The pair address a number of PLO-related topics, including playing aces, short-stacking (how to play & how to combat against), deep-stacked play, bluff-raising, full ring vs. 6-max play, folding after flopping the nuts, freerolling, and even PLO/8. They also touch on that myth about PLO being a game of coin flips. Regarding the latter, Townsend sounds as though he agrees with Jeff Hwang’s observation in Pot-Limit Omaha: The Big Play Strategy that PLO “is not a 50-50 game” and that “it is a pure fallacy that you have to be in a gambling situation when the money goes in.”
Near the end, Hanson asks Townsend what he thinks about the notion that “PLO is the game of the future.” This is an idea that Bob Ciaffone was suggesting way back in the early 80s shortly after the game was first formulated at the Golden Nugget by Robert “Chip Burner” Turner and -- as Ciaffone tells it in Omaha Poker -- that “Oriental lady from the Seattle area named Gwen” (nicknamed the “Dragon Lady”).
Hanson, of course, is referring more directly to recent buzz surrounding PLO, with new interest in the game being perhaps most directly influenced by all of those ongoing high-stakes ($200/$400) games occurring on Full Tilt Poker. (That photo above shows Townsend taking down a $430K pot in one of those games vs. David Benyamine and Tom “Durrrr” Dwan.)
“I think PLO is a beautiful game,” is Townsend’s reply to Hanson’s question. Hanson chuckles in response. “It’s a lot more interesting that no limit Hold ’em,” he adds.
“Really?” says Hanson, a bit incredulous sounding.
Townsend goes on to explain that in his opinion, “no limit Hold ’em really needs antes,” especially online. He notes that one finds such games in live play quite often, and that it adds an extra layer of strategy that makes the game much more fun for him. He doesn’t elaborate, but I think he also is implying that antes would force people to play more (and different) hands in different positions, thereby adding some of those “nuances and subtleties” to NLHE that Townsend was remarking upon earlier in the interview as characteristic of PLO.
“PLO doesn’t need antes because it has that deceptive factor that you think you can play so many hands when in all actuality you can’t.” It is, as Ciaffone dubbed it long ago, the “action game.”
Funny how the “deceptive factor” to which Townsend refers (if I understand him correctly) in fact concerns how one can deceive oneself more easily in PLO than in other games, not to the strategy of trying to deceive others. Although that’s a big part of the game, too.
Dunno if PLO is the “game of the future” or not, but anecdotally-speaking I do believe it has risen in popularity over the last few months, as I am routinely seeing more PLO tables running when I go online these days.
Which is good for me. ’Cos I do like the action.