I thought I would start off the year with an old favourite, PLO8b. One of the things I like about the game is that it enables you to mix both passivity and select aggression, perhaps more so than PLO where pure aggression itself is better rewarded. There is probably only one PLO8b player who plays like it is PLO in the 5-10 game on Stars, and he isn't that effective in ring games.
Hopefully this hand will help illustrate this approach.
PokerStars Pot-Limit Omaha/8, $10 BB (9 handed) converter
Preflop: Hero is MP1 with 2c, 9c, As, Td.
UTG calls $10, UTG+1 calls $10, Hero calls $10, 2 folds, CO calls $10, 1 fold, SB completes, BB checks.
This is standard call with a weakish A2 in early position. You want more callers in this spot.
Flop: ($60) 3h, 5c, Th (6 players)
SB checks, BB checks, UTG bets $57, UTG+1 folds, Hero calls $57, CO folds, SB folds, BB folds.
Again I don't mind picking up more callers behind me here. The interesting thing is that this player is a momentum type...he is almost certain to bet again on the turn. Also note my pair of tens alone may be in front.
Turn: ($174) Qs (2 players)
UTG bets $171,
This is a classic PL problem. I may be in front; I certainly have a good draw. Even if I am behind I have some outs to get out of trouble. It is very hard for him to be completely crushing me. Also, I cannot just call here as I know he will bet the river if a blank comes and I will have a tough call with just one pair. I must either fold or raise.
Hero raises to $684, UTG folds.
Final Pot: $1029
Main Pot: $516, won by Hero.
Pot 2: $513, returned to Hero.
When you believe you are either in front, or having a good draw on the turn, but you don't know which way you need to go and will struggle to make a decision on the river, then seriously consider raising if it will put you allin or thereabouts. This is a fairly common situation in all PLO-type games, although this is a "thin" example of it, driven by the fact I knew what kind of player it was.
Faithful readers may notice that this is a flip-side of the "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" play I talked about in a previous post. Whereas in that example, you were often -EV against nearly all the possible range of hands of your foe, here you are either nicely +EV, or a small dog, coupled with the power of folding equity. A powerful combination.