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2021 Poker: Raising Covid with the nuts!


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Similar to my UTH nightmare last trip, the trip before I was playing Pai Gow to kill some time before my flight. 7 card royal jackpot was like $400k, I get AKQ 987c with the joker. So no straight flush, no royal, no 7 card royal. All which pay either some or all of the jackpot. 

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1 hour ago, Bookman said:

I’m thinking of trying my hand at low stakes Omaha Hi-Lo. Any advice?

Take a pile of money, throw it in a trash can, put some gasoline on it and throw a match on it.

It will be less frustrating than playing omaha hi-lo. 

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I’ve tried some hi-low and I hate it. Much prefer the hi only PLO. When you add in the low, it seems to slow the game down on hands when they take forever to figure out who won the low and argue about it as some people don’t understand the rules. And then the chops add up and slow the game down as they figure out quarter pots etc

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I was.

Now I suck/tread water. Game selection is incredibly important. Two years ago there was a steady supply of idiots taking their NLHE winnings and coming over and dumping it at bigO. Over time those people disappeared and it's the same 20-30 people at the big O tables and everyone is pretty solid.

 

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1 hour ago, Bookman said:

I’m thinking of trying my hand at low stakes Omaha Hi-Lo. Any advice?

There are generally two versions - pot limit and fixed limit. They play fairly significantly differently. Biggest keys:

1) Play tight preflop. Don't get sucked into the "oh wow all the potential combos!" People will be in there with hands like KhJs5s3d. Don't be one of those people.

2) You want to have the nuts or be drawing to the nuts. This goes double when you are only going one way in a pot. Tons of people donk off a lot of money with something like A3 low draw, no high hopes, then either they miss the low or it comes and they lose to A2. Or they will put in a lot of money with like Jh9hXX on a board like Th6h2x, and so they are only eligible for half the pot if a low comes, have no real high hopes other than a flush, and when the flush comes, they will frequently be against a higher flush. This is all amplified the more people that see the flop, which in low-limit O8 is usually a lot.

3) Be aware of being "quartered" even with nut hands. This is a worse problem in pot-limit, since the bet sizes you have to be are big compared to the flop. For example if you have A2 but nothing for high in a multi-way pot that is going pot-pot-pot with 3 players in, there is a good chance one or both of the other players has A2 and also something for high, so you will get nothing from the high pot and only a chop of the low pot, resulting in you putting in more than you are getting back. In limit, the bet sizes are small enough that you almost always have to go with it (remember that the previous bets you already have put in are sunk costs and part of the pot now, so you can't think "I'm not getting back the total that I put in" only "will I get more back than I have to put in from here on out?"

4) Be aware of getting freerolled or counterfeited. Again, much more painful/expensive in PL. Say the board is 789hh and you have JTAK. So you have "the nuts" right now. But if a low card comes, you now can only get half the pot.  If a T comes, you lose to QJ. If a heart comes or the board pairs, you lose to tons of combos. Against heavy action, it is going to actually be correct to fold this on the flop, which is super counter-intuitive for a holdem player. Similarly, say the board is 678. A hand like A2KQ is MUCH weaker than a hand like A245 or even A23K. On the first, you have a solid high hand to go with your low (you won't always win the high obv, but you can be the person getting 3/4 against another A2XX like I mention above. On the second, you have an uncounterfeitable low. If you just have A2xx, your hand goes to shit if an A or 2 peels. But if you have A23, you still have the nut low.

5) On a related note, get familiar with how to figure out low hands when 4 or 5 low cards hit the board. It is super easy with 3, but tricky with 4, where you pair one of them. For example, 24 is better than A2 on a board of A378K, even though A2 makes a low and people think of A2 as the "nut low". 

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  • 2 weeks later...

People are bad at NLHE, they're worse at PLO8.

 

I've made more, much much more in significantly fewer sessions, from limited cash games where I could find a decent PLO8 spread than I have from NLHE. Hmm, maybe I'm just bad at NLHE. But seriously, everything TXSooner said is true. People are bad, really really bad at Omaha in general, and worse at Hi-Lo.

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I'm a terrible tournament player, so I would appreciate any comments.

19 person NLH tournament, 8 players left.

