Endured a difficult stretch over the last couple of weeks (aside from one wildly spectacular session), but am on the rebound. Have been observing one fairly obvious rule somewhat dogmatically: never call preflop raises from out of position without a premium hand.
I have a few other guidelines I normally try to follow, but just remaining mindful about this one rule has definitely helped pull me out of that rough patch. A lot. Seems simple enough, right? But you know how PLO goes. Just another coupla quarters. Maybe I’ll flop a boat! Not calling those bets has kept me out of harm’s way trying to build hands from out of position.
Playing so much PLO has also increased the “gamble” in my game. I’ve written here before (many times) about my aversion to risk. Kept me at the limit tables for the longest time. One simply has to take some chances in PLO, though, and I think the game has probably helped broaden my poker-playing personality a bit.
Wanted to share one recent hand of PLO ($25 max.) where I ended up taking a chance. Keep reading to find out how it goes. All I’ll say right now is that someone at the table ended up calling multiple opponents “idiots.”
I was in the big blind for this hand. Had exactly $11.40 at the start, making me one of the short stacks at what had been a very loose table. Kind of a loony bin, in fact, with lotsa crazy ass calls and general buffoonery going on.
I watched as five players each limped in for a quarter apiece and the small blind completed. I had a decent hand -- . In fact, this is precisely one of those "Best Hands To Play" Lyle Berman recommends in Super/System 2. “I like these hands because they are not trouble hands,” writes Berman. “If they’re very good on the flop, play them. If not, throw them away.”
I checked, meaning seven of us had bought a ticket for this here thrill ride. Pot $1.75.
The flop came . The small blind checked. I thought just a moment, then went ahead and put $1.50 in the middle. Brazen? Perhaps. Can’t claim to have thought it through that fully, but I know I was hoping mainly to mask the fact that I was drawing.
Three players sitting to my left -- Larry, Curly, and Moe -- all quickly called my bet. (I said the game was loose.) It folded back to the small blind -- JerryLewis -- who surprisingly raised the pot ($10.75). Hmmm. That made it about $17 in the middle, so I was looking at around 2-to-1 to call. The Nutty Professor must have a set of kings. Or nines . . . .
Question #1: What would you do with my hand?
You probably guessed what I did. I took a chance and called my remaining $9.65. Larry and Curly both hastily folded, but Moe called, as well. The pot was up to around $39.
The turn brought the , and JerryLewis instapushed his remaining $25 or so. Moe called in a blink. The river was the . None of my outs came, and I was clicking on the cashier for more chips.
Question #2: What did Jerry and Moe have?
Jerry showed for the set of nines. Moe showed for the higher set. Meaning neither had any draw to speak of -- other than to the boat -- after that flop. Moe scooped what ended up being an $86 pot.
Question #3: Who are the “idiots”?
Actually there’s another question that goes along with that third one. Why “idiots” (plural)? Let’s see . . . Moe flopped the best possible hand, survived the suckout, and took the pot. He can’t be that much of an idiot here, can he? So that leaves JerryLewis and . . . (Shamus looks around) . . .
Hey, wait a minute!?
Actually it was Larry -- who folded when things got serious there on the flop -- who saw fit to call (I assume) both me and JerryLewis idiots. “I folded fives,” he added proudly. I wanted to type “good for you,” but resisted.
Can’t say I disagree with the epithet’s application to my neighbor in the blinds. Jerry’s decision to push on the turn with his middle set (with a possible straight on the board) seems pretty damn sketchy. But what about my play?
If I’m reading correctly, that flop gave me no less than 16 outs to the nuts -- any club (9), 3 more eights, the other 2 sevens, and the other 2 sixes. I was fairly certain JerryLewis had a set, and when Moe called, I assumed he either had a set, too, or perhaps some big bad wrap draw as well. Run this hand through the CardPlayer Omaha calculator and it turns out I’m almost 55% to win on that flop against the set of kings (38%) and set of nines (6%).
Get the feeling Larry finds it necessary to call people idiots a lot. Must be the company he keeps.
Labels: *on the street