PLO8 ?
    What advice would u give to a determined beginner?

    FRC

    (others can reply as well...)

  • #2
    The ONLY way you make money playing poker is to play in games where enough other players are playing so bad that they could be said to be throwing money at you.

    All of your profits will come from a very few hands. Whoever wins the most pots loses the most money. Find reasons to stay out of pots. It's not that you might win a pot playing for smallish straights, but that when you do win it will be for very few chips but when you lose it will be for a lot. Take QJT9 out of your repertoire. There are almost no Omaha hands playable without either 2 Aces or at least one in some unlikely double suited situation with KK or some such.

    For O/8 always insist on a scooping potential. On some occasions this will be a high only hand, but usually it must be a "both-ways" hand. You will watch a lot more pots than you will enter. There is no point in playing marginal entries. When the games get short-handed this changes somewhat, but not as much as you might think.

    The big winner is always the rake and unless there are some truly horrible players in the game, you will never beat it over any extended period of time.

    Seek games with people playing too many hands, calling too much, and especially in "big bet" games, people who will call to draw (particularly if they will pay to draw to non-nut hands). You can spot and study such games all the time both herein and in free money/low stakes games online.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by geezer
      Take QJT9 out of your repertoire. There are almost no Omaha hands playable without either 2 Aces or at least one in some unlikely double suited situation with KK or some such.
      And if you play like Geezer suggests you will win every hand you play. Because when you enter the pot once every hour or two, everyone will correctly fold.

      I understand your point about tight play, but you are kidding with the starting hand requirements mentioned above. The only playable hands are double suited with 2 aces or 2 kings? That's just ridiculous. I apologize if this was a joke and I didn't get it.

      Ricky Hard

      Comment


      • #4
        PLO starters

        FRC,

        Maybe my advice is worth a little here- I play for a living, and PLO is one of the games I play.

        For a start, I'll note that I agree with what Geezer says on PLO/8: unfortunately, with a table of good players, the game is probably the least exciting, unless two monster hands go tete-a-tete. Ray Zee has noted that in the long run PLO/8 will likely die out, for the same reason as high draw and NL side action- the bad players get destroyed in the long run. In PLO high, at least the weak player can book some wins, even if he's a long-term loser. Not much fun to play in a game where tight, tighter and tightest rule the roost.

        On the other hand, I can't agree with what Geezer says on PLO high. If I were facing a known super- tight player who only plays/raises with big pairs, that's a game I want to be in!
        I will call him down with that Q-J-10-9 double-suited and take his money every time he misses the flop, and a few times when he hits his high set. If this doesn't convince you, check with Rolf, Bob Ciaffone or another top player. Side note: I'd much prefer the call of a raiser with the above holding than a big pair, say Q-Q-x-x.

        Alan

        Comment


        • #5
          I take it u r playing tourneys here not ring games FRC
          Early in tourneys just try to peddle the nuts but in the later stages u will have to start getting involved or risk getting anted away.
          pl omaha hi and hi lo are games where the knowledgable player has a great advantage- however the final stages of a tourney are more of a lottery than no limit he (especially plo8)
          remember your AAds is much more vulnerable than AA in nl holdem.
          play tight tight tight early- take advantage of the bad players and then be prepared to change gears later on
          pound the short stacks at every opportunity

          Comment


          • #6
            Let me get this straight: One writer (who "plays for a living") says "On the other hand, I can't agree with what Geezer says on PLO high. If I were facing a known super- tight player who only plays/raises with big pairs, that's a game I want to be in!
            I will call him down with that Q-J-10-9 double-suited and take his money every time he misses the flop, and a few times when he hits his high set." Another writer ( who thinks I might have been kidding with my requirements) has a different version of the correct way to play me: "And if you play like Geezer suggests you will win every hand you play. Because when you enter the pot once every hour or two, everyone will correctly fold. "

            Depraved, meet Ricky.

            First of all, if the game doesn't have many players who fail to heed Ricky's "properly fold" advice, I won't be in it - there's no profit in such games. Second of all if Depraved wants to play QJT9 double-suited against AA ds, welcome to the game. However the described confrontation might come up once every two years.