I'm in the small blind with AK of hearts, my small blind is on the table, and I have 17.5 BBs in my stack. The chip leader has 34 BBs. The guy to my right is a LAG, and he has 24 BBs. The guy to my left is a aggressive call station who sucks at cash games but seems to win more than his share of tournaments because for some reason everyone tries to bluff him. He has 30 BBs.

It folds to the cutoff, who is a bit of a donkey, and who has 9 BBs. He open limps. Button folds, so the pot has 2.5 BBs.

I raise to 5 BBs for value and I'm kind of hoping everyone will just fold. I'm definitely stacking off if necessary. Anyway, the big blind folds, and the cutoff shoves with 8-J of spades.

I have a question about how I played that hand. Should I have just raised to put the cutoff all in? Am I inviting in the big blind?

 

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Stack sizes are definitely awkward for postflop play. Jamming would be ok/fine. I’d raise to 3.5x and hope the BB calls and then CO jams and I can rejam. Be sure to watch your sizing in spots like this bc you wanna make sure you will be able to jam if CO jams. So if he had exactly 9bb you were ok but not if he had 8.8.

The biggest problem with jamming is that it kind of turns your hand pretty faceup to something like 77-QQ; AQ, AK. Youre prob not willing to jam worse into the bigger stacked BB and you’re prob not jamming with monsters because you want value. That said, many players won’t catch on to this (but many will).

The bigger thing to address is the thought process. You have a monster hand and you are hoping everyone folds and worried about inviting BB in. You love them coming in even if it doesn’t work this specific time.

Massive massive lol at limping J8s off 9bb then jamming over a 5x raise. The fact they play this bad is why we are great with them stumblefucking into a pot when we have AKs.

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20 hours ago, TXSooner518 said:

The bigger thing to address is the thought process. You have a monster hand and you are hoping everyone folds and worried about inviting BB in. You love them coming in even if it doesn’t work this specific time.

Yeah that's kind of a double-edged sword. If the BB call station calls preflop, has K-x or A-x and it's an A or K high flop, I'm doubling up. If he called and I don't get an A, K, or a couple hearts on the flop, I'd be out of position and wouldn't know what to do.

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Yeah that's kind of a double-edged sword. If the BB call station calls preflop, has K-x or A-x and it's an A or K high flop, I'm doubling up. If he called and I don't get an A, K, or a couple hearts on the flop, I'd be out of position and wouldn't know what to do.


Play your range, not just your hand , but your jamming most flops I believe
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Play your range, not just your hand , but your jamming most flops I believe

Right, play your range. On most flops our range crushes that of a call station. Q73 feels bad for us but if he calls pre with T8, A5, etc he doesn’t like it either. The tricky stack depth is part of why I like 3.5x rather than 5x bc that does allow us a bit more wiggle room to play post flop if only BB calls.
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On 3/27/2021 at 9:37 AM, TXSooner518 said:

The tricky stack depth is part of why I like 3.5x rather than 5x bc that does allow us a bit more wiggle room to play post flop if only BB calls.

I think this is a good point. The problem with preflop all-in bets is your opponent will realize his equity. The board ran out A-K-3-T-Q.

I think I get it all-in pre-flop with A-K too often in tournaments. I 5-bet A-K of spades preflop the other day short-stacked and somehow got J-J to fold (he showed it), but for the most part it seems like 7-7+ is calling.

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9 hours ago, Bookman said:

I think this is a good point. The problem with preflop all-in bets is your opponent will realize his equity. The board ran out A-K-3-T-Q.

I think I get it all-in pre-flop with A-K too often in tournaments. I 5-bet A-K of spades preflop the other day short-stacked and somehow got J-J to fold (he showed it), but for the most part it seems like 7-7+ is calling.

If 77 is calling, so is AQ, AJ, KQs, right? 

Also they only realize their equity if they call your all-in bet. And being allin also means you realize YOUR equity. What if it ran out J-8-3-T-Q and you would have folded flop? And since you have AK and they are morons, you have more equity. 

Don't be results-oriented about the order of cards. Once it came AK3, weren't you glad he was allin and that he couldn't fold and save the rest of his chips? He was drawing all but dead and got a miracle. But anytime you can get some buffoon to shove J8 into you with zero fold equity, you already won.

