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Maximizing Value in an LO8 Hand

My hot streak continues with a nice score yesterday at the Tuna Club, but before we get into that, I have a couple of hands saved on Blogger worth discussing, so let's get to it.

Before I start, let me just state for the record that my online poker diet stands. I will do my best to only play the $26 PL Omaha High game, which runs nightly on FullTilt at 9:15 (and maybe the $75 token frenzy because I find it so juicy). But that's just a weekday restriction. On weekends, all bets are off.

I've been playing a lot of PL Omaha and Omaha variations lately, and I recently came across a fun hand as part of a $4k HORSE tournament. It is a Limit Omaha 8 or Better hand, and I think it exemplifies one of the keys to limit games, namely maximizing value (the other key is knowing when to fold).

The blinds are 30/60, so this is the first Limit Omaha H/L round and we are still very early in the game. We started with 2k in chips, and we are down to 1940. On the button, we are dealt KJT2, with the K and 2 of diamonds. It is not a great hand, with no possible low, but if the board doesn't create a low hand, the KJT can be a potential scooper.

The "big stack" with 2820, BigD, raises to 60 from UTG. He gets two callers before it gets to me. I decide to call because (a) there is already 270 in the pot, (b) I can expect at least one of the blinds to call, (c) its only 60 to call, giving me roughly 5:1 odds, (d) I'm in position on the button, and (e) if the hand goes high with no low, I have a potential scooper. It's not an amazing hand, but there is enough play at these early stages where I am willing to lose 60 in order to win a lot more. Remember that in these games, there are a decent amount of implied odds, since players are willing to call down relatively light. The multi-way pot helps in this regards too.

The two blinds come along for the ride and we are 5-handed when we see the flop: Ks Tc 8c. That gives me top two-pair on a board with a flush draw. It's not ideal, but not too bad either. As of now, there are only a few hands that are ahead (not statistically, since a hand with lots of draws may be ahead). Those ahead hands are KKxx, TTxx, and 88xx. It is unlikely that someone has KK or TT, since I have both a K and a Ten; likewise, it is unlikely that someone would play an 88xx hand, but it is possible from one of the blinds. I am also very glad that there is only one low card out.

The SB, Zoe (2165) bets out 30. The BB and preflop raiser (BigD) fold. MattF (1400) waits until the 15 second timer and then calls. Lopes (1940) then raises to 60. I'm next to act, and with top two pair, I decide to call. I have a temporarily strong hand, but top two pair is no monster in LO8 with a fush draw and lots of straight draws possible. This is a limit game, so it's not like I can push out a drawing hand with a bet, so I want to control the pot size. I also want a lot of players in the hand, because if I make a full house, I want a lot of players left so that someone pays me off. I also have to be wary of someone hitting a low by the river, in which case, heads-up play will end in a chop; in other words, I need 3 players (including me) in the hand in case that low comes, so I can make some money from the odd-man out who gets neither the high nor the low. Zoe and MattF call and we see the turn:

King of Hearts. CHOO CHOO! I hit my full house, essentially locking up the hand. There is no low possible, and I only "fear" TTxx, which is highly unlikely mathematically and logically. This is where the fun really begins. Zoe bets out 60 again from the SB. MattF called. Lopes raised again. Now, here I just flat call. If I raise, I might push Zoe or MattF out (they'll have to call 120 facing two players demonstrating strength, instead of "just another 60 with great odds." By keeping them on the hook, I get another 120 in the pot in this round, rather than re-raising and potentially only getting 60 from Lopes. Plus, I really want someone to hit a nut flush or a straight and hopefully get into a raising war on the river. Yes, I know it would be silly for a player to bet hard with their flush on a paired board, but this is a Limit event, HORSE (not LO8), and the players in non-NoLimitHold'em tourneys play much worse than the equivalent non-NLHE cash game players. As it turns out, Zoe calls, but MattF folds anyway.

The river is a 3c, hopefully hitting someone's club flush draw (clubs always get there, naturally). Zoe bets 60. Lopes just calls. Now its time to raise. I bump it up to 120. Zoe re-raises to 180. Lopes now folds. I get in one last raise and Zoe calls.

At showdown, Zoe shows 9887 with two diamonds. She was ahead with bottom set on the flop, and made her lesser full house on the turn. I probably could've gotten into the raising war with her on the turn, except that would've pushed out a few extra bets from Lopes, and probably would've slowed Zoe down on the river. Instead, I was able to play the role of a calling station (from her perspective), finally waking up when the flush hit.

Could I have played this better, now that I know her cards? I don't really think so, but I'm open to suggestions.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:31 PM,


At 6:35 PM, Blogger Shrike said...

In a 4K tourney, don't get fancy. Raise for value on the turn. They aren't folding, and there's always the chance they will ram and jam for you.


At 8:46 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I hear you, PL. What you say makes a lot of sense, especially considering the fact that tourney play is usually much worse than cash. But I still rather just call there and keep more players in the pot, hoping that one of them hits their flush.


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