Back on the PLO trail again

by ~ January 7th, 2009. Filed under: Pot Limit Omaha.

I’ve been back dabbling at the $10 Pot Limit Omaha tables again as I used a gift card that I received for Christmas to buy Pot-Limit Omaha Poker by Jeff Hwang. I knew that it was a good book based on excerpts I’ve seen and recommendations from other players.

Interestingly, I think I’ve been doing worse cash-wise than I was doing earlier. Earlier, when I knew less. This is very short term so variance probably accounts for most of any difference. I don’t have a stat tracker for Omaha as yet since I don’t want to invest in it while I still don’t know how much I want to play, but I think that my down sessions outnumber my up sessions by a 2-1 ratio at least.

So cards/variance plays a part, but I think also that I was playing at a comparable level with my opposition previously, whereas now I’m making one of those knowledge adjustments that need to be assimilated and incorporated before its benefits can be reaped. If you’ve played poker for any length of time, you know what I mean by this. Say you’ve been doing okay at Hold’em, but you start to add 3-betting AK/QQ/JJ into your game, or raising from late position with less than premium hands. You might find yourself in a downswing for a while as you try to adjust to what that change makes to your game. It happened to me about the time I started this blog, and it took quite a while to work through it.

So right now I’ve made adjustments to my preflop play (less from early position but added suited Aces with middle rundowns as premium hands) and postflop as well (not going too far without redraws or position). I’m also doing immediate hand evaluation by having a hand value calculator open while I play and immediately putting the cards after showdown in to see who is really ahead at various points and by how much. I think that I’m learning a lot, but I’m also forgetting that at this level there are a lot of Hold’em players who play Omaha like two Hold’em hands and who really overvalue while at the same time underbet their hands. For example, I folded the nut straight on the flop because I bet, was min-raised from mid position, and then pot-raised by the button. I folded because I had no redraws but as it turned out neither did the button who held the same straight, and we both had the middle position player beat. I still think the fold is okay because of my position, but going ahead with the hand is also okay because of the level of play.

There are two nice things about PLO for me. One is the novelty of working at something different, and the other is that at $10 tables I’m so overbankrolled that I don’t care about the money. Money is just the means for keeping score.

These are both reasons why I don’t grind the NLHE cash tables like I could/should. The novelty/learning is not there, and because I feel that I’m better than most of the other players I expect myself to win too often and get frustrated when I don’t end up ahead every session.

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