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13 hours ago, TXSooner518 said:

If 77 is calling, so is AQ, AJ, KQs, right? 

Also they only realize their equity if they call your all-in bet. And being allin also means you realize YOUR equity. What if it ran out J-8-3-T-Q and you would have folded flop? And since you have AK and they are morons, you have more equity. 

Don't be results-oriented about the order of cards. Once it came AK3, weren't you glad he was allin and that he couldn't fold and save the rest of his chips? He was drawing all but dead and got a miracle. But anytime you can get some buffoon to shove J8 into you with zero fold equity, you already won.

Over the last three years, I have a -28% ROI in tournaments, cashing 9 out of 49 times, and I'm trying to get better. Normally I'm pretty aggressive with A-K, but I think I may be too eager to get it all in preflop when I still have 20+ BBs. It also seems to work out better if I'm the one shoving rather than calling.

In cash games I'm rarely all-in preflop with A-K. Over the last three years, 175 sessions, I'm making 12.66 bb/hour.

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2 hours ago, Bookman said:

Over the last three years, I have a -28% ROI in tournaments, cashing 9 out of 49 times, and I'm trying to get better. Normally I'm pretty aggressive with A-K, but I think I may be too eager to get it all in preflop when I still have 20+ BBs. It also seems to work out better if I'm the one shoving rather than calling.

In cash games I'm rarely all-in preflop with A-K. Over the last three years, 175 sessions, I'm making 12.66 bb/hour.

For sure, shoving allin is always >>>> calling allin (arguably unless you have exactly AA, since every other hand benefits some from fold equity).

AK def plays different in tourneys than in cash. AK plays best with shallower stack to pot ratio, such that stacking off with 1 pair is clearly correct, which is more prevalent in tourney than cash. AK also plays best all-in pre, though, exactly for a reason you mentioned above - you realize all of your equity.  The problem with that in cash is that you are playing, usually, 100 BB deep or so, and unless you are in with maniacs, their all-in range is not going to be wide enough to justify that. 

The same applies in tourneys also, getting 100 BB in pre with AK is not at all good unless your opponent is a known berserker.  

A 49 tournament sample size is LITERALLY nothing, which is one of the huge difficulties in poker, results that are statistically very very short-term mash our positive/negative reinforcement buttons. There are plenty of people who literally play 50 tournaments in a single day. You obv prefer good results, but improving decision-making and mindset should be based on gameplay, and not taking a tiny sample size and extrapolating that it must be b/c you play AK bad in tourneys. 

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NLH tournament hand from last night. 15-player multi-table tournament, middle stages, and my table has five players. Before the hand, I have 14.8 BBs and villain has 21.3 BBs.

I'm in the SB with A-5 offsuit. Villain is in the cutoff and open limps. Button folds, I call, and BB checks. Pot is 3 BBs.

Flop is 5 spades, A spades, 3 clubs. I have top two but don't have a spade. Check, Check, villain bets 1 BB with the nut flush draw, K-3 of spades. I check-raise to 6 BBs, giving him 2-1 on a call, and leaving myself 7.8 BBs left. I play with villain quite a bit, and he probably would have raised A-Q preflop. He definitely might have limped A-T, A-J. This is a pure value bet and I expect him to call with all his aces, flush draws, and 4-6. Villain should know me as a tight-aggressive player who is willing to bluff when I think it will work. Villain calls.

Turn is Q of diamonds. I shove my last 7.8 BBs, giving him 2.9 to 1 on a call. He calls.

Getting 2-1, on the flop villain needed 33% equity to continue. Dealing to the turn he had 24.44%, and dealing to the river he had 39.65%.

On the turn, villain needed 25.51% equity to continue. He had 25%.

Thoughts on how we both played the hand?

 

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On 3/22/2021 at 12:03 PM, Chult86 said:

People are bad at NLHE, they're worse at PLO8.

 

I've made more, much much more in significantly fewer sessions, from limited cash games where I could find a decent PLO8 spread than I have from NLHE. Hmm, maybe I'm just bad at NLHE. But seriously, everything TXSooner said is true. People are bad, really really bad at Omaha in general, and worse at Hi-Lo.