            The point of examining individual hands is to see how they fit with the well-known EV figures. If you persist in playing -EV holdings against players who only play +EV situations, you will irrevocably lose. Many of the so-called premium hands in PLO that don't have AA in them are too rare to spend much time pondering. QQJT ds - please! if you see that once a month I'd be surprised. And if you think it should be played as a premium hand, you're very welcome to the game.

            It is crystal clear from all Rolf's posts that he plays VERY FEW hands at PLO and that his opposition is similar to what I observed in my visits to the casino in Amsterdam: most of the players are very weak, play too many hands, and in general behave as if they're gambling at table games like roulette or craps with no regard for much besides the thrill/adrenaline of taking chances and occasionally cracking somebody's decent hand for the thrill of it despite taking way the worst of it almost every time.

            When one plays poker for a living it's not very satisfying to realize that it's not your skill, but your opponents' horrible play that ENTIRELY accounts for your profit. You can suffer the delusion that you can make money from players who play about the same way you do, but the rake absolutely prohibits that possibility. That's why the pros wind up lending each other money so often - or get backers.

            Imagine that you're a professional tic-tac-toe player or that you make your living flipping coins. Further imagine that the only games you can play for money involve the house taking a 5% rake - now tell me that you believe you can "outplay" the opposition by enough to get there.

            Just as you can't overcome the inevitable losses from being forced to make two blind bets every round (although you can lose less than the bad players do), so you can't overcome the rake in a game where everybody attends to playing good cards strongly.

            The reason that hands like K9s (talking HE now) show up negative in EV tables derived from long runs of play in real games (as well as in simulations) is that they lose money and although you (by your judicious "outplaying") may approach 0EV with them while others continue to play them routinely and go highly negative, this will never be where you make your money - it will come from a few large pots.

            If you're playing in tight games with decent players there probably won't be any huge pots and your best move is to leave the table.

            Comment


            • #7
              Second of all if Depraved wants to play QJT9 double-suited against AA ds

              I'd rather be dealt QJT9 every habd than AAxx every hand! PLO is a game of straights - because the objective is to get your opponents whole stack. to win the MONEY not the POT.

              Again, it's not about which hand wins the most pots, its about which hand will win the most money. Flush draws arent worth a whole lot - there is no action after the 3rd suited card hits the board.

              To keep things simple, take an example from PLHE, Player 1: KK Player 2: 45

              Flop K 3 6

              KKK is better than the up and down straight draw, right? or is it?

              Now who would you rather be, player 1 or player 2? and ofcourse, why? How would the hand PLAY out?

              Let me know what you think, i'll let you know what i think in a day or two.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by geezer
                Let me get this straight: One writer (who "plays for a living") says "On the other hand, I can't agree with what Geezer says on PLO high. If I were facing a known super- tight player who only plays/raises with big pairs, that's a game I want to be in!
                I will call him down with that Q-J-10-9 double-suited and take his money every time he misses the flop, and a few times when he hits his high set."
                That's right-I play this game, amongst others, for a living, and no amount of sniping and characterising by way of ' playing for a living' will change it.

                One thing that simulations overlook is what happens in real life, when there's further betting to come. Geezer, you're absolutely correct that aces ds are the favourite over the Q-J-10-9 ds above, or any other hand not holding A-A-x-x (that's elementary), but what happens when that flop is, say, 10-9-8 rainbow, to name one, or when it comes total rags? Are you going to bet the aces, get raised and call on deep money, knowing you could be facing a small set, two pair or straight? This could very easily happen, and it gets worse for the lovely aces with multi-way action. Much too easy to outplay the holder of aces then! This is the scenario to be avoided. Poker isn't practised in a vacuum-this is cold reality! While the math is true as far as it goes, are you actually going to put a bundle in after the flop in some of these scenarios, when you may or may not have much the worse of it?

