Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Tale of Satellite Suspense (1 of 2)

A tale of satellite suspenseHad a somewhat interesting situation yesterday in a pot limit Omaha tournament about which I thought I’d try to solicit some feedback. Even you non-Omaha folks should be able to weigh in here. Really comes down to more of a tourney strategy question than a PLO-specific issue, I think.

For the last week or two, I’ve been playing probably 60% limit Hold ’em, 20% PLO, and 20% stud games -- including 5-card stud over on Bodog (fast becoming a new for-fun fave). Full Tilt finally sent me the bonus offer about 10 days ago. (Seemed like everyone else had gotten it long before.) So I’ve been playing a lot more over on Full Tilt as I try to accumulate at least some of that there bonus cabbage.

I started looking over the schedule for the next FTOPS and hunting through the satellites to see if perhaps I might try to weasel my way into one of the PLO events. There are two PLO tourneys on the FTOPS V schedule: Event #4, a $500+$35 buy-in, 6-max PLO event; and Event #13, a $100+$9 buy-in (with rebuys), full-table PLO event. Makes more sense for me to try to satellite into the non-rebuy event, as I ain’t gonna be bankrolled for rebuys. (Even so, if I could sneak into Event #13 on the cheap, I’d certainly play it.)

Anyhow, I noticed a number of $6.00+$0.50 PLO tourneys that fed into a super satellite the day before Event #4 from which the top 20 finishers land spots in the big one. I also saw these tourneys haven’t been attracting that many entrants. The most I’m seeing enter any of them is 18, and a lot are only getting seven or eight runners. Technically, the ones that attract eight or fewer players are offering a bit of an overlay, since the winner gets a $50+$5 seat in the super satellite. However, even when 18 sign up you’re looking at a pretty good deal, since in that case the second- through fourth-place finishers get some cash back with which to try again.

It was about 30 minutes until the next one, and when I signed up I was the first on the list. Eventually a total of eight players entered, meaning it was a winner-take-all tourney.

We started out on two tables of four players each (this was a 6-max tourney). Before I’d gotten seriously involved in any hands at all we were down to six, with two players from the other table coming over, each having doubled his stack. We meandered along for a little while. There was really only one player at the table who seemed particularly clueless, and he was out fairly soon. After a long stretch of poor starting hands and missed flops, I ended up making a semi-desperate push with my last 800 or so that required a bit of a suck-out to keep me afloat. After that, I finally picked up a few decent hands and started chipping up.

Along the way came one notable hand. With five players left, I was in third place with a little over 2,000 in chips. Blinds were 40/80, so I don’t believe we’d even reached the half-hour mark yet. I was dealt 4d4sJsTd on the button and both middle position players limped in. I limped as well, the SB folded, and the BB checked. That meant there were four of us seeing the flop of 4h8h2d. My initial flicker of interest was quickly extinguished when the UTG player bet pot (360) and UTG+1 quickly raised pot (1,440 more). Seemed possible I’d be drawing nearly dead here with my middle set, so I let it go. Those two got it all in, and it turned out neither had the set of eights -- UTG had Jh7hJd7s (an overpair and a jack-high flush draw), while UTG+1 had 9c9hQc6h (a worse flush draw and a backdoor dream or two). Would’ve been ahead (but vulnerable), had I stayed in. The bigger stack ended up taking the pot -- and a sizable chip advantage over the table -- and we were down to four.

It was a little while later when the hand about which I want your advice took place. I’m going to take you up to my big decision point and give you a chance to tell me what you’d do. Then I’ll come back and finish the story in a second part.

Here’s the situation: Four players left, and only first place is worth anything. Blinds are 50/100. I am in second-place with 3,480 chips. To my left are the two short stacks -- one with 922, the other 1,968. To my right is the chip leader, Moosehead, who has 5,630.

Moosehead posts the small blind and I post the big blind. I’m dealt JdAhJhKs. A nice starting hand, especially four-handed. Both the short stacks fold, and Moosehead just completes from the SB. I pause for a moment, then raise it up to 300. Moosehead calls.

I should mention Moosehead was the UTG player above who survived that earlier hand after putting a lot of chips in on the 4-8-2 board with the jacks and sevens. I had seen him make a couple of other semi-reckless plays as well, so felt pretty good about having a decent starting hand and position on him.

Flop comes 8hJs9h. Moosehead instantly bets pot -- 600 chips. He’s got 4,730 behind, and I’m sitting there with 3,180.

Whaddya do here?

Okay, smarties. Whaddya do here? (Think about it, then read Part 2.)



Blogger MacAnthony said...

In a tourney against a player you likely have drawing dead, I call. Thanks to your preflop raise (completely justified) the stakes are large compared to the stacks, you essentially turned this into 150/300 blinds. You could easily repot here, but I think you lose out.
I think a call is better though. You could call down and unimproved, fold if you truly believe he has a set of jacks beat leaving you with 700+ to try and gain another spot or two. Especially with the short stack getting hit with the blinds next.
If you call down and hit one of the very many cards that give you a lock in this hand and he makes any sort of bet towards the pot, you can easily set your stack in then and give him odd to pay you off with just about any piece or draw. Basically, it's a game of pot-committedness at this point and there isn't any need to commit more chip than necessary. Even the worst hand that he could have for you, something like Qh Th 9s 9c, you are a coin flip to win. With that much equity in the pot and so many cards that improve you, I don't see why you need to chase a potential bluff away from the pot or give yourself an opportunity to play another hand. Play to win and try and get as many chips as you can out of him.

8/02/2007 12:01 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

I am by no means a PLO player, but I like to watch others play and then 5 minutes later understand what happened. Just like on last Tuesday's PLO WSOP 5K rebuy.

Anyway, without doing any serious calculations I figure you are way ahead and way ahead draw-wise. I would call here and let him shoot himself. With the pot at 1800 after the flop call you could probably get all-in later and double up here.

The only thing I would not like to see is a non-heart Ten or 7 on the turn. If neither of those come and he bets out I would push the rest of my chips in. If he just checks I would probably bet 1/2 pot there to try to get a call.

8/02/2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey Shamus, Interesting post - the first hand highlighted the danger of overcalling with small pairs and non-nut suited cards! You hit your 1/8 chance and still (correctly) folded!

Hand 2 has to be a re-pot for me - if he folds you get the 1200 from the pot... this is not a bad result.

Of course you are hoping for a raise with a zillion outs against a straight or smaller set here. His possible redraws are the case 8 or 9 and *maybe* the 1 or 2 more hearts for the straight flush...

I don't like calling, if you do this and another straight card comes (or indeed a blank) and he pots again then you can't call... a heart would scare off the made straight too.

Interested to hear your views.

Cheers, Mark

8/03/2007 6:07 AM  

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