I'm still relatively new to PLO, having started playing it regularly last summer. I don't play it exclusively -- our cash games are on the Pokerrrr2 app, but we've been playing a lot of R.O.E., which alternates between PLO and NLH.

I can't say that I particularly like PLO compared to NLH, but my profitability in R.O.E. cash games is 75% higher than my profitability in NLH cash games.

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NLH tournament hand from last night. 15-player multi-table tournament, middle stages, and my table has five players. Before the hand, I have 14.8 BBs and villain has 21.3 BBs.
I'm in the SB with A-5 offsuit. Villain is in the cutoff and open limps. Button folds, I call, and BB checks. Pot is 3 BBs.
Flop is 5 spades, A spades, 3 clubs. I have top two but don't have a spade. Check, Check, villain bets 1 BB with the nut flush draw, K-3 of spades. I check-raise to 6 BBs, giving him 2-1 on a call, and leaving myself 7.8 BBs left. I play with villain quite a bit, and he probably would have raised A-Q preflop. He definitely might have limped A-T, A-J. This is a pure value bet and I expect him to call with all his aces, flush draws, and 4-6. Villain should know me as a tight-aggressive player who is willing to bluff when I think it will work. Villain calls.
Turn is Q of diamonds. I shove my last 7.8 BBs, giving him 2.9 to 1 on a call. He calls.
Getting 2-1, on the flop villain needed 33% equity to continue. Dealing to the turn he had 24.44%, and dealing to the river he had 39.65%.
On the turn, villain needed 25.51% equity to continue. He had 25%.
Thoughts on how we both played the hand?
 

His open limp is really bad.

In your shoes I would generally lead the flop since there is no preflop aggressor and I don’t want it to check through. I would check raise a bit smaller to make him think he has fold equity and set up a slightly less than pot size jam on the turn.

Once one player flops aces up and the other flops a pair plus the NFD and the effective stacks are less than 20 bigs, it’s basically gonna get all in. In his shoes i would just jam over your flop raise.

I’m a bit confused what you mean by “dealing to the turn he had 24.4% and dealing to the river he had 39.6%”. He has the same number of outs each Street. Sometimes people will flip that and calculate higher odds on flop bc two cards to come. One thing to keep in mind when calculating odds you need to continue on the flop though - you can’t count your equity for turn and river unless the bet is all in. Because you may face another bet on the turn that denies your equity. But also if you’re the player drawing you have to factor in the implied odds, how much I know you will pay if I hit.

Say you have AA and I somehow know it. We each have 100 BB. The flop is A59 and I have 23. You bet 5BB into 2BB on flop. I know you will call a shove if i hit. I should call despite not having the correct immediate odds. I’m not calling 5 to win 7, I’m calling 5 to win 102.

Of course in reality I can’t “know” you have AA and lots of people overestimate implied odds as an excuse to not fold. Folding sucks.
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21 hours ago, TXSooner518 said:

I’m a bit confused what you mean by “dealing to the turn he had 24.4% and dealing to the river he had 39.6%”.

He has a 24.4% chance of hitting one of his outs on the turn.

If we were all in, thus ensuring that he sees two cards, he would win the hand 39.6% of the time.

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Not that time. When he called the check-raise on the flop he was getting the right odds to call my turn shove. I'm thinking I could have played that a lot better.

The reason I didn't lead out from the SB is I haven't developed a lead from the SB range, even in a limped pot. I literally never do it. But maybe I shouldn't be concerned about having a balanced range with these guys.

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Not that time. When he called the check-raise on the flop he was getting the right odds to call my turn shove. I'm thinking I could have played that a lot better.
The reason I didn't lead out from the SB is I haven't developed a lead from the SB range, even in a limped pot. I literally never do it. But maybe I shouldn't be concerned about having a balanced range with these guys.

Why do you think you could have played the hand better? What would you have done instead?

He didn’t have the odds to call your flop bet or your turn jam. He also had about as good a hand as you could expect so you wouldn’t want to drive all the hands you dominate out of the pot just so he doesn’t get to make a marginally breakeven turn call here.
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9 hours ago, TXSooner518 said:


Why do you think you could have played the hand better? What would you have done instead?
 

I've been reconsidering my tournament strategy, and I've been experimenting with being more of a LAG player early to build a big stack. Should I have raised preflop? Should I have led out? Should I have shoved the flop? Should I have bet it so it was a pot-sized bet on the turn?

