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Showdown at all cost and some thoughts about PLO8

By: Krapat @ 21:24 (EDT) / 425 / Comment ( 0 )

This is the same tournament of the last post. It occurred later in the game (level 15), and I think it shows why PLO8 has no folding equity in the micro stakes.


The player who lost the pot was very upset, and used the chat to say things about the lack of skill of the opponent.

What happened in this hand was very interesting. One of the players made extremely aggresive bets with a nut lo draw without any sort of decent hi hand, and got called all the way down by someone with a draw to the third best lo possible (that's right: 2 4 and 2 5 would make better hands) and a miserable pair of threes.

Generally speaking, you don't want to call big bets when you just have a lo draw: if you miss it, you lose; if you hit it, you're able to (barely) get your chips back. Therefore, it is reasonable to fold. If you are the aggressor, however, you are actually hoping your opponent will fold.

There are two concepts that most of the PLO8 players don't understand. The first one is that a nut lo without a hi is not a premium hand: it might get quartered. It is very common seeing players betting the pot on the river when they have a nut lo. Their basic thinking process is: "Well, i have a unbeatable hand. So, if I push a huge bet here and my opponent folds, I get all the chips in the pot; if he calls, I still get my money back. So I don't have anything to lose". The flaw of this idea is that the opponent may hold a nut lo with a better hi and get three quarters of the pot.

This misconcept has also made PLO8 not so profitable in cash games. You will often hold the nut high hand and your opponent bets the pot, clearly announcing that he's got tthe best low hand. You call and the pot is a split. The result? Both of you lose money due to the bigger rake generated by the bigger pot. Think like this: if the pot had 1 USD, the rake would be 0.05 USD. But if your opponent bets the pot and you call, it gets to 3 USD with a rake of 0.15 USD, which means that both of you will lose 5 cents with the bet.

The second mistake is related to tournaments. When the blinds are big (and no matter if it is FLO8, NLO8 or even Stud Hi/Lo), you should be more willing to play hands that are stronger for high. Hands like A K Q Q or A K K 2 are considerably better than A 2 3 4 in later stages. The concept is actually simple: DO NOT CALL BIG BETS WITH ONLY A LO DRAW.


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