I remember outré as one of the very first words I looked up in a proper dictionary. I suspect I was going through an adolescent Lovecraftian phase. And the pronunciation marks I confused for punctuation marks :)
For those of my Faithful Readers who don't frequent dictionary.com, or Innsmouth, outré means bizarre or beyond normal propriety. And that is what decision making is like on Party in the PLO games at the moment. Time and time again, in big pots and in small, I see normally sane players making insane decisions.
On the decision-making front, I've been enjoying Pete Birk's wrestlings with PLO. Paradoxically, what he dislikes about PLO is what invigorates me about the game - that making decisions really matters. Now many people believe that limit holdem is also about making decisions, but really, until you get to high enough stakes, its about replacing decisions with playing more hands. Until you reach a boundary limit of playability, playing more hands will nearly always be more profitable than eking out every ounce of EV out of every hand. What is also strange for an experienced PLO player is that decision making is more important in small pots than in large ones. Small pots are where good limit holdem players craft out nice parts of their hourly rate; big pots are where even a chimp learns that it is nearly always right to call on the end.
I saw an outré play today. For a change the variance went the right way and I booked a healthy winning session. This strange hand certainly helped:
Unraised pot with a flop of QJx. A loose UTG, stack of 1k, bets the pot and the other limpers pass to me. I have JJJ and some backdoors. And a 2k stack. I decide that it would be very unusual for this loose player to bet out the full pot with the nuts, so I raise it up to 200. A tight player, Outré, also with 1k, flat calls. UTG raises again allin. After a little thought, I can't get over my initial impression that UTG was not holding QQ and was now trying to squeeze me out against the cold caller. Who surely must be drawing. It seems to make sense to try and get Outré out and I also move in, and Outré calls for a nice 3k ish pot. Standard play so far? BDD in healthy shape?
I have one out.
UTG had kinda the hand I suspected, 33KT. But Outré had QQ!
At first I thought this was a terrible play, timidity in the face of possible draws and that Outré was trying to wait for a blank turn. But now I'm not so sure.
On one hand, the pot is now big and its worth his while to try and win it now. If he reraised I am *probably* going to pass - this is Party after all - and maybe UTG will move too. Pot won, no risk. There is also the losing his market fear if we are both drawing and it pairs up. Lastly, what does he do if the straight hits? Pass to a bet?
But say Outré has read both UTG and myself well. Say he puts UTG on a poorish hand, and myself either on a big draw or a big wrap. If he raises, I only stay with the hand that hurts him most! By calling, he locks me into a hand with 1 out, if I am behind, and keeps the pot potentially small if I do have the drawing monster. And if UTG goes bonkers, I might misread him...
Unfortunately genius and idiocy is often inseparable in PLO.
And FWIW, I hit the case Jack.