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Old Feb 05, 2008, 5:16pm   #1
SwoopAE
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Default Pot Limit Omaha: Advice?

I've just taken up PLO 6 Max, i'm 4-tabling .25/.50NL, buying in for $25 (50BB) and cashing out at between $50 and $100 depending on the table, then re-buying at a new table, etc.

I think i'm a solid but inexperienced PLO player and I don't trust myself with a deep stack yet, but i'm constantly getting my money in good with 50BB. I haven't sucked out in an all-in hand yet, i've won about 55% of the flip hands and my dominating hands have held at around an appropriate percentage.

Anyway, after two days and approximately 2k hands, i'm up about $400 or 800BB at my stake. I've played for maybe 8 hours all up, ranging from 2 to 5 tabling. I've run slightly above average card wise but nothing special... I think. Not running like TWLLM helps a lot of course.

In any case, can someone let me know if this sounds about right. I'm seeing 31-32% of flops (remarkably consistent in every session regardless of length) with a standard mixture of raising and limping (I think) and i'm winning about 60% of the hands that go to showdown.

Is this flop rate standard for PLO 6max at low-mid stakes and does my showdown winrate seem about right?

I'm thinking about learning Omaha properly and grinding cash games for a while to boost my bankroll, ideally working my way up to .50/1 PL and then 1/2PL within the next couple months. If I can 4 table 1/2PLO successfully and be a winning player at these stakes within a few months, i'll consider this venture a success.

Also, what sample do you recommend for me to prove that i've mastered .25/.50 before moving up, keeping in mind that i'm massively over-rolled for playing these stakes (~12k roll) and I can drop back down if necessary. Additionally, at what point should I start buiying in for the max? I feel that my PLO game is strongest with 40-70BB at the moment, pretty much the opposite of NLH, where i'm best with 5-15BB or 200+BB

At the moment, I think that if I maintain my current winrate or close to it (it's probably 15-25BB/hr per table, I think), i'll definitely be confident that i'm crushing PLO .25/.50 by 5000 hands and i'll be certain of it by 10000 hands. Some people would recommend 20k, but I'll probably take a shot before then and drop back down if I lose 500+ BBs. I haven't tried yet, but i'd assume i'd be a breakeven/small winning player at .5/1 and a breakeven/small losing player at 1/2 based on my feel of the game at the moment. Then again, when I see some of the stuff that goes on at $200.00/400.00 PLO, it makes me wonder if these people even know the rules to Omaha. Next level thinking and all that.

Basically, i'm considering playing 1-2 MTTs a day instead of my normal 5-6 and grinding a few hours each day at PLO for a while, just for a change of pace. I've wanted to become a NLH cash game player for some time now to handle variance (and go back to just playing MTTs for fun instead of as a primary means of building my bankroll) but quite simply my NLH playstyle is unsuitable for cash games and whenever I try to adjust and play cash games, I break even, give up and it corrupts my NLH tournament game for a week or two. So maybe NLH MTTs and PLO Cash games will be my solution.

Any wisdom from any of you Omaha players is always appreciated.
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Old Feb 05, 2008, 11:33pm   #2
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You're running around 40BB/100. Even for a lowstakes game this is high, and only with your kind of luck is it sustainable.

You might stick to short buying until you know when/how to semi-bluff draws, and when to identify people who are just calling down sets b/c they don't realize they would be better off pushing or folding. People play things really badly in omaha because they can't think to fold a naked set, but they also don't think to push it in order to punish draws.

I'm not one to analyze how well you're playing based on your percentages, esp. with a small sample size. While that might be useful for NLHE, I think in Omaha how you play post-flop is more important, and the stats for that will be hard to gather/interpret meaningfully.

My guess is you probably haven't yet grasped how small the edges are in omaha for made hands v. draws and that's why you figure you've had good cards but haven't really had them hold up more than their share. In Omaha you are rarely going to be more than a 2 to 1 favourite, even with the most crushing made hands (e.g. top set) against even mediocre draws (e.g. a 13 card wrap with some redraws or split cards etc.). Of course, this is speculation based on your winrate and the fact that you're half stacking so that winrate is somewhat more ridiculous since you're not getting it in for 100 bb stacks while ahead 60/40, you're getting it in with 50 bb stacks while 60/40, and so your winrate should be somewhat lower even when we factor in how people will have to play differently against you, etc.

