Hopefully this will be a semi-regular feature where I'm going to make strategy posts or hand analyses of varying lengths on varying Omaha topics depending on my mood. Here's today's installment - a hand that I discussed with a friend:
Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Ring game
Pre-flop: (10 players) HERO is SB with 7 T Q 9
UTG calls, UTG+1 calls, 2 folds, MP2 calls, 3 folds, HERO calls, BB checks.
A semi-strong hand if it was PLO (high). But looking at 10:1 odds on completeing the small blind, so even though I dislike these kinds of hands I feel compelled to call.
Yeah, I'm with you
Flop: 7 8 J ($20, 5 players)
HERO bets $19, BB calls, UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, MP2 folds.
My high is quite good, with the nut straight, no cards that makes a straight to beat me, a Q-high spade redraw, and a 4 more cards that improve me ot a higher straight. Problem with my hand is I have no low on a board that’s going to make a low most of the time.
Betting is fine. But we’re in a defensive position, and we’re betting in case nobody has anything. If you checked, and there’s a pot size bet and a pot size raise, you would Instantaneously fold. The chances of getting the whole pot is so remote that it’s not worth calling. Except for the 1000-1 shot of running sevens, there’s nothing that gives you a nut high and not put a low on the board.
Turn: Q ($77, 3 players)
HERO bets $74, BB calls all-in $66.5, UTG+1 calls.
Me & Friend:
Now I have a small full house redraw. And there's only two players left. There’s a good chance of an opponent drawing dead for high, or only seven out high draw, or chasing a low. That was one of the best cards in the deck actually, along with an off-suit 9 or T - 4 more redraw outs, no low, no flush, and still preserving the T9 straight as the nuts. Or more than a 3 to 1 underdog with a set. Pot it!
River: A ($291.5, 2 players + 1 all-in - Main pot: $276.5, Sidepot 1: $15)
HERO bets $292.5, UTG+1 folds.
Uncalled bets: $292.5 returned to HERO.
The second nuts high and no low. But the side pot is only $15! I think perhaps my bet is too much… but I’ve represented a straight all hand, so maybe he’d call with a 9TQK no spade, or a smaller flush draw? There’s always a chance BB has A2 only, and UTG+1 has a crappy counterfeited low. I'm not sure what to do here.
There’s a world of difference between having a King that hit and the Ace. One is a draw that people would likely call 74 on the turn. One is a draw that people won’t call so much with. The ace is significant also because it presents a low. The possibility of knocking out UTG+1 if he has a crappy counterfeited low and getting half the pot is tremendous equity.
Very astute opponents would realize you’re playing at a dry pot. But no reason to give them that much credit. This bet has a good chance of driving out non-nut low (though not the main thrust of the reasoning). But the main reason to bet is you’ll get paid off sufficiently frequently
Another play based where image counts. Do you have the image that can get the call from an inferior hand?
If you check, and the other guy bets it doesn’t mean they have the King High flush, and you’d probably have to make the crying call anyway. Bullshit straight, low flush, or nut low. Therefore, in first position, you might as well put it in now.
I stick it all in based on these factors:
Possibility of driving out poor low
The presence of the all-in
The Ace hitting, not the king
First to act
You have to call if they bet anyway
Maybe they think that you have the nut low, and might all with the straight