Friday, March 31, 2006

PLO Thoughts

The flop is by far the most important street in PLO, but to flop big, you generally need a solid starting hand where all 4 cards work together and contain many features. Think of these features - sets, straights and flushes – where you can hit a big hand with a strong re-draw, preferably to the nuts. Here are examples of solid starters:

9s-Th-Jh-Js, this hand is capable of hitting a set of J’s, nut straights at both ends and also 2 different flushes in spades and hearts. So on a flop of something like Jc-Qs-6s, you have middle set with straight and flush re-draws, so you should not be shy about getting as many chips in the pot as possible.

8c-9c-Th-Jh, this hand is called a 4-card, double-suited wrap. The strength of the hand is obvious. It can make the nut straight at both ends or even a straight flush. A gin flop with this hand (besides a straight flush) is something like 5s-6h-7h where you have the nut straight and re-draws to a higher straight and a flush. In many cases, you may be free-rolling. For example, your poor opponent may have something like AK89 with no flush draw. This is a wonderful situation!

Ad-Ah-Xd-Xh, double-suited aces is the grand-daddy of all PLO hands. It’s not as powerful as AA in Holdem, but powerful none-the-less, especially with complimentary features like another pair or connector; KK or TJ for example, since it gives you another opportunity to hit a set or straight.

Ac-8c-9h-Th, this is a 3-card double-suited wrap and is capable of flopping the nut straight or flush.

Are you bored yet? I am. Maybe this will help....

Okay, I'm refreshed, now more on post-flop play:

Don’t slow-play the flop. If there’s a way your hand can lose, chances are someone has a draw to it in a big multi-way pot. Charge them to play! Checking with high sets or the nut flush can be disastrous. Free cards give your opponents infinite odds to draw and are death. When you have a big hand, bet it strong and fast! Even if you have a monster, bet half of the pot.

Don’t chase draws when there’s likely a better one out. This includes drawing to flushes/straights on a paired board and calling down with flushes/straights on a paired board at the river.

Drawing hands are more powerful in Omaha than Holdem, because it’s a game with 4 cards. Thus, a “made hand” such as an over-pair, two pair or straight, could be a big underdog to a huge draw (see my previous post where my made nut straight was a dog to a set and flush draw). Think of it like this: “He likely has hand A and I have hand B, so my chance of winning at SHOWDOWN is C. Therefore, I should bet/raise for value, semi-bluff, or draw cheaply.” Don’t think in terms of made hands or autopilot moves, but in terms of maximizing EV.

Perhaps most importantly is the power of position, especially if you’re playing a marginal hand that could pose some problems post-flop. The strength of your hand will vary from flop to turn to river, but the strength of your position will always remain the same. If you’re heads up (or 3-handed) with position and your opponent(s) check(s), you will take down the pot with a bet a good majority of the time; and if you flop a huge hand, you will often be able to raise for value! :)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Still Running Good in PLO!

I don't know what it is about PLO, but the cards are falling my way the majority of the time. Take this hand for example: My nuts on the flop are a dog (37/63) yet my hand holds up! That sounds kind of funny, yet often the nuts are not really the nuts in Omaha. Think about that if you are not familiar with the game.

This is such a nice change compared to LHE. Time and time again the donkeys would hit their (insert number from 2 to 7 here) outer that I suffered a horrific 300 BB downer. In fact, I'm running so good now that I've recovered nearly all of my LHE losses in just a few thousand hands of PLO. One thing that I learned from that experience is that it takes a very, very long time to reach the "long run" in poker. It's at least 100,000 hands, maybe 200,000. If I were a full time poker pro, I would want 500 BB's or more in my warchest to combat the variance. And that's at full ring games!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Running Good in PLO

The PLO games on Party are insane. No, scratch that, they are in-fucking-sane! I've seen 4 players go all-in preflop with a wide range of crapola like AK84 and JJ23. Yeah, you could say the games are good.

My nightly routine has been to play about 5 orbits, double up and then go to bed. This is part of my goal to play less and make more.

Last night, I more than doubled on my very first hand. But a strange thing happened during that hand - I actually drew out!! It has been a long time since I've gotten lucky and it feels good. I figure that I've got about $2000 to withdraw from the equity bank after the way these last couple months have gone.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The New Party Poker Store

I'm actually very impressed with Party Poker's new Party Points store. There is a wide variety of new items to choose from including books, technology and sports equipment. Some of my favorite products include:

300 count chip set - 12,500 points

4 fold poker table - 15,000

Bolle sunglasses - 15,000

Pompeii Humidor - 37,500

Odyssey Putter - 37,500

IPOD Nano - 50,000

Cannon Powershot Digital Camera - 62,500

Sony 19 inch LCD Monitor - 115,000

Foosball Table - 128,000

And remember, you can get 1000 points for simply making a $500 deposit and waiting just one week ;) So, if for some strange reason you don't already have a Party account, please use sign up bonus code NEVERLIMP for a 20% bonus up to $100.