YTD: +$ 47924.00
It’s nice to see that my PLO8b hand has sparked some debate. My initial thought was to show that you didn’t have to just play A-B-C poker to win. Unfortunately, my hand was so far out to right field that I had run out of letters and was getting stuck into the numbers!
On reflection, I don’t like that initial preflop call. However the hand does illustrate some valuable principles, such as how to think ahead and plan your moves and bluffs through the streets, as well as constructing a strategy that is game theory balanced, so that you are not leaking away too much information to those hopefully few players who are paying attention.
Tally raised an interesting point in the comments – why bother with these kind of plays when PLO8b players often simply hand you their money with no risk? Well this is certainly true in the initial stages of a PLO8b game evolution; for more on this see:
But there is a kind of temporary stage, certainly when the stakes become meaningful, where players somewhat wise up but still make fatal errors. By adjusting your game you can then take advantage of this better-but-still-bad play. What kinds of errors are they making? They fall into four areas.
1. Love and Marriage – AAxx is routinely taken to the river, regardless of the board or danger.
2. Hi Fear Syndrome – If there is a high out there, someone has it. This is a common problem of tight PLO players switching game. I can think of a player on Stars who plays the PLO8b all the way up to 5-10 who is at best mediocre, but makes money just because people don’t look him up when high hands come.
3. I’m Low Therefore I Am – All nut lows must be played. All nut low draws must be played also, regardless of action and counterfeit protection.
4. All Draws are Created Equal – Drawing to nut highs on the turn is debatable in PLO; when there is a low present in PLO8b it is financial suicide, unless you are getting 8 to 1 ish on the bet!
If all you are playing is freerolls and 3/4s you will simply be leaving a lot of money on the table that could rightfully be yours if your foes are making these kind of errors. In B&M, this stage can last quite a while, especially if it is dealers choice where the harshness of PLO8b is mitigated by the kindness of more wilder games. Online it doesn’t last long at all and you have to be careful that you don’t take your looser game into one that has finally gone to a terminal rockfest stage. As an example, although it briefly burnt bright, all the high and medium stakes PLO8b has again gone from Stars. Thank god for PLO! For now :-)