Archive for the ‘PLO8’ Category
The other week Scott Clements was on the 2+2 Pokercast talking about Omaha 8 strategy. If you don’t know who he is, Clements is one of the best Omaha 8 players around and has been at it for many years. He gives some great advice on how Omaha tournament strategy should vary from cash game strategy.
This is a super long podcast, if you want to skip straight to the Omaha part it starts about 1h20m in. Here’s the link: http://pokercast.twoplustwo.com/listen_and_browse.php?episode=212
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Middle rundown hands are ones like 4567 or 5678. In Omaha High Low games they are basically garbage. Once a player gets a little experience with hilo they will figure this out pretty quickly if they didn’t already know before they started. While the concept of these hands being pretty much unplayable is really Omaha 101, it came to my attention recently that a lot of players don’t know this so I thought I would make a quick post to discuss it.
The first reason not to play them in Omaha High Low is that they will basically never make the nuts. There are very few boards that will give you the nut straight. Even when you make the nut straight there will usually be better low hands out there and you will end up with half. As you should now by now the name of the game in Omaha High Low is to scoop, so getting half the pot won’t get you anywhere in the long run.
The second reason is when you manage to make a flush, it is almost never going to be good. If you make a 7 high flush and get a lot of money in the middle, you are going to be praying that the other player has a low and you can get half the pot. Again, even in the best case scenario you will not be making any money. If you manage to make a full house, it usually won’t be the nut full house. So you are pretty much screwed on any board where a flush or full house is possible, and that’s a lot of boards…..
Lastly, you are going to get quartered and free-rolled a ton with these hands. Getting on the wrong side of those situations too often in Omaha High Low will make you a massive loser, and playing middle rundowns is a good way to get there.
I was thinking about detailing out some hand examples, and showing some flop fit equity curves to illustrate by points more quantitatively. But its Friday night and I’m feeling too lazy, but I wanted to write down what was on my mind. Maybe I’ll create a more detailed article for Nutblocker.com or put out a video on the topic. If you have interest in that (or some other topic) send me a tweet @campfirewest or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Nutblocker.com recently relaunched, and I wrote a couple of PLO8 guides for them. The guide will be released in multiple parts, and the first one was just released. It felt good to back to writing about poker but its nice to have it done. The content is new and its free. Check it out here: http://www.nutblocker.com/article/220/beguinner-guide-to-plo-8-part-1-introduction.html
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Since black Friday I haven’t exactly played a ton of poker. I’ve played enough on Merge to stay reasonably sharp, although given the options available to US players right now I play pretty much for recreation. The stakes are too low, there are too few games, and cashouts are too difficult to play to make money. But I still love the game and am glad there are still some opportunities to play.
While there aren’t as many PLO8 games available as their used to be, the good news is the ones that exist are still juicy. I’m working on a series of blog posts on PLO8 strategy that will be coming out soon. While people seemed to enjoy the travel related posts, this is a PLO8 blog afterall and I’m going to start refreshing the content. I may also make some short (~10 min videos). In the meantime here’s an example of how good the games can be right now. The villain in this hand was playing 90% of his hands, so J235ss was probably the top of his range:
Preflop: (Pot: $0.75)
Flop: (Pot: $9.75)
Turn: (Pot: $68.74)
River: (Pot: $68.74)
I’ve got some interesting trips coming up this fall, which will hopefully make for some good blog posts. I’m not going to give away all of the destinations but the highlight will be Singapore. I’ve never been to Asia before so I’m really looking forward to this. It will be interesting to see how the trip over there goes. It is going to be extremely longggggg… My plan is to right some PLO8 articles on the plane. The longest leg of the trip is San Francisco to Hong Kong which is 14 hours in the air, so God knows there will be plenty of time for writing. This is a business trip so the sightseeing will pretty limited. But hopefully I’ll be able to get some good pictures.
Lately I started playing on Carbon Poker again. I did a cashout a month ago, but after the transaction still showing ‘pending’ and Carbon not responding to emails I figured I may as well cancel it and have some fun with my play money. I’m really disgusted at the state of online poker in the US and can’t wait for the day when we get regulation and I can play on MGM.com.
The PLO8 Poker app was completed recently, you can find it here.
Basically it is the PLO8 Revealed book on an iPhone. There will also be an iPad app pretty soon. In addition to having the book content, there are some training videos embedded into the app. I also do a brief audio intro to each chapter.
In the future I think we’ll see more poker apps like this. At this point its pretty unique and there aren’t many poker training apps in the iTunes store. Poker training has evolved a lot over the years. Originally it was books, and then training sites (like Cardrunners), and then you began to see a lot of private coaching. I think apps will be the next big innovation in training. This app is a book with a few extra features, but I’m sure over time these apps will evolve quite a bit. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
I’m working on a series of articles on PLO8. They are not coming out until probably January, but I’m planning the outlines right now. I’d like to get some suggestions for specific topics. If there is something that I didn’t cover in my book or hasn’t been covered in Cardrunners video that you would like to see, please let me know. Or if there is something I have already covered but you would like to see me expand on it that’s fine too. You can either leave a comment or send me an email at email@example.com.
