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You Decide #70

Hey yo, peoples. Now that I have some money on PokerStars (we'll see how long that lasts...) I decided to play some big tourneys yesterday. I entered a $22 NLHE "Big Ante" tournament and a $11 PLO tourney. I ended up busting from the NLHE game in the top 1/3 of the field and the PLO in the top 25%, but not high enough for any casheesh.

I had a hand in the PLO game that I questioned after it was done. It was all the way back in level 2, with blinds at a low 15/30. We had started with 3,000 in chips and I had already chipped up to 7,515, the table chipleader by a good 3k. I was dealt Ac Kc 3h 5h. This is only PLO high; there is no low. We are 8-handed and I am UTG+2. It folds to me and I raise to 3x the BB, 90 total. Multi (4485) and Young (2835) call in MP/LP. The SB, LVC (3730) calls, as does the BB, chromic (2515).

The flop was 4c 5d 6c, giving me the nut flush draw and an open-ended straight draw, along with a useless pair of 5s. I decide to keep the pressure on, and bet 450. Only Multi (4485) calls.

The turn is a Jd. It seems harmless to me. I check and he bets 1,350. I think for a moment and decide to push. My logic is that, short of a nut straight, this guy has to fold. He called me preflop before anyone else called, so 78 is not a given in his hand. Since he was the second largest stack, but I had him outchipped by 3k, I figured I could push all-in and take him off of the pot. Just as importantly, I figured my redraw for the nut flush meant that even if I was wrong, I could still easily win this pot. I also figured that if he did not have the nut straight, I could always catch a straight on him to beat a set or overaggressive two pair. Multi had 2595 left before I pushed, and after I pushed, he called. He then showed 2h 7s 8s 8c. The river was another 4 and I lost, dropping down to 3k.

In this case, it turned out I was pushing into the nuts. My question to you all is, where did I go wrong, if at all? Should I have limped preflop instead of raising? Should I have folded preflop or raised max (which wasn't much more than the 90 I raised)? On the flop, should I have checked and let someone else take control? How about the turn? Arguably, I should've bet out instead of checking. Perhaps that would've brought about a raise that would've let me know that my opponent had the goods?

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:12 PM,


At 5:29 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

A couple of problems that I can see:

1. You overvalued the starting hand - It's not a terrible hand to play, but it would have been much better if the King was heart suited. The hand you have is good only for Broadway, a crub flush or a low straight. But the low straight needs a two AND a four AND and Ace or a 6 to come, and you have one of the Aces. Straight draws are much much easier when you have connecting cards. The low heart flush is a possibility of a winner, but in early position, I wouldn't like it if it came.

2. You don't have an OESD - I know that in theory you do, but you have the ass end of it by a long shot. 78 and 73 and 23 are all flopped straights already. A two gives you the straight but still doesn't change the fact that you're losing or splitting with the three flopped straights. Against 4 other players, you pretty much have to assume you're drawing thin or dead.

3. You misread Multi - Once he calls your pot bet on the flop, you have to assume he's not giving up on his hand. He either has a flopped straight and is hoping to fade a crub, or he's got a flopped set, in which case your outs for the crub redraw are reduced by two (the 5c and the Jc would give his hypothetical set a boat or quads). Remember that a lot of the dead money value in PLO is from players who greatly overvalue sets.

4. You lost sight of controlling the pot size - With 4 other players in the pot, the odds of someone flopping a draw on this board is huge. The odds of someone flopping a straight or set is also pretty large. You need to recognize that the flop bet is not going to get anyone off of their hand because it's small relative to their stack size. You need to see the turn for a cheap price. But if you try to power people out of the pot early, they're going to be able to bet *you* out on the turn or river. If you keep the pot small on the flop, you'll be able to draw for the nuts on the turn/river without doubling up your opponents.

IMHO, given the number of players, you should have tried to see the turn for free or for a small bet and then given up when the club doesn't come. You only have one legitimate draw, in my estimation.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Shrike said...

I agree with all of Jamie's comments.

Additionally, I think tournament strategy considerations should lead you to put on the brakes and preserve your large stack. You want to be able to appply pressure and use the power of position in the middle stages of the tournament, and when you are called on the flop you really have to check-fold (you have no fold equity if your opponent has what they are representing). Playing this hand when out of position just got you into all kinds of trouble, and you ended up gambling with way the worst of it.


At 10:09 AM, Blogger Astin said...

Your problem is that you were playing an $11 PLO tournament on Poker Stars and made the assumption that your opponent had any clue.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Fuel55 said...

I agree with astin - the dude flat calls you with 8872 (one suit) with at least three people left to act in high-only game?

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

With five people in a PLO pot, especially in a small buyin online tournament like this one, even a modicum of experience should teach you that somebody clearly has a straight if they stay in for any meaningful bets on that flop or aftewards. Period. I think you played the rest of the hand just fine, but the push on the turn was an amateur mistake. Instead of thinking "short of a nut straight, this guy has to fold", you should have been thinking "now a big bet from me isn't going to get this guy to fold since he has the nut straight."

PLO = a whole different animal from holdem.


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