Monday, December 20, 2004

Omaha Instructional

YTD: +$40199.56

One of the significant weaknesses I see in many player's games is the overplaying of draws against a made hand, especially when a pot is small. This is a flaw which I see in the very best of the 5-10 game to the ok players in the 2-4. Because they "know" that they are probably no worse than 6:4 dogs, and they are getting 2:1 on the action, they then proceed to lump in their stack against what surely must be a made hand. But these can be very -EV plays. Perhaps an example will make it clear. In a 2-4 game, unraised pot, I flop top trips on a 2TJ rainbow flop. My opponent bets the flop, I raise, he reraises, repeat till his $317 stack has gone :-)

So what has happened here, EV-wise? He has put in $317 to win $341 strange. This is 1.08 to 1 money odds. His "wrap" was just the top cards AKQ and I had a blocker in the 9. So his chance of winning was 1.67 to 1. The whole play has a -EV of about 20% and continually playing like this will soon send him to the poker hospital.

So how do you play it then?

Just call. You will have the right odds, or near enough in most cases, to call a blank turn. And if it pairs up you can pass. Also if you do hit the turn with your draw, you can bet and make him potentially make a very bad call to fill up.

Aggression is good, but not when it drives you to bankroll extinction.


Alex said...

I've played a lot of O8, but am very new to PL Omaha high and I've been wondering if I mis-played this hand ever since it occurred.

It's the small $25 buy-in on Stars. Pretty much every one limps making the pot about $2.

I limp from middle position with 2567 rainbow.

Flop comes 348 rainbow.

EP raises pot, 1 caller, I reraise pot thinking if I get a re-raise to get me all in here, I have a 35% chance of hitting the nut straight on each the turn and river, giving me a 70% chance to take the pot -- if the board doesn't pair (which I discounted the odds of, thinking they are holding each others outs to a boat.) At the time I was thinking I'd make up to 2 to 1 on my raise while being a strong favorite and it made a lot of sense. Later I wasn't so sure about my thought process thus I remember the hand.

It turns out they both folded to my raise and I took the pot with no fight.

According to your column, I played this wrong.

Big Dave D said...


Thanks for the post.

First off I think you played your hand right :-)

Secondly, if you are going to continue with your PLO, it might be worthwhile brushing up on your %s. Run your hands through twodimes calculator and/or buy one of the Ciaffone books.

Lastly, the situation is very different from what I described. You *dont* know you are against trips yet. Depending on how the hands against you shape up, you may be very nearly even money against trips in this spot. Also, if you get multi-way action, although it prolly means that some of your outs are in other people's hands, your money odds will have shot through the roof - although aginst good foes it may actually mean someone has the same hand as you :-(

My situation was talking about headsup action, small pot, with comparatively deep money. When the betting came round to the draw guy again, he had more than one pot sized bet left. Putting it in as a dog is not good poker - he can make a more informed decision on the turn.



Alex said...

Thanks for the reply. Yes I see where I went haywire on my odds, now that I look at it.