I don’t claim to be the master of the World Series. I’ve only made it out there 2 years, and this year I’m not going to make it. Its not baller, but sometimes things like jobs and families get in the way……. Last year I made it out was able to play in the $1500 PLO8. I didn’t cash but I learned a lot. Here are some of my takeaways from that trip, in no particular order:
1) The structure is nice and slow so there is no need to rush- The structure is much slower than a typical online tournament. Also, since this is live poker and you’re playing fewer hands per hour, when you go through a stretch when you don’t pick up any hands it feels like forever. Don’t let that induce you to get impatient and fire your chips in a bad spot.
2) Most players are bad- In a way this is no different than an online tournament, but being live poker they will be even worse. Just watch out because the PLO8 specialists will be sprinkled in as well. You should be able to figure out who’s who after a couple of orbits.
3) If you recognize someone from TV, they might be really bad- PLO8 is a niche game that few people have taken the time to really learn, so there are going to be a lot of people who aren’t familiar with it. The WSOP event is nice because a lot of pros with big bankrolls will sign up for any event in an attempt to win a bracelet whether they know the game or not. Its funny to watch some people who may be world class hold’em players make some really weird plays.
4) Hang on to a rebuy chip or 2 at least for a little while- The rebuy chips are a cool feature of this event. Opinions vary on the proper strategy for using them. Whatever you decide to do, hang onto some of them for at least a couple of orbits so you can get some sort of read on the other players at the table. In the early goings you have no idea if a players getting all of their chips in is doing it because they don’t know the game and are way overvaluing their hand, or if they are an Omaha 8 nit-reg that only gets it in with the nuts. Usually its the former, but its nice to not have to put your tournament life at risk early to find out.
5) Staying at the Gold Coast is really cheap and convenient- Not the greatest hotel on the face of the earth, but its an easy walk to the Rio from there. There’s never much point in spending much money on a hotel room in Vegas you aren’t going to spend a lot of time in anyway.
My high school physics teacher had a sign above the blackboard that said, “above all else you must love the truth”. In any business its easy to fall into the trap of not being honest with yourself. Outside of poker, there are often other influences that you can’t control. I remember in my engineering career I worked on several programs where we were having serious problems. But the program manager not only wouldn’t assess the problems and get the team working to fix them, but he wouldn’t acknowledge that there were even problems at all. The obvious thing for an engineer to do in this situation is to bluntly point out in a meeting exactly what is going on, but that’s pretty bad politics. For those of you who have ever held a job you’ll know that this is a lot easier said than done. Concerns about your career path or even keeping your job can be a huge influence on how you approach the situation. It can be really difficult to fix problems when you are surrounded by people bent on ignoring reality.
The nice thing about poker is you don’t have any political considerations to worry about. You can actively study your game, find your faults, and fix them. No one is stopping you but yourself. And yet a lot of poker players can’t seem to do it. Like some of my program managers, they just hate to accept that there might be some things going on that aren’t good. God forbid they need to make adjustments in a game they already have figured and are +EV in. I can’t prove it, but I think this is especially true in the PLO8 player pool. There are a lot of players out there who have not adjusted their game in a long time, despite the fact that the game has continued to evolve. That can’t possibly be a good idea. So don’t fall victim to being influenced by your ego. Always be analyzing your play and looking for weaknesses and making adjustments. I guarantee there are some there, and when you address them you’ll be better off for it. Unlike the tons of unaware, degen, busto players who think variance is to blame for their problems.
I finally got around to putting some money on Merge the other week, actually the day before the 2nd wave of domain seizures. Hopefully Merge doesn’t get shut down as well. But I only put on a small amount of money since the probability of something happening to them is so high. The thing that kind of sucks though is that even though I can again, on Merge its really only a recreational thing, I don’t think its possible to make real money. Part of the problem is liquidity in that not many games run. Certainly nothing like back on Stars and Tilt. The other problem is even if you could multi-table at decent stakes, it too risky to keep enough money on the site to do that. But I guess for now its better than nothing.
The cool thing is the games are pretty soft and I’ve been running well. Granted I have a pitifully small sample of hands so the results don’t mean that much. Prior to black Friday I had taken a few weeks off of playing while I was finishing up grad school, so it had actually been about 2 months or so since I played. After the break, and only playing 2 tables, it was amazing how sharp my focus was. My hand reading is so much better when I’m not playing 4 tables of Rush on autopilot. One of the other interesting things is I have hardly been getting check-raised at all. When I’m playing against new players I c-bet and barrel a ton and its really profitable. The problem is after a while they adjust and then its not quite as easy any more. We’ll see how long this keeps up. I haven’t checked out the PLO8 games yet, but I’m going to this week and I’ll report on it in a few days.