Friday, May 06, 2005

Speak Softly, But Carry a Big Stick

YTD: +$59911.61

What is winning?

Is it that beautiful pause, the magical disappearance of your opponents’ hands into the ether, the electronic ecstasy of the chips swooping towards your pixelated player?

No.

Winning is decisions.

PLO is not limit holdem. In limit holdem, a good player crafts out his edge on every hand, tweaking the most out of every theoretical EV, especially in small pots, where the odds can be more easily manipulated and the number of foes is fewer. Limit holdem is about every hand.

Speak loudly, carry a bigger stick, and hit often.

I mostly ignore the small pots.

Sure, if “no one” wants them, then I will take them, tyvm. But I am not trying to turn a small pot into a big one unless I have a very powerful hand. And if someone wants to bluff me in these spots, fine. Bully me, that’s ok too.

Speak softly.

And if I don’t feel that the situation is right, I am happy to pass draws that it seems everyone else is happy to get broke with.

So where does a PLO player make his profit?

Big decisions.

If the pot is raised, or it is multiway, or there is some action then the soft speaking stops. Here is where I can make decisions where the “rightness” of them really matters. Now we are in the territory of the big stick.

Whereas before I was passing nut flush draws with a yawn and a shrug, now I am raising them even though I know I am against trips and there is a weaker flush draw out there too. Or calling a $1000 allin in a massively raised pot with just a middle pin draw. Or raising a big stack when he bets out when a straight hits the turn, even though I just have the trips. The big stick of key decision making is striking out.

All of these hands really happened my friends, and in each and every one of them, win or lose, and some were certainly lost, I was happy with the decision.

Winning may be about decisions, but what kind of decisions? Soft ones, and sometimes brutal ones. It’s where you wield the big stick that makes the difference.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hand histories w/comments perhaps?
Hard to find good Omaha analysis on alot of the message boards, but I think Id be into yours.

Aksu said...

Beautiful.
This is what Ive been thinking too, and been told by some PLO players.

Interesting point. This is exactly opposite to what Dolly writes in SS about NL holdem!

-aksu

Anonymous said...

He's spreading lies to take all of our money.

chaos said...

lol @ Anon

AKsu, you cant say 'beautiful', people will start to talk.

I don't think there is a poker philosophy section @ 2+2 - perhaps there should be.

Big Dave D said...

Anon,

There are plenty of hands and comment in previous posts,which is a pain I know, but hopefully not too much of a pain :)

dd

Big Dave D said...

Chaos,

There is already a poker philosophy section on 2+2.

Its Tommy Angelo.

gl

dd

Big Dave D said...

Aksu,

I find it hard to imagine a COld Country type being so passive; surely all games can be reduced to a form of big stakes, short handed holdem? I raise!

cheers

dd

Aksu said...

Sklansky on philosophy.... keep your vomiting buckets ready. Mr.Angelo is good read tho.

Dave, maybe I should just go back to raise raise raise mode, later streets are so damn tuff to play in potlimit =(

-aksu

Beset7 said...

Yeah. Please: no poker philosophy section on 2+2. I've already had to give up reading the psychology forum because Sklanksky is constantly posting his childish rants against religon.

Big Dave D said...

Beset,

One of the biggest and strangest differences between the US and Europe is the public nature of belief in the US. It just doesnt happen in the Old World. I remember when Blair met with Bush once and was asked if he prayed with him, by the UK press. He was embarrassed and tried to get out of directly answering. And by all accounts Blair is a fairly serious Christian.

Anyway, that's my off topic post for the year :)

Gl

Dave

Anonymous said...

But Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave, I've already read all the old onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnes :(.
Im especially curious about your "middle pinner" hand.

Big Dave D said...

Anon,

Dont u believe me?

