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darryl Jun 18, 2011 9:01pm

Good jam opportunity with mega draw?
This was a live 1-2 PLO game. I had been there quite a while, not making any headway, being fairly conservative. The villain was new to the table, so not much read. We both had essentially even stacks at say $260

I was SB with As8s9dTd
Early raise to $10, by the time it got to me, there were 5 callers, I called to make it 6 callers, BB calls, so $70 in the pot roughly.

Flop comes 875 two spades. I think I checked for whatever reason. I probably should have potted it. Although this is from memory and I may have some of the positions wrong. Anyway, a couple of checks, the villain bets $40, two people called, making the pot roughly $200 in the pot.
Is a repot optimal here? That's what I did, but just want to make sure. I'm guessing I should have lead out, but oh well. If I did lead out, what's the next step if it's raised, just get it in?



killcrazy Jun 18, 2011 11:36pm

it's kinda hard to say what the optimal line here, it's very opponent dependent. i wouldn't even like to give an optimal vacuum line because it would be almost meaningless.

i assume you're aware that this is the kind of table where multiple players will call $40 bets at the outset of the hand...i kinda like leading out for $40-50 myself, trapping a few callers and maybe someone raises. even if they don't, if you get 2 or 3 callers here, you're making a solid return on your bet.

another line that comes to mind is to check-call. this seems weird, but the guys behind you are going to be getting a great price and your hand is well disguised. so for instance KXs will call, QXs will call if he has some kind of wonky other shit going on with his hand or is bad. and it'll be tough for them to fold for less than the pot on the next street when you get there.

like i said at the start you really need to know your players. the modern game of PLO is almost based around the idea of flop a lot of outs and hammer of the gods aggression. this may be true online where there are more savvy players, and most of the fish are fish because they fold too much, but in a casino everyone is a live one until proven otherwise, and the focus surely moves to get as much money in the pot as possible.

i'm going to chew on this some and get back to you. i'm not entirely satisfied with either line. what i actually don't like is checkraising. i see no reason to squeeze anyone out when you're drawing to the nut flush and nut straight. the more guys putting more money in this one the better.


darryl Jun 19, 2011 5:23am

Actually, now that I think about it, I think I was on the button and not SB if that makes any difference. So instead of checking the flop and jamming, I just jammed after everyone else put their money in.


killcrazy Jun 19, 2011 12:20pm

in a similar vein, on the button i like a meek raise if the bet comes from an early position, or a flat if it comes from late position.


BubbleBoy Jun 20, 2011 10:37am

you are not ahead against a single allin villain. your vlaue should come from either getting more money in multiway or getting the money in when you hit.

really depends on the exact stacks. if someone could pot a blank turn and youd have a tough decision, prefer to just jam it in now. if you have enough room to see a river under most circumstances, prefer to wait and hit.

darryl Jun 21, 2011 12:39pm

Okay, so I think I have this straight (maybe I'm way off). Assume all the other stacks were pretty close to mine (they actually were, at least for those in the hand). So if I've got just enough to pot it, I should pot it. If everyone is pretty deep, I'm better off waiting until I hit or just build it up? Is this the case?

Is this a good strategy in general for PLO?


killcrazy Jun 21, 2011 2:41pm


Originally Posted by darryl (Post 968362)
Is this a good strategy in general for PLO?

not really, it's too simplistic, and the wrong kind of simplistic.

you can boil big bet poker down to two basic necessities. you must be able to figure out your equity, and you must be able to control or failing that at least evaluate the action.

in this case you should know that if you and one other player get all in, he's going to have either a set or a straight (very rarely a weaker combination draw where you're about 3/1 favourite or rag two pair when you're about 2/1 favourite), and your equity will be around about 50%. it could be as much as 55% or as little as 40%, and on average it's going to be fractionally under 50%.

you have nut outs, 9 nut flush outs (no spades make a possible boat, although 6s makes a possible straight flush) and 6 additional nut straight outs, excluding whatever blockers show up.

firstly, if someone else pushes you all in, you can play, because 250 into a total pot of 570 is 44%, and you do have 44% equity against any reasonable range. the question therefore is how do you get as much money as possible into this pot?

we've got two guys plus the bettor putting $40 into this already, if you jam and one of them calls you, you're going to be making $35-40 on the spot, since you both have around 50% equity, you basically chop the other two guys money, and he gets slightly more of it than you. alternatively if a third player joins you all in (which is unlikely even in a game like this), you'll actually have about 40% equity against them both, and will make about $60-65 here. so we do at least know that the jam line is profitable, the question is whether it is maximally profitable.

if we smooth call we can anticipate that on average one of the two remaining players will call. that puts $200 in the pot of which we contributed $40. lets also assume that if we make our straight someone else makes the same straight and we chop. ignoring additional action, we would make like $13.50 following this line...

however, we have $210 left in our stack, a pot that stands at $270, four targets and last action. 20% of the time we flush and 13.(3)% of the time we straight (why is flush such a natural verb and straight isn't? i guess because to flush is a verb but the verb for straight is to straighten...whatever).