I wish you luck, but my guess is that your advancement as a player will be hampered by your insanely good luck, and you'll develop bad habits since there will be positive re-enforcement, whereas someone like me has to keep reminding himself that putting the money in as a 60/40 favourite is a good thing, even though I lose pretty much *every* time.

One lesson I've tried to instill on people who don't quite grasp PLO is that implied odds in this game are different than in NLHE. They are such that if you don't raise or only raise small preflop, they are small, in the middle (e.g. a 1/5th stack raise) they are very large because you will be committing yourself to the pot w/o getting most of the money in preflop, and when you stack off preflop or close to it, they are very small again since you'll be all-in and draws can't extract more from you. I like to think of it as a bell curve, left to right being the proportion of the stack put in preflop, and the height of the curve being the size of the implied odds offered, but you can think of it any way you like.

This issue with implied odds explains why you might limp AAxx (let's say 1 suited and maybe with weak straight draws, so a good hand), but then 4-bet all-in preflop when it gets 3-bet before you, even though the initial limp was *NOT* a slowplay (unlike limping AA in nlhe, obv). The reason for the c/4-bet was implied odds (and a bit of deception) - if you raise a substantial amount preflop, but don't have the chance to get it all-in, you're vulnerable, but when you get the chance to 4-bet all-in, then except if you are me, who can never win an all-in in omaha, you are riding your opponents for pure and easy value.

BTW, if you are unhappy with NLHE cash game variance, don't play Omaha. Even a luckbox like you might encounter real variance in this game - I've lost something like 7 all-in (or near all-in) preflop hands where I was either ~60% or more preflop HU, or ~40% preflop in 3/4 way pots, in less than an hour before. The problem is that when there is a single raise, people become fucktarded and stop playing tightish, they start calling all-ins with T532 because they don't realize how bad their hands are, they just see the pot size and go 'holy shit, i think im never worse than 40% in omaha so i should call the allin', when they're really in terrible shape because they and 2 other donks all have similar draw hands against the 1 person with a legit made hand pushing on them. See, for example, the ~$600 pot where I pushed a KTx flop and two people with non-nut flush draws called - they were retarded players, but I figure they both just assumed they had 9 outs and should therefore call, when in reality one was drawing to less than what he expected, and the other practically dead (both sucked out obv, but nonetheless). More importantly, neither should have seen the flop. But the moral is, unless you are planning to just give up heaps of value, you have to gamble when the donks open up the opportunity - if you ever run normal, or god forbid, bad like me, you will want to fucking shoot yourself for ever having tried to play PLO.
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 4:01am   #3
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I love pot limit omaha but good lord the variance can drive one to drink. Heavily.

I was wondering swoop why you chose 6h over 9h PLO?

I prefer 9h for the pace of the game personally. Also - and this is a key factor for me: when I get into a hand and I magically find myself with the nut hand (barring miracle draws obv) I want to get more players into the pot. Long handed play tends toward this. You might want to consider trying mixing your tables a bit to see how this works for you. I suppose it also goes without saying that I play a relatively tightish positional game of omaha with the traditional point system as a general guide.

I wish I could impart some advice that sounded intelligent and worthy. I have won my fair share at the omaha table but cannot quite get out the words on how I do it. It's alot of pot control bets, not getting all in on the flop, staying out of the way of the nut betters and just moving it along. I can't really put a finger on it.

Also your win rate is pretty damn sick. Im thinking I should ask you for advice and not the other way around.
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 9:17am   #4
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Another ~400 hand session today, ended up +120BB or so. Smaller winrate, but my cards were worse today and I think I ran slightly below expectation for a change.

Played six tables (four at a time, left two and joined two new ones halfway through the session), busted at one, cashed out at double the buyin at one, triple at one and close to even or slightly down at the others.