FWIW, here it is

$1000 PL Omaha Hi
Table Table 37496 (Real Money)
Seat 2 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Hero ( $3662.5 )
Seat 2: ragboy ( $942.5 )
Seat 3: znaki ( $1704 )
Seat 4: Byrrr ( $1331.75 )
Seat 5: drotik141 ( $3458.75 )
Seat 6: niknok51 ( $536.75 )
Seat 7: Poor Foe ( $2165.63 )
Seat 8: Unlucky Foe ( $1032.5 )
Seat 9: SOON2BCHAMP ( $4247 )
Seat 10: Barbara_Nuts ( $1160 )
znaki posts small blind [$5].
Byrrr posts big blind [$10].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Hero [ 4s 6s 7s 6d ]
drotik141 calls [$10].
niknok51 calls [$10].
Poor Foe raises [$55].
Unlucky Foe raises [$200].
SOON2BCHAMP folds.
Barbara_Nuts folds.
Hero calls [$200].
ragboy folds.
znaki folds.
Byrrr folds.
drotik141 folds.
niknok51 calls [$190].
Poor Foe raises [$970].
Unlucky Foe is all-In.
Hero calls [$832.5].
niknok51 is all-In.
Poor Foe calls [$7.5].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 9s, 5d, Kc ]
Poor Foe is all-In.
Hero calls [$1133.13].
** Dealing Turn ** [ Qs ]
** Dealing River ** [ 8h ]
Poor Foe shows [ 9d, Kh, Qd, Ks ] three of a kind, kings.
Unlucky Foe doesn't show [ 9h, As, Ah, Js ] a pair of aces.
Hero shows [ 4s, 6s, 7s, 6d ] a straight, five to nine.
niknok51 doesn't show [ 2d, 5h, 4c, 2h ] a pair of fives.
Hero wins $2266.26 from side pot #2 with a straight, five to nine.
Hero wins $1487.25 from side pot #1 with a straight, five to nine.
Hero wins $2169 from the main pot with a straight, five to nine.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing some crucial piece of information here? I understand the pot is enormous by the time you get to the flop, but you're still out on a serious limb w/4 outs and a couple BD draws. But why call the re-raise preflop?

Anonymous said...

yeah come on Dave. For us Omaha beginners, what on earth is going on with that preflop call. I guess you are putting people on duplicated hands, does it really tuen that into a calling hand? Am starting to understand why the variance must be so much higher in omaha.

Nice pot!

Butch

Anonymous said...

I have play PLO on party (50, 100, 200) and i know your a better player than I am, but still i win consistantly and that gut shot hand.... what the hell was that. I dont understand those calls any any street, they all seem to defy logic and math. Even with 4:1 on the flop to hit your gut shot, there is no way that was good enough considering you could hit and a backdoor flush could hit or the board could pair. Please explain to me what that was.....

Big Dave D said...

Anons,

I didnt say I played this hand perfectly, rather that I was happy with my decisions. WHich I was. It turned out I was in bad shape on the flop, but the pot odds made the call str8forward against the range of hands he could have had. Remember he is more likely to have AA in this spot than any other hand. Preflop, well that was gambling. But if you always pass in these spots, you are giving up a lot of theoretical ev for the sake of variance.

The real story of this hand is how badly Poor Foe played. It is truely horrific. And shows why the tight aggro style, taken to extremes in PLO, is a very poor one.

gl

dd

Anonymous said...

I posted this question on your previous blog entry after this one was up so manybe you didn't see it. Could you give a link to peter birk's blog that you talk about sometimes?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

www.livejournal.com/users/ pjb

(there is an underscore on either side of the "pjb")

See the madman at work....


Pete

Big Dave D said...

Wasnt avoiding posting Pete's blog, just I know he's avoiding getting spidered traffic caused from links on other people's sites...I was just about to ask him to post it!

gl

dd

Anonymous said...

Dave, I am surprised by this hand. While I certainly enjoy taking a little monster like this up against two hands marked with big cards, your hand has some serious liabilities. Notably the 3 spades, and secondly the pair. I'd much rather hold a hand like 3467 here than a small pair. Although I haven't run any maths to support this.

Anyway, why put in 1/2 of your stack preflop when you are willing to call off the rest on the most marginal of flops (not that I disagree with your call)? If I'm playing on here I'm shoving the rest of it in preflop, I don't want to fold to a missed flop only to see my running two pair or set card come in.

Curious as to your thoughts.

acesover8s