Wednesday, August 18, 2004

In the Kingdom of the Blind

YTD: +$ 41299.45

As a change of pace, and also as someone requested it, I'm looking at PLO8b today. PLO8b is a strange game. There is some excellent advice on how to become a competent, very tight player. However most players seem to think that the entire of the game is waiting for freerolls. What they seem to miss is that if the players are bad enough to give you a freeroll, they are bad enough to give you several opportunities where they will be putting money in the pot in prohibitively poor equity situations. These aren't quite as painless as freerolls, but getting someone to call a pot sized bet on the turn when he only has 20% equity is a hugely profitably exercise. And to get these opportunities you simply have to play more hands than the tighties advise.

PokerStars Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit ($5.00/$10.00)

Seat 1: Foe ($1173.50 in chips)
Seat 2: Regency ($882.50 in chips)
Seat 3: Hero ($980.00 in chips)
Seat 4: riskynunber ($369.00 in chips) (button)
Seat 5: DeadMansHnd ($115.00 in chips) (sb)
Seat 6: LuvKingAlpha ($751.00 in chips) (bb)
Seat 7: davmcg ($569.40 in chips)
Seat 8: kdhspyder ($894.15 in chips)
DeadMansHnd : Post Small Blind ($5.00)
LuvKingAlpha : Post Big Blind ($10.00)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [ 2s 4h 8s Kh ]
davmcg : folds
kdhspyder : calls $10.00
Foe : raises $20.00
Regency : folds
Hero : calls $20.00

This is a hugely loose call and "not to be tried at home". There are some big howevers here though. The foe is monstrously loose aggressive dumb. The foe will auto-bet the flop, almost 95% of the time. I am sure the button, who is very tight will pass. Lastly, we both have quite big stacks so there is money to be played for.

riskynunber : folds (button)
DeadMansHnd : calls $15.00 (sb)
LuvKingAlpha : calls $10.00 (bb)
kdhspyder : calls $10.00

*** FLOP *** [Jd 3h Jh]
DeadMansHnd : checks (sb)
LuvKingAlpha : checks (bb)
kdhspyder : checks
Foe : bets $97.00

No surprise.

This is a good flop for me in the sense that I can bluff with outs. One thing that many players don't seem to get about plo8b is that high hands are out much less often. This means that high flops are good places to bluff, and also play strong for value when in PLO high only you may be more circumspect.

Hero : raises $210.00

I don't raise the pot. I want it to look like I want a call. Also I don't want to make him run out of money and call out of desperation. His probable ace high is winning after all. I need to leave him with money for the turn.

DeadMansHnd : Fold (sb)
LuvKingAlpha : Fold (bb)
kdhspyder : Fold
Foe : calls $113.00

*** TURN *** [Jd 3h Jh] [7s]
Foe : checks
Hero : checks

This is a bad turn. If I bet here and he has the low draw, which his call of the flop indicates, then he will call. If he then makes the low on the river, I may end up in the ridiculous situation of him scooping me with A high, if my flush doesn't hit. I need to keep him with money so I can get him out if it bricks.

*** RIVER *** [Jd 3h Jh 7s] [Ts]
Foe : checks
Hero : bets $320.00

Bingo. It now looks like I’ve played the hand either like a weak trips or a flush draw. So I want him to think I want a call. So I bet less than the pot again, indicating a "milking" bet.

Foe : Fold
Hero : collected $517.00 from pot

A nice thing about betting less than the pot in this case is that I would have played it exactly the same if I did have the trips. So in a game theory sense my two strategies seem identical from the outside, plus I have the advantage that my bluff is cheaper :-)


Anonymous said...

"One thing that many players don't seem to get about plo8b is that high hands are out much less often. This means that high flops are good places to bluff, and also play strong for value..."

You can say that again mrdowning or should I say King of Dave. :-)

Fascinating hand once again. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, i ask for some PLO8 hands and you reply straight away! Thats what I call service ;o) Thank you. I look forward to more.

However, I'm going to have to admit I'm not sure about the way you played the hand, please feel free to tell me why you disagree. Firstly, although you're right about high hands being played less often, low hands can often back into them, especially on flops like this. I played a hand earlier today where I called with A25J, obviously mostly for the low possibilities of the hand. The flop came JJ5 and I won a nice hand from someone who had AJKT. In your hand, I would be worried that one of the 3 players who checked previously was slowplaying a Jack, knowing, as you did, that this guy will always bet the flop. Ok, if someone else calls you just give up on the pot, but its already cost you $300. Secondly, if this player is that loose, after you check the turn I would probably expect him to check/call the river if he held AAxx or maybe even KKxx or QQxx.

Finally (and I play smaller than you), I find the players will often pretty much give me their money when I have a good hand, so there's no need for expensive bluffs. I've learnt that usually, making anything other than small bluffs on the flop is dangerous, as when the players are that bad, you can be very surprised what rubbish they'll call with.

Anyway, thank you for making me think!

Best wishes,

Big Dave D said...


The hand is right on the cusp of good-bad play. I wasn't posting it just to be controversial, but also because I couldn't find any other interesting hands :-) I will share some more thoughts on it, but lets see what others have to say and then I may make it a post, as opposed to a comment.

Thanks for posting!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

Now you've got me started :o) Two more points I wanted to mention (and then I'll shut up ;o) I know you weren't posting the hand 'just to be controversial' and I understand the play you made was based on your knowledge of your opponent, which is why I certainly don't disagree with it completely. One problem with bad players though, is not only are tricky plays often wasted on them as they call far too much, but also (which I grant is very likely not the case in your example) that they play good hands in very strange and/or weaktight ways too.

I just watched a hand where a player check called the flop, then checked both turn and river with high trips. This isnt so bad if you're trying to get value out of a bluffy opponent, but fish will slowplay big hands (I've even seen it with quads) and let in lows. So when you think you've got an easy river bluff, not only will they sometimes call with trash (that beats you) but will sometimes turn over great hands. Now it sounds like I'm trying to 'give the lesson', sorry! but there's so little PLO8 info around I'd love to get some feedback.

The final thing was that I found your blog after reading a post you made on 2+2. You seemed to be the lone voice vs a lot of overly tight players who were saying they'd often fold a 'bare' A2 preflop. I totally agree with what you said about A27J. Basically as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as a bare A2 (or any low) until the river. I think I read in Ray Zee's book that A289 wasnt a good hand - well I'll take it if it flops 567!

Ok apologies for going on!

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Changing the subject slightly, but sticking to online poker, does anyone here make consistent money playing short-handed limit hold'em? I have real struggles with it. In fact if I kept proper records I might find that I lose at it. It's given me nearly all of my biggest losses and only a few of my biggest wins. Yet I plug away at it because it's the game where the most money moves hands and I could make a mint if I could crack it.

It should be a good game for someone who is prepared to be observant and able to spot patterns in people's play but it seems to be like there are a lot of people who throw in enough randomness into their play to make that non-viable.


Big Dave D said...


I think I said everything I wanted to on SH limit HE here:

Aksu may want to pipe up as he has played a lot of short handed limit HE, some of it at high stakes too.



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