An Omaha Strategy hand from BoylePoker

Submitted by: TightEnd on Fri, 05/06/2009 - 1:20pm
As part of our sponsorship deal with Boyle, we'll be recieving strategy blogs from their pro's

Here's the first hand, from Rory Rees Brennan

In this post I’m going to review a PLO hand I played recently on

This is a hand against Madone07, who is an English professional player. I’m sure some of you might know him, however I’m obviously not going to out him here. He is however, in my opinion, a better tournament player than cash player and probably better live than online.

Pre-flop: ($15, 4 players)

I re-raise pre with decent kings here. I probably mix it up between flatting and re-raising here about 50/50. I was more inclined to re-raise here mainly because of the following:
- We’re only 4 handed - KK increases in value.
- Were both over 200bb’s deep – meaning I can build a big pot and also that I can still call a 4bet if he does have AAxx (not that he’d defo 4bet with AAxx).
- Of the three opponents he was the one I was targeting the most to stack.

Flop: ($245, 2 players)

three clubs

I flop top and bottom on a pretty dangerous board. Although I was nearly certain I had the best hand at this point, I wasn’t happy about betting $200ish and then getting another $1800 after that, because Madone07 would either have me crushed or else would probably have some sort of big combo pair and flushdraw type hand - that is doing really well against my piece of cheese two-pair.

For this reason (and also for a bit of deception) I decided to check, with the intention of check-calling a flop bet, then either leading in on a blank turn (although there ain’t too many blanks on that board….) or perhaps going for another check-raise if I thought he’d go again.

As it happened he checked behind on the flop and after seeing his hand I think he made a good check. The interesting thing to note is that he checked for all the same reasons I did. He had a good hand in a re-raised pot, but he wasn’t looking to get 200bbs in the middle (well not just yet). Basically we both exercised a bit of pot control on a dangerous draw-heavy board.

Turn: ($245, 2 players)

Turn is an off-suit Ace. I now have no option to bet. It’s not the best card in the world for me, as it shrinks my two-pair up a bit more and also puts a few more straight draws out there. However, I still have two-pair which figures to be the best hand a huge amount of the time in the spot and I also re-raised pre-flop, so the A is suppose to help me more than him I guess. So I bet $210 into $240. Standard and he calls. It’s pretty hard to put someone on a hand on this board, but after checking the flop through and then calling a bet on the turn, I was just thinking he had an Ace, maybe just something like AQ108 or something that decided to take a free turn.

River: ($665, 2 players)

As expected I fill up on the river, however it really is the nut-filth house. A house all the same and the way the hands played I of course feel like I have the best hand and therefore want to bet. Since I was putting him on just an Ace here, the 3 is a good card for him and I thought there was a decent chance he’d pay off.

With $650 in the middle I decided to bet $480. I usually find that when people are bluffing they bet a bit less (thus saving if they do get called…at least I think that’s the idea) and this is what I was going for. I also remember thinking at the time that he might think that with the 480 and not 500/520, that I was trying to make it look bigger and scarier. This is kind of a psychological thing and I’m really struggling to explain it here, but I hope you get me.

To my great surprise he shoves the lot in for about $1200 more and I’m just thinking FML. At this point I’m only beating bluffs, as there’s no way he’d shove in here with 73xx – the only house I’m beating, because he couldn’t be called by worse. So I’m thinking of the hands he could have-
- 77xx surely he would’ve bet the flop
- JJxx same deal, and unlikely since I have a J
- A3xx – much more possible, as I can see him flatting my bet on the turn with A3, however I don’t think he’d shove A3 here on the river because I have re-raised pre (so some chance I have AAxx) and showed strength again on the river. Even if he thinks I’m bluffing there’s no point because to get a call he’d have to be putting me squarely on J3xx, which is an unlikely holding anyway.
- AAxx – I kind of thought for a few seconds he had slow-played AA, because there’s a good chance he wouldn’t 4bet with it pre-flop because of our deep stack sizes, but on such a scary board he’d have to just go ahead and re-pot me on the turn with top-set. His hand would be well disguised and there’s just too much going on to slow-play it any further. (Sub-note here is that there are times when you have the best hand on the turn, but because there are so many draws, there are very few good river cards for your made hand, and thus you may think about just calling a bet or check-calling a bet – however this is not one of those spots in my opinion)
- Bluffs – there were a lot of missed draws out there

Madone07 shows

two hearts

In the end I found the call and it turned out he’d missed a big enough draw. I don’t think this was really a sick hero call or anything, but I remember at the time going through each option and dismissing it. Looking back I am very happy with my thought process in the hand. I’m also not sure did the $480 sizing have anything to do with his push, I’m hoping it did, but only he knows. As far as his bluff goes I think it was pretty bad as he could not feasibly represent any of the hands he was trying to represent.

Anyway this way my first kind of PLO breakdown, it wasn’t overly complicated I don’t think, but showed a decent thought process from the start to finish of a reasonably interesting hand. Hope you guys enjoyed it and maybe learned something.