                Originally posted by geezer
                Another writer ( who thinks I might have been kidding with my requirements) has a different version of the correct way to play me: "And if you play like Geezer suggests you will win every hand you play. Because when you enter the pot once every hour or two, everyone will correctly fold. "

                Depraved, meet Ricky.
                On this, I don't quite see it Eric's (Ricky Hard's) way either: the game of PLO attracts that gambling type of player more than any other, as played in the USA. Anyone who doubts this would well-advised to check out a typical game at Tunica some time.
                Originally posted by geezer
                First of all, if the game doesn't have many players who fail to heed Ricky's "properly fold" advice, I won't be in it - there's no profit in such games. Second of all if Depraved wants to play QJT9 double-suited against AA ds, welcome to the game. However the described confrontation might come up once every two years.
                As I said, post-flop, I'm going to have many easy decisions to take, especially when you only raise with premium hands: I'll know when to bet most of the time, when to take the free card, and when I can take the pot away from you. You're rarely going to be totally sure what I hold, whereas I'll be very likely indeed to know where you stand.

                On the super-tight games, I'm with you 100%- there's negative EV playing them, even though I expect I'll outplay my opposition most of the time in typical games. You want to say I'm an arrogant SOB, go for it!

                Originally posted by geezer
                The point of examining individual hands is to see how they fit with the well-known EV figures. If you persist in playing -EV holdings against players who only play +EV situations, you will irrevocably lose. Many of the so-called premium hands in PLO that don't have AA in them are too rare to spend much time pondering. QQJT ds - please! if you see that once a month I'd be surprised. And if you think it should be played as a premium hand, you're very welcome to the game.
                Are you going to pound with your black aces after the flop in holdem, when it comes 10-9-8 of hearts or diamonds? Yes, your hand was clearly favoured over any other, but values have changed. There are situations in which hands with negative EV can be played post-flop; conversely, as above, we have a basic example of a hand that clearly has lost much of its lustre. Fail to adjust, and I guarantee many losing sessions in your days to come!

                Originally posted by geezer
                It is crystal clear from all Rolf's posts that he plays VERY FEW hands at PLO and that his opposition is similar to what I observed in my visits to the casino in Amsterdam: most of the players are very weak, play too many hands, and in general behave as if they're gambling at table games like roulette or craps with no regard for much besides the thrill/adrenaline of taking chances and occasionally cracking somebody's decent hand for the thrill of it despite taking way the worst of it almost every time.

                When one plays poker for a living it's not very satisfying to realize that it's not your skill, but your opponents' horrible play that ENTIRELY accounts for your profit. You can suffer the delusion that you can make money from players who play about the same way you do, but the rake absolutely prohibits that possibility. That's why the pros wind up lending each other money so often - or get backers.

                Imagine that you're a professional tic-tac-toe player or that you make your living flipping coins. Further imagine that the only games you can play for money involve the house taking a 5% rake - now tell me that you believe you can "outplay" the opposition by enough to get there.

                Just as you can't overcome the inevitable losses from being forced to make two blind bets every round (although you can lose less than the bad players do), so you can't overcome the rake in a game where everybody attends to playing good cards strongly.

                The reason that hands like K9s (talking HE now) show up negative in EV tables derived from long runs of play in real games (as well as in simulations) is that they lose money and although you (by your judicious "outplaying") may approach 0EV with them while others continue to play them routinely and go highly negative, this will never be where you make your money - it will come from a few large pots.

                If you're playing in tight games with decent players there probably won't be any huge pots and your best move is to leave the table.
                Entirely responsible? So, that leaves me, the automaton, just mechanically taking decisions on solely the cards, without regard for all the other factors in a poker game. This thesis is absolute rubbish.

                In a typical game, I expect with average cards, I'll be able to outplay the opposition.

                Like Rolf, I play fewer hands than typical players, but it comes back to making the proper adjustments. Those who fail in this aspect must lose .

                BTW, many pros have leaks in games away from the poker table- often, the qualities which enable them to succeed in poker are a detriment elsewhere. Stu Ungar was a prime example, in his blind arrogance.

                Alan

                Comment


                • #9
                  My response was quickly made to show the ridiculous starting hand suggestions from Geezer. I was just pointing out how predictable a player like this would be, and how infrequently they would be in a pot. After thinking about this a little more I totally agree with Depraved's posts and his analysis. It isn't too hard to outplay someone if you know what they have and they don't know what you have.

