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You Decide #66

Lately, I've been writing a lot about my mistakes, whether it be some sloppy action in a home game or a poorly played hand. I was thinking about that as I reviewed a couple of PLO8 hands I saved, and it cause me a bit of concern. If I only post about my poor play, will that make me appear to be a poor player? Then I realized that this was all bullshit. I post to get insight into play, and it just makes more sense to focus on the flubs, because you can only learn so much from posting hands or situations where I played awesomely.

Of course, there is a larger picture to all of this. I think I've come to realize that there is a recent for my mistakes. I'm playing poorly lately. I can't even pinpoint why that is, other than complacency and laziness. I'm just not working enough or thinking critically enough about my craft when I play. I'm thinking about it moreso when I'm not playing, but when the game starts, I'm relying too much on instinct and not gathering enough information and playing focused poker.

If you have the time, drop a comment about the following two hands. In both hands, we have a common theme, a river fold that might have been too tight. But maybe not. Hence, why I'll leave it up to you and call it:

You Decide #66 - PLO8 Tournament Edition

I was playing in a $10+1 PLO8 MTT on Full Tilt, in the early 20/40 blind period. It was a deepstack event, and I was just slightly lower than the initial 3k starting stack, with 2,930. I was dealt 2c 3c 5x 6x and decided to limp for 40 from early/mid-position with no limpers before me. BJ (2,585) called in MP. WrongP (3,305) in the SB called, and Dorton (6,915) in the BB checked. We saw a flop: 5c 4d 9c. It gave me a draw to a baby flush, a wrap straight draw (any Ace, 2, 3, 6, or 7 gave me a straight), a crappy middle pair weak kicker, a draw to the nut low (Ace), and a draw to the third nut low generally (any 2, 3, 7, or 8).

WrongP checked and Dorton bet half-pot, 80. I decided to flat call to see which draw would come, if any. I also wanted to keep the other players in the pot. BJ folded, giving me position on the rest of the players. WrongP also folded, leaving me heads up with the big stack who bet out on the flop.

The turn was a Td, a card that was of no use to me. Dorton bet 120, which was just 1/3 of the pot. It seemed cheap enough to call, and call I did.

The river was an 8d, giving me the third-nut low and pretty much nothing else. I had my pair of 5s, but that's pretty much rags in Omaha. Dorton bet 200...and I folded.

Good fold or bad fold? The pot was 560, plus the 200 bet, for 760 total. I assumed that I could only win the low, so the max I'm going to get for my 200 is 480 (760+200/2). I'm betting 200 to win 280, at most, and possibly losing to a better low (A2, A3). It just didn't seem worth the call at that time in the game, but I'm not super adept at the odds in PLO, so if anyone has insight, please feel free to share.

In the same tournament, the blinds were eventually 150/300, and I had worked my stack up to 18,221. I was in the BB when I was dealt Qs Js Tc 4c. UTG, Imeat (26,025) raised to 675. In the cutoff, Wing (15,520) called. On the button, Obi-Wan (5,770, apparently without the force) called. The SB folded and I called the extra 375, after which the pot was 2,850.

The flop was Qd Ah Jc. I had a weak two-pair and an inside draw to the nut straight (I needed a King) that could very well end up splitting the high. With only one low card, I wasn't worried about low draws (yet). With the Jc, I even had a backdoor flush draw, although not to the nut flush. I opted to check. Imeat continuation bet, 1,762. Everyone else folded and I thought it over. Frankly, I'm not sure why I called. I think I figured him for c-betting, and with my draw to the nut straight, my two-pair, and the lack of a low, I felt it was worth pealing off a card. In hindsight, maybe a fold was in order...I'm not quite sure.

The turn was a 4s, negating the chance of a flush, opening the possibility of a low (although I still wasn't concerned based on the flop action), and giving me a useless third pair. Of course, if I rivered another 4, that turn wouldn't be too shabby, but as it was, it was essentially useless.

I checked. Imeat took his time and then bet 1,500...less than his flop bet. That confused me, and I took it for weakness. Since the pot was already almost 6,400 before the 1,500, the now almost 8k pot called to me, and I decided to call again.

The turn was a Qc. It gave me Queens full of Jacks. I checked, expecting to call or check-raise. My opponent bet....10,049. WTF! Then it dawned on me. AA. The dude had AAXX. That explains the preflop raise, the flop continuation bet that was a fraction of the pot, the turn bet when perhaps he feared the low draw or conversely welcomed it because he was drawing low too, and then pushed on the nuts river. I just couldn't fathom a push on that river absent AA or maybe AQ. It just screamed AA to me. So, I folded.

Was I seeing monsters under the bed or did I make a good laydown in a game where it's easy to be second best. Looking back, I think my mistake was getting wrapped up in the hand without getting my bearings. A raise on the flop would've cost me more money, but would've also given me insight into where I was an maybe cooled his river bet to callable (or re-raisable) levels, if he did not have the full house. Conversely, if he was really strong, he'd probably re-raise my flop raise and I could get out of the hand.


Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:29 AM,


At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan, i would appreicate it if u would stop using my line " monsters under the bed" at the very least at least give me props for it :-)

First hand is a call
2nd hand is a fold

If he has the ace 2 and a higher pair he would bet more tryin to get u to fold, not wanting to chop the pot.

In the 2nd hand, unless u have a soul read on the guy theres no reason to gamble for most of ur chips. Sure u might have the best hand, but ur essentially gamling he doesnt have the AA

At 1:49 AM, Blogger Shrike said...

I'll bite, since I'm a huge fan of this variant of Omaha.

1) Proper fold. However, I don't like the preflop call since by definition all 23xx hands are crap unless you get an Axx flop with at least one other low card making 4 to a low. I would call on the flop given that price but would give up on the turn. You rarely scoop and aren't getting odds to continue with a bare 3rd low draw .

2) I'd fold this preflop as well. Your hand is double-suited but you have a dangler, no low possibilities, and no nut flush possibilities. You can only really continue with the hand postflop with a miracle flopped straight or 2 pr+.

Postflop, I'm folding on the flop ... or check-raising to represent the flopped straight. I want this hand over with one way or the other right now.

As played, if you really read his turn bet as weak then there's only one thing to do: go with your read and CRAI! Check-calling is weak play.

The river is an easy fold. Of course, you could have tried a blocking bet to reach showdown cheaply.

I think the only correct decision you made in the second hand was the river fold.



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