We had a great response to the PLO quiz. Lots of thought, debate and comment. Someone from 2+2 came by here the other day and said where was the best place to talk about PLO, with the demise of that forum.
I said here. Thanks guys for proving me right.
I found the problem both interesting and paradoxical. Interesting because the “obvious” play becomes very hard to do; paradoxical because it follows a theme we have seen in this blog, of good plays from experts being indistinguishable from bad plays from the unskilled.
The inexperienced eye, on seeing the problem, thinks “I have nothing; I should call and see what happens on the river.” Those players who have done their homework will recognise this as a fairly familiar case of the drawing hand having a greater EV than the made hands *if* there was no further betting, made slightly more unusual by the fact this is happening on the turn as opposed to the flop. These players go “Great, I should get all and get my foes allin too.”
But this is the root of the problem.
If by raising, you make one of your opponents fold, either because he doesn’t have the straight or, admittedly rarely, he realises that he is in danger from being freerolled or the like, then by now being headsup, you go from being a healthy EV positive to a slightly EV negative.
So as so many of the responders pointed out, the correct answer is to just call. Which was the same answer the neophyte gets too, but with a lot less hand wringing.
FWIW, I thought the miniraise was an interesting spin, but still had all the same dangers, ultimately, of a full blown raise.
The answer doesn’t change with very big stacks involved, except for the case where A slowplays and reopens the betting and B stays in. Then you can surprise the pair of them by suddenly springing into life and raising again.
The betting order problem proved slightly more intractable. Aksu gave a clue, in that ideally you would like to be betting first in this spot. Of course asking for a seat change in the middle of the hand may give things away a little. However there is a long shot scenario that does make you bet first. That is check-check-bet. Hopefully then, A and B are both dirty sand bagging dogs and will suddenly spring into life.
Or they will both pass because we are actually in the wrong problem.