Winning at Zoom poker

by PokerAnon ~ March 16th, 2013. Filed under: Instructional posts, Poker aggression, Poker theory, Pot Limit Omaha, Rush/Zoom Poker.


To win at Zoom or Rush poker I’ve always heard ‘play tight’. I’m normally a TAG player anyway so I didn’t think it was necessary to tighten up much more.

But recently I took on a challenge. I was given a $25 stake to play 0.01/0.02 Zoom PLO. I’ve only been learning PLO and had dabbled at the 0.05/0.10 cash tables and Zoom, but playing with a 2.5 X bankroll at the $10 tables seemed silly so I tried to do it at the $2 tables.

Over a period of 4.5 months I played one instance of Zoom, trying to figure out how to beat the game. I was doing so, but just barely.

PLO Zoom - beforePLO is swingier than NLHE and I suffer from Zoom tilt, a special form of tilt that happens because the fast fold option somehow makes me impatient and prone to spewing off.

But I got impatient and bored with trying to accomplish the goal of doubling up the $25 stake so that I could return it, so one day, while watching a movie (I think it was Prometheus) I opened up 4 instances of Zoom rather than the one. And I finished the stake in a day.

Since then I’ve been continuing to play, to see if it’s maintainable, to see if I actually discovered something about Zoom and my play.

PLO Zoom - afterThis chart represents about another two weeks of experimenting with 4 instances, and includes the initial winning that took me over the $25 total that was my target for the staking agreement. The win rate has come down, but it’s still ridiculously high at 36.8 bb/100 and I’ve doubled up again in about half as many hands as the previous 4.5 months.

6,800 hands is still a small sample but the difference in winnings is significant. PFR has dropped one percent, VPIP has dropped three so I’m throwing away a few more bad hands because I’m playing 4 tables, and post flop aggression is higher, which makes sense if I’m the pre flop raiser in a greater percentage of my hands. Plus I’ve started betting out into limped pots when I’m in the BB and I have something rather than check/calling.

The thing about Zoom tilt is that it’s mitigated by starting something new. Every time I change levels, change games, stay away for a long time, I run better because I’m not tilted. Conversely, the more I play, the longer the session, the more days in a week that I play, the more inclined I am to spew. That’s why I’ve waited almost 7,000 hands to compare, so ideally I should continue to play at least until the somewhat arbitrary number of 10,000 hands, or until I triple the stake to $75 or something.

On the other hand, I’d like to take this to 0.05/0.10 PLO Zoom to see if I can do something similar, where the play should improve and I can actually get my post-Black Friday bankroll moving again.

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2 Responses to Winning at Zoom poker

  1. trummerfeld

    Nice to see your blog being online again.

    I’ven been transitioning from NLH to PLO lately aswell. With almost as good results as yours. The games on Zoom are really soft and you have a good iteration of new players trying the game and losing their money. But I have now changed to normal speed Cash Games and I am running really good. After reading Tri Nguyen’s Book about transitioning, I found myself deeper into the thinking of PLO.

    Maybe you can post some PLO hands that bugged you or think you’ve played well.

    Good luck at the tables!

  2. PokerAnon

    Haven’t been playing much PLO lately.

    If you can, playing regular cash tables is much easier and much more profitable, imho. I play Zoom because I don’t have time to search regular tables and wait to play, plus my time zone, since Black Friday, makes table selection more difficult. I find stats are one thing, but getting the stats from regular circulation around the table, rather than random seatings at Zoom, make a huge difference.

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