Thanks for the advice everyone, your post should be stickied TWLLM, very useful Omaha advice.

I chose 6 handed because as Ishbu (aka, Our Resident Poker God) has always said, shorthanded play is more profitable and it's a completely different game to learn 9 handed, heads up, etc. so I may as well start off playing shorthanded if i'm going to learn a new game.

In NLH, i'm best 9-10 handed or 2-5 handed. 6-8 players is my weakest table size. 9 handed NLH is a game of patience and while I maintain patience in MTTs, I can get impatient in cash games and try and make things happen, thus making mistakes.

Because 6 handed PLO is a lot faster paced, there are a lot more small multi-way pots that result in a lot of postflop play and I think my edge in Omaha will come from postflop play, basically gambling with the best of it and having my 60/40 hands hold in the long run.

I'm thinking that maybe I should get some sort of tracking program to see if i'm really as lucky as TWLLM says or whether i'm performing to expectation. Over the last three months, I think i've performed slightly above expectation, but well within a standard deviation. The previous three months I was probably slightly below expectation but again within the margin of error. It's hard to tell though, since in NLH especially I almost always get my money in good in MTTs or i'm flipping with significant fold equity making my move a +EV play and with my volume and no tracking statistics, I honestly don't know how hot i'm running. It doesn't feel out of the ordinary and i've played a LOT of hands in that time, but who knows, maybe i'm just being a luckbox.
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 12:14pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwoopAE View Post
Another ~400 hand session today, ended up +120BB or so. Smaller winrate, but my cards were worse today and I think I ran slightly below expectation for a change.
This is a level, right?
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 12:34pm   #6
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I had some real donkeys at the table stacking off repeatedly while almost drawing dead, etc.

One guy was raising pot preflop with hands like T842 rainbow and stacking off on a QQT flop. I got his stack twice. I got rivered to split a $75 pot that I would have scooped. Maybe I ran TO expectation but certainly not above it.
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 3:58pm   #7
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+200BB over 450 hands. Lost a three way race with the worst hand but a decent number of outs (2p+oesd vs naked set vs nut flush draw) but again, most of my 60/40 hands held which made up for it. Got all in once with my opponent drawing to one out as well and got paid once or twice holding the nuts against the second nuts, including a river check after two halfpot bets with a made nut flush to induce a guy to shove his stack in for value on the river with the king flush. Again, fortunately, I don't run like TWLLM.

I'm racking up Full Tilt Points like there's no tomorrow, it's crazy how much more rake you pay in cash games compared to MTTs. No overall losing days so far. Hopefully I can continue this trend.

What do you guys think, how many hands before I take a shot at .50/1 PLO? 10k? I think i'd be at about 3k hands now.
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 8:03pm   #8
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This is a level, right?
No, Swoop isn't being rude, he's actually that dillusional.
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Old Feb 06, 2008, 8:27pm   #9
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I've been assisted by some complete donkeys stacking off preflop for 50-75BB with hands like TT63 and stuff. I know my current winrate won't necessarily last and it definitely won't if I move up.

Just to rub it in... can you imagine how much money you would make if you ran like me TWLLM?

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Old Feb 06, 2008, 9:20pm   #10
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Quote:
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I've been assisted by some complete donkeys stacking off preflop for 50-75BB with hands like TT63 and stuff. I know my current winrate won't necessarily last and it definitely won't if I move up.

Just to rub it in... can you imagine how much money you would make if you ran like me TWLLM?
You really need to look at some of my omaha beats (the one's ive posted). You're talking about people stacking off wtih TT63 as if they were drawing dead - I had a guy stack off with t532 and beat me at $200PLO! This is what I was telling you about, you don't realize how vulnerable your hands are even to trash - you think this is NLHE and it's like 80/20 or 75/25, when it's usually closer to 65/35 or 60/40, and so you have an over-inflated sense of your own equity.

If I ran normal in PLO I'd probably be playing $400 PLO now instead of $100 PLO, lol. I'd probably be in the Ivey Thunderdome if I ran like you.

I am rolled for $200PLO but I can't commit to it because it's been so fucking cruel to me.
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