well if we hit the straight we are getting all in with probably another straight, however we have 9 redraws, so we chop up the $200 from the flop 80% of the time and take his $210 20% of the time. i'll spare you the math because i've shown how to do it so many times, so suffice to say this contributes about $16.50 to our overall EV

then of course, 2/3 of the time we get a brick and more on this later, but for the moment lets just say we're going to lose our $40 here, and this contributes -$26.50 to our overall EV (and the running total is now -$10)

the 20% of the time the flush card comes, what happens? well, this is substantially trickier. worst case scenario is everyone checkfolds and you pick up the $160 they gave you on your draw, which would contribute $32 to our overall equity and put us up $22 on the line (and we're looking for about >$41 from this line to make it better than jamming the flop).

now, a set is going to have about 22.5% equity against you (and will think it's fractionally higher because he thinks he has 10 outs and we know he has 9), if you can be certain the bettor won't try a hero bluff with anything other than a boat if the board pairs, you can manipulate him by laying him correct implied odds which you won't actually follow through on. the total amount he can win is 480 so a bet of $125 would be laying him implied odds of about 3.85/1, which is slightly better than his true odds of hitting which are about 3.5/1...this contributes an additional $13.75 to our equity, and assumes he is disciplined enough to fold his set if he misses, just as we will fold our flush if he hits and leads out.

there is another possibility, which is that your $125 bet will trap a weaker flush into calling, or that it will donk into you. with this many callers, there probably are other flush draws in play, and if we were being good and i wasn't doing this without a calculator first thing in the morning i would have factored this into our outs from the start and done the whole wankbucket of possible variables, but fuck off. can KXs QXs fold here? eh...probably not to be honest. why did he draw? the spades make up a lot of the perceived value of his hand on the flop, almost nobody can draw on a flush then fold it. so lets say that 50% of the time another flush pays off, in which case he also has to pay off on an unpaired river. also this will guarantee the guy with the set comes along, and again i'll spare you the math, and just say that this makes the flush's total contribution to our EV a delicious $53

so we make $16.50 on the straight, we lose $26.50 on the bricks, and we win $53 on the flush, for a total EV of $43...what were we looking for, $41? well, yeah i'd hoped for a bigger number here.

but we've been inaccurate in that i should have done a bunch of different calculations for other flush/straight draw exists/doesn't exist and all that bollocks. the smooth call line has an additional advantage of keeping your variance low and letting you dodge when the boat comes on the turn, it also creates much more room for an opponent to make a mistake against you.

coming back to the bricks on the turn, depending on which brick it is exactly, we'd still be about 2/1 against the guy with the set, and an 8 gives us a boat draw of our own. some more math would be required if this comes about, but i've done enough math, and there is shit I need to get done today because I have a thoroughly enrapturing chess club meeting in a couple of hours. yeay, two hours of reports from a dozen different "officers" in a club of like 25 people. but at least they're giving me a big trophy at the end of it. go me.

i may have shat on the math somewhere in this, i don't think i have but i'm far from infalbilale and i didn't show my working. normally i proof these posts and doublecheck everything but today i won't, that way someone has the chance to aha! kc is finally wrong about something after all these years and thousands of posts. also note that all the calculations i did on the turn, i completely ignored the $70 that was in preflop because fold equity isn't a factor in this, we weren't working with pot odds (except when trying to price the set in when we hit) but with bet and implied odds.


darryl Jun 22, 2011 12:19am

This helps quite a bit. Thanks for doing all of that work. I will reread it again later and digest it some more and probably have more comments. This also makes me realize I'm not thinking nearly enough when I make decisions at the table.


killcrazy Jun 22, 2011 2:16am

well, almost nobody can do this much at the table. we work this shit out away from the table, and then when a situation comes up in play we go "ahh yes this situation is very similar to theoretical situation #242". you make minor adjustments maybe but you've done most of the grunt work of thinking before you even sat down. that's kinda why this thread exists after all.


darryl Jun 23, 2011 12:59am

Yes, I understand that, but the fact that I'm usually not thinking "well, in a similar situation, when I'm jamming my equity is slightly less than if I call" Mostly I'm just thinking, well I'm probably good here 1/3 of the time, so is there enough in the pot to call. Or every now and then I'm thinking, "that was an awesome catch, how did he not break his leg?" When I guess I should be thinking, "well, given the range I think the villain(s) are on, based on similar situations, if I call, I have about X equity, if I raise I have Y and if I jam, I have Z.

BTW. I ended up jamming, the villain called with a straight and no redraws. No one else called. I bricked both turn and river. I was about 2/3 to win at the flop when I plugged the numbers in based on our exact cards which at this point I don't remember. Not that I should be results oriented, I was just glad I got my money in good. I thought I may have had some fold equity in the hand as well, but looking back, I really didn't have a whole lot.


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