                  I have always been amused at Geezer's continuous posts preaching nothing but the tightest starting hand requirements with no room for creativity. Poker is more than just a game of cards. It is also a game of people and a game of situations.

                  Doyle Brunson has said that he could beat many players without ever looking at his cards. How he could do that without Geezer's starting hand requirements list is beyond me.

                  Ricky Hard
                  (Deferring to Depraved for PLO analysis for remainder of thread)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Depraved wrote: "In a typical game, I expect with average cards, I'll be able to outplay the opposition."

                    Of course and without being "characteriz(s)ed" as "snide" (I really meant no flame-throwing, you clearly understand this stuff OK) I will reiterate that the "typical game" in which you will bother to play, there are at least some players who play bad or there's no money to be won but just a bunch of reasonably knowledgeable players shoving blinds about as the rake extracts its inevitable toll.

                    In fact much of the emphasis on "deception" and avoidance of being "easy to read" is way overblown. The games that can be beat at all contain players who will make the horrible plays with your cards turned up.

                    In big bet poker (more so in NL of course) the ability to limp and then choose dump/push is heavily constricted. Although you can find individual examples where some of the proposed events will possibly even favor playing against AAsingle (or double) suited, on long terms this just is a delusion
                    and I actually don't think you do it against a strong/tight player - remember most of the canards about "rocks" are based on the stereotype of the tight player as someone who plays weak and is proud of folding good hands to pressure.

                    As to Brunson's claim of playing without looking at the cards, there are indeed situations where one can do that but it depends very heavily on a couple of factors: very deep stacks compared to whoever he's bullying; weak players (usually with small stacks).

                    Part of Ungar's "arrogance" was the fact that he often had backers who were themselves compulsive gamblers and liked that feature. You must remember that Jimmy the Greek had huge backing for shooting craps, and I doubt you would argue that was a +EV environment.

                    No matter how analytical of individual events one gets there can be little doubt that poker profits hinge entirely on there being losers at the table, as defined by weak play and playing too many hands.

                    Now to address the notion that straights are a big factor in big bet Omaha, I strongly challenge that notion on the very issues that are being raised, you will actually win more small pots and lose big when beat as you chase those hands. I especially dispute that decent players are more likely to be
                    cautious to flush-possible boards and perhaps overlook straight-possible ones. When you play against "any four might score" players, you obviously must not discount that they might have a 9 and a 7 in their hand. And on some occasions you must even pay them off if they've been putting a lot of money into every pot with those holdings.

                    And as to KK vs. 45 in big bet HE and a flop of K36, Bring It On! Whoever plays for a big raise with 45 is exactly who you want in your game. He will have had to throw it away so many times and chase futilely in the situation you describe for the rest of his chips that he is the quintessential
                    "welcome to the game" player. Not only will the 45 lose about 3/4 of the time, he will lose the pre-flop raise an inordinate amount of the time and all his chips most of the other times. It's not even close. You specified PL and that softens the blow a bit, but he will be severely committed on the flop even in that format.

                    I'm glad that the notion of attending almost religiously to starting card values is amusing because one thing I notice (even about Brunson who claims to be able to play without regard to the cards) is that ALL the studies of poker by winning players almost slavishly deal with the cards and the
                    details of situations are always very iffy. In "good" games, most "plays" are completely pointless and if that makes one seem like an automoton, so be it. However, in actual practice there is a lot to it because the cards might cover the "tight" part but they really don't address the "strong" part and that's of course where the poker comes in and in fact is why 'bots are rather unlikely to prevail agains tight/strong play by clever humans.

                    What I am saying is that good players are indeed "clever" but that on the whole they overrate that aspect of their success and underrate the importance of being in games with losers. It's just not very satisfying to have to admit that your triumphs come from other people playing horrible rather than from you playing smart.

