Earlier this week I was sitting at a PLO25 table when out of the blue a player typed those lines. Another minute goes by and he types “what film?” No one responds. A few more Caddyshack quotes followed, including the one from Carl Spackler about Kentucky Bluegrass and Northern California sinsemilla. Come to think of it, I believe the player did have one of those “420” names. Perhaps he was pot committed (yuk yuk).
Like I said, no one took notice of 420’s jabbering, and so perhaps as a result our friend began making more direct comments about the rest of us around the table. He tried to disparage a couple of players’ play, which did elicit a couple of desultory responses. He also complained repeatedly about how long one player with a poor connection was taking to act. Eventually he left, obviously bored with the sedentary lot to which he’d found himself shackled.
His little act caused me to think of a couple more ways PLO plays differently than Hold ’em (at least for me).
One difference, of course, is the amount of time a single hand takes. Looking back at Poker Tracker (a program I haven’t even used for over two weeks since I haven’t been playing HE), I see that on average I’d play around 80-90 hands per hour at a single 6-max limit table. I’ve played nearly 3,200 hands of PLO over the last two-and-a-half weeks, and the total minutes I’ve played comes to nearly 4,000. That’s around 47-48 hands per hour -- about half the pace, really.
One way I’ve mitigated the boredom factor is to multitable. Usually I’ll open up two tables; on a few occasions, I’ve opened three. (By the way, my so-called “Rules of Engagement” for the limit HE game don’t apply here.) Still, even then, the pace can be very slow, as players take more time to evaluate how their holdings relate to the community cards, and almost every single hand reaches a showdown.
420 got me thinking about another difference as well. When he quoted Judge Smails’ “Gambling is illegal at Bushwood” line, I initially thought he was trash-talking about the previous hand, perhaps giving somebody grief for having taken the worst of it in order to get to the river. As I think I might’ve demonstrated in the previous post, there are times in Omaha when one does consciously decide to “gamble.” (There were six of us who made such a decision in the hand I described there.) But even then, there seems to me a relative lack of ambiguity about the terms of such risks when compared to Hold ’em.
To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, the nuts are the nuts are the nuts. You either got ’em, or you’re drawing to ’em, or both, or neither. Same goes for your opponents, and (for most players) their betting patterns tend to reveal fairly clearly to which category they belong. Even in limit hold ’em, there can be a lot more uncertainty about what a check, bet, or raise really means.
I’ve a lot more to learn, obviously, about PLO. But I do feel as though I’m “gambling” a lot less over here than in fixed HE. And, as I’ve said before, I prefer not to gamble if I can help it -- whether or not it is illegal.
Labels: *on the street