The title of this column is Hold’em With Holloway, but every once in a while I like to veer off course and examine a hand from a different variant. Right now, I’ve been doing a lot of work on my pot-limit Omaha game, including spending some time studying John “KasinoKrime” Beauprez’s PLO QuickPro.
A few weeks back, I played a big hand in my weekly $2/$5 PLO game, which features a max buy-in of $500 but plays much bigger than you might expect. The hand in question was fraught with decision points, and I wasn’t overly confident with the choices I made. I took note of the hand, and reached out to Beauprez to get his thoughts on how it played out. Needless to say, I was thrilled he took the time to give me his analysis.
Below, I explain the hand in question, relate my thinking at the time, and offer Beauprez’s take.
The Action: I don’t recall the exact preflop action, but I do know an extremely tight older gentleman made it $35 to go, four other players called, and I opted to put in an additional $30 from the big blind with . The older gentleman and myself each started the hand with roughly $1,100.
My Thoughts: I know my hand isn’t that great, especially with the dangler; however, this game is very splashy, so whenever you hit a flop chances are you’re going to get paid off postflop.
Beauprez’s Take: The call preflop is questionable from anywhere besides the big blind, and even from there I still lean towards a fold. While it’s true that you’re getting a fantastic price pre, there are many reverse implied odds implications. In general when you call with a hand from the blinds, the important considerations are:
- Asking yourself “Do I have enough implied odds to get value from my hand the times I get there to make up for the times I miss?”
- and, if you can objectively say that you can win the pot sometimes when you miss, then you almost always have a profitable call.
My gut says that you were unlikely to bluff postflop. Which again, makes me want to fold this pre from pretty much anywhere besides exactly the big blind, and even there I think it’s close. The quickest way to lose money in poker is to build up pots and give up on them, and the most common mistake people fall into in PLO is calling out of position with no plan postflop.
Remember, most players look at preflop in a vacuum, and since PLO is primarily a postflop game, preflop mistakes really compound postflop and cost you a lot of money.
The Action: The flop came down giving me a flush draw and a Broadway wrap. The preflop raiser bet pot.
My Thoughts: Given my experience with this player, I’m 100% sure he would only do this with pocket aces. I considered raising, but knowing his hand, I thought it’d be better just to flat and hope other players entered the pot.
Beauprez’s Take: Flop is standard because of our big draw. We have 42% against .
The Action: Unfortunately all the other players folded making it heads-up action to the turn. Once again my opponent bet pot ($585 I think).
My Thoughts: At that point I was sitting on about $900 total, which barely had my opponent covered. I obviously had three options… I could give up on the hand, I could call and hope to hit my hand on the river (if I did I could bet the rest, and if not I could save $300), or I could raise all in hoping to get maximum value if my draw came in.
I opted to move all in, which I hate in hindsight. At the time I was thinking if I hit, he probably would fold the river and I’d be missing out on that value (I now don’t think that would be the case). He likes to cling to hands and probably would have paid me off regardless. If I could do it over again, I would have just called.
Beauprez’s Take: The turn is where it gets interesting. It depends on whether you think the opponent will pay off when you fill the draw. Competent players will never pay you off and in this case your turn call is borderline. But even if you think villain will pay off only sometimes — which from the sounds of it, seems like he will — then I would call one more time.
I ran the numbers and your equity on the turn against is exactly 33.08%. That means not only is your call immediately break-even, it’s clearly +EV if he calls the $315 river jam even some of the time. Just make sure not to jam on the or .
The Action: The river was the , so I missed. My opponent held for a full house.
My Thoughts: I obviously could have saved $315 by just calling, so opting to shove the turn was clearly a mistake, especially when I’m confident my opponent would have called the river had I made my hand (he’s very clingy).
Obviously losing that massive pot was gut wrenching, and of course had I practiced better hand selection preflop, I wouldn’t have found myself in that situation. That was the biggest lesson learned in the hand, while close behind is to pay better attention to equity situations.
Beauprez’s Take: I’m sure you see it now, but the turn jam is pretty bad. Without any fold equity and a clear range disadvantage, you have to just peel and see the river.
John “KasinoKrime” Beauprez is a World Series of Poker bracelet winner, best-selling author, and has successfully coached more than 300 students to date. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @jbeauprez, and to learn more about PLO QuickPro, visit ploquickpro.com.