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I Decide - A hand by Mr. Goss

This is a hand that Mr. Goss sent to me via email. I figured that I may as well go over it here, since it's such an interesting hand. Rather than give too much away, I'll just get right into the hand and then give my analysis.

Mr. Goss is dealt QhJh7sTs on the cut off in a PLO (Hi only) .10/.25 game. There are three limpers and Mr. G calls. The button posted preflop, so he is in the hand too. Deec, the SB with only $4.33, raises pot to $2.25 total. Taku, in EP with $33 calls, as does Mr. G with $22.

The flop is a well-coordinated KsQdJh. Mr. G has bottom two-pair with an open-ended straight draw and two backdoor flush draws. Deec pushes all-in for $2.08. Taku and Mr. G call.

The turn is an As, giving Mr. G a broadway straight with a draw to a mid-to-high spade flush. Taku bets $5.10, and Mr. Gross calls.

The river is a Jc, giving Mr. G a fullhouse, Jacks full of Queens. Taku bets pot, $8.30. Mr. G pushes all-in for $13.11 more. Taku calls.

At showdown, Deec has AhAhc3h2c, for a fullhouse, Aces full of Jacks. Taku has KsKcTc5d, for Kings full of Jacks. Mr. Gross has the lowest fullhouse of the three and loses the hand.

Let's take a look at each of the betting rounds and analyze if there was any room for improvement with Mr. G's play. Preflop, Mr. G limps in late position. This is not a bad move, overall, since he has position and his cards are fairly high and coordinated. However, QJT7ds (ds=double suited) is no monster. Even so, I wouldn't mind seeing a raise here to push out all of your other opponents. Also, there is a button who has posted the SB, so raising might push him out, giving you position on later streets. That said, I'm about 33/33/33 between folding, limping and raising here. All are decent plays.

Facing the bet from Deec should not concern Mr. G. Basically, at in low limit PLO games, players will pot preflop with shortstacks often because they have a NLHE mentality AND a case of the awfukits, once they get close to the felt. Most of the players fold except Taku, and here I would definitely raise. First, if you can isolate Deec, even when you are behind, you aren't THAT behind. We can tell from Taku's hand (KKT5ss [ss = single suited]), that he might not fold, but if you pot it, at least you have a chance of isolating the competition and saving the rest of your stack. By the time the action is to Mr. G, the pot is already over $5, so a raise from Mr. G would cost about $12+, so maybe this isn't the smartest play, since you'll only get called by Taku when he has you beat. I'm not 100% sure what the optimal play here is, but flat calling can be dangerous. At the very least, you have to be very cautious on the flop, because you have no information on your opponents. I also don't mind a fold here. Side note: Mr. G, in his email to me, said that he read Deec as having Aces with the push. In that case, I don't know why Mr. G would play the hand. If he were going to play it, isolating the Aces wouldn't be a horrible move, since they are not huge favorites preflop in PLO.

On the flop, Mr. G has two-pair, but it's bottom two-pair. He has an open-ended straight draw, but he's already losing to anyone with AT, and if he hits his 9 for the low straight, he has the idiot's end of the straight. The backdoor flush draws are fairly negligible at this point, especially the spade flush draw, since a T-high flush draw could also screw Mr. G if he's facing a higher flush draw. It happens all too often at Omaha. Deec bets $2, and really, its such a small amount that I don't mind the flat call. A raise here is probably a bad move since Mr. G's hand is really dependent on one of those draws coming through, so keeping Taku in (to pay him off if he hits) is a smart move.

The turn brings a ten-high flush draw, and the broadway straight. The board hasn't paired, so he has the nuts, and his two spades should reassure him that if he is facing a higher flush draw, the flush isn't likely to hit (he has 2 of the remaining spades needed to fill his opponent's draw). Here, I start betting like mad, getting my money in while I'm definitely ahead. Taku raises $5.10, and here, I'd at least min-raise it back. More likely, I pot it, trying to get all of my money in while I'm ahead or push out the competition and win the $5.10 right there. A small raise would be fine too, though, since Mr. G should only fear a card that fills the flush (an unlikely event) or a card that pairs the board, although there is no clear indication that anyone has a set. Still, when in doubt, pot.

On the river, the board pairs. Mr. G, in his email, suggested that maybe he should have flat-called here. It's hard to lay down a full house, and I don't think anyone could blame him for calling down. I don't even mind the re-raise, because there really isn't much to suggest that someone was playing a set early on in the hand. So, I'm going to say that pushing is correct.

After my long drawn-out analysis, all I can say is, what a fucking hand! It's tricky from start to finish. The key may be that he shouldn't have been in the hand in the first place. QJT7 is not a great hand, and if he was going to play it, I would've liked to see him play it against Deec early by trying to push off Taku preflop. At least if Taku called, Mr. G would have some idea that Taku was strong. Plus, Taku would probably have bet the flop, thinking that Mr. G would call, at which point, hopefully, Mr. G would fold his botton two-pair to Taku's set. I believe Taku didn't bet his set because he wanted to keep Mr. G in the hand. On the turn, once you know you are ahead, get all your money in there. Unfortunately, in this hand, he probably would've been called, and then have been writing about a suckout.

Thoughts, people? This isn't an official You Decide, but it's an interesting hand, and Mr. Goss would love some insight. In the meantime, you all have a great weekend, and I'll see you at the Blogger Big Game on Sunday.

Until the Big Game, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 6:07 PM,


At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that he shouldn't have even been in the hand in the first place. Omaha is a game of the nuts, and a hand like that only stands to get you in trouble.

At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have pushed with the nuts and redraw on the turn - you have more flush outs than your opponents have repeat outs. On the river you should fold or call, never reraise with the worst full house.

Limping in late position is okay. On the flop you are drawing to exactly two aces - those which give you flush redraws - so calling a raise is incorrect. The other two aces give you the nuts with zero outs, not something you want.

In omaha bottom two pair gives you protection against a repeat, it does NOT give you outs to a full house.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with Mark, I'd get stacked on the turn, not the river which would be a check-fold for me considering the action.


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