                    ---

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      At a 10-handed table probability dictates that you will win 10% of the hands dealt. The way to maximze your return is to:
                      • Choose those hands/situations wisely
                      • Maximize your wins
                      • Minimize your losses

                      How the above are accomplished is unique to each individual depending on their particular skills. As was discussed in another thread, winning poker players make mathematically correct decisions. However, these decisions are rarely made solely on mathematical reasoning.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well I love this thread. Everyone knows I play tighter than a [fill in the blank]. But even I am not in the AAxx, KKxx double suited only camp.

                        In a HE tourney situation if you only played AA and KK - you'd blind out more than not, waiting for your premium hands. And players would soon learn to fold to you in a hurry - limiting your payoff. In a HE ring game it only gets worse as the value of the big pair diminishes with the number of callers, thus, increasing the potential for a drawout. The same applies to PLO - only more so.

                        Because you are dealing with 4 cards - top pair, top two pair, and a set, for that matter - are hands that seldom hold up. It is often said that Omaha is a game of outs while HE is a game of made hands. You are looking for str8s, flushes and boats. Late in a PLO tourney, AAxx, KKxx double suited are pot size raising hands - especially on the hope that with a very large pot size raise you can eliminate all callers or get heads-up. But early in a tournament when money is deep and the pot is small - even these desirable hands are at risk with a raise if you can't effectively narrow the field. And again in ring games - where surviving a single hand holds less meaning than in a tournament - narrowing the field with a raise is less effective.

                        With Omaha you are looking for a hand with premium draws - and preferably a hand that "works together." Fit or fold on the flop is paramount - maybe even more important than what you start with. If you don't hit at least two pair/set - or a nut st8 or flush draw (and only if the board has not paired) on the flop - you'd better be gone with the wind.

                        I agree that people tend to play far too many hands in Omaha. But just like suited connectors have a place in HE - so do decent double suited connectors in Omaha - and maybe more so because of the importance of the draw.

                        So color me pleased that I am not the tightest PLO player on the site - I was starting to worry.

                        doe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "welcome to the game"

                          Thanks Tim. Where do you play your PLHE?

                          Anybody else got an oppinion on KK vs 45 on a board of K 3 6.

                          The game is PLO (edit: PLHE), at a limit high enough to make a living - not that it makes a big difference

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Paul,

                            In Tunica, i recently played a hand in PLO which went this way:
                            I limped for $10 with K-K-Q-x ds in spades and clubs, the next player also came in, and the SB (very much a gambler, doesn't have to hold a huge hand) made it 50 to go, all calling. The flop was K :d: Q :c: 6 :d: . The SB bet 200, the BB folded, I made it 800, the next player passed and the SB popped it again to 2400. With about 3400 in front of me, I wasn't going to dog this, so I moved in and was called. The turn was a nine and the river a blank, my opponent turning over A :d: J :d: 10 :h: 10 :s: for the nut straight.

                            Did I like losing $4300 on this hand? Of course not. Would I play this one again? Absolutely: I was more than 2-1 on with top set facing only the gutshot+ flush draw, and as you said, there are times when one must pay off these gambling types of players, unless one wants to turn turtle at the first sign of trouble.

                            Tim,

                            ' ....... typical game in which I will bother to play'? In my live action,I've played PLO with players anywhere from unknowns to a game with two former WSOP winners, plus another top pro. This reference seems presumptuous-you're implying an attitude of condescension on my part. Like anyone who hopes to succeed, I choose my games as much as possible.

                            The stereotype of the tight player is most amusing, really, and I want to play with someone who will lay one down whenever I turn the works on them.

                            To me, it's of no concern whatever whether a play is 'clever' or any other adjective; when I sit down, I am just trying do a job the best way I know how, with all the weapons in my armoury, one of those being the exploitation of poor play by others.

                            Alan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              By trying to simplify things i've just complicated them! I withdraw my post(s).

                              Bottom line is the hand that is favourite to win the pot isn't always favourite to with the money. That is just fact. That was my point, and now i've made it!

                              I'll save my hold'em thing for another day. There was actually an old proposition bet in Vegas that involved AA vs XX in a pot limit pre flop structure and a no-limit post flop structure. Needless to say the guy who took AA didnt go home with the money! Maybe some of you know of this? See you at the tables.

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