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I've been reconsidering my tournament strategy, and I've been experimenting with being more of a LAG player early to build a big stack. Should I have raised preflop? Should I have led out? Should I have shoved the flop? Should I have bet it so it was a pot-sized bet on the turn?

These are all great questions to think about and ask. The very difficult thing is you have to eliminate your opponents actual hand (but not range) as well as the subsequent runout when evaluating decisions.

Most players can’t do that. For example, they will think “how could I have made this guy fold” just because he got there.

In this hand I would not have made a standard preflop raise. You’re bloating the pot out of position with a hand that flops mediocre at best with short effective stacks. Jamming is +EV against a person who is limping hands like K3 but is super high variance and unnecessary IMO.

I also think check-shoving over a minbet is losing value from our hand. We will drive out lots of hands that would continue while in bad shape while always losing the max when we are behind (we will do this anyway obv but we offset that by extracting value in other spots if we don’t force out all the hands we want to continue). If he had bet larger I think a check-jam is fine.

I like leading lots of hands in unraised pots. No one has initiative so we can win more than our share by taking it. If you know one of the other two players is aggro then checking is fine to induce them to bet.

The sizing of your flop raise/turn bet is a pretty minimal issue that depends a lot on your image and how thinking the people in your game are.

I don’t think you made any glaring errors in this hand. I think your opp made a couple.
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On 3/22/2021 at 10:03 AM, Chult86 said:

People are bad at NLHE, they're worse at PLO8.

 

I've made more, much much more in significantly fewer sessions, from limited cash games where I could find a decent PLO8 spread than I have from NLHE. Hmm, maybe I'm just bad at NLHE. But seriously, everything TXSooner said is true. People are bad, really really bad at Omaha in general, and worse at Hi-Lo.

Yeah, this is me. I went to a poker house and when it got to the bomb pot. The dude chose Big O, and I decided to play. I had what was basically a straight in my hand, and a king came out on the board. I definitely felt like a dumbass when I lost. I learned, but I definitely need to do more research on the game.

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15 hours ago, workswithseed said:

I learned, but I definitely need to do more research on the game.

It's a fun game, but the key as Blacklab alluded to is game selection. If everybody at the table adheres to the concepts listed by txsooner, you're gonna be sitting around trading chips much more at the mercy of variance. However if you can find a game where people are drawn by the action but don't have a grasp of the basics, you can run up some stacks.

In the heyday of internet poker before  the UIGEA chased off most of the easy money, I used to pay all of my bills by playing PLO and PLO8 on a site that was 98% European maniacs. I had a definite sad when they booted all US players. The PL08 play was atrocious.

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Found myself in another interesting spot last night. Cash game, NLH. 200BB+ effective stacks.

Tight UTG opens 3x. Cutoff calls, SB completes, hero calls with two red 9s in BB. 12 BBs in pot.

Flop is K-Q-9, club spade spade. Check, check, UTG bets 75% of pot, SB calls.

What do you do with bottom set on this board out of position? UTG clearly has a hand and the nut advantage, probably at worst A-K (or maybe A-J of spades). He's not betting that flop without something decent. SB isn't flatting J-T unless they're spades. What worse hands call a raise?

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Check raise on the smaller side. Maybe take it to 20 bigs.

You could just call, but I don’t like your options on the turn. I’d rather take over here. I want to keep SB and UTG in it, but they’re going to pay for their mistake. You should be able to go 80 bigs on turn and shove 100 bigs on river with a favorable run out

Almost all players will call from SB with AK, AQ, two pair and flush draws. They would check raise KQ, QQ, JT and maybe AQss and Q9ss.

UTG should be cbetting a large chunk of his range, including all pairs, and any hands with a spade, club, or Jack. He’ll see one more street before folding so our check raise should get some more value from him






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I like Lurch's answer also. I will say that we do have true nut advantage since we can easily have JT and a "tight UTG" cannot.  Obv he can have KK and QQ and we can't. But by far more combos of JT than of KK & QQ combined (16 JT, 6 remaining KK/QQ). 

I don't like calling here in our shoes b/c any T, J, or spade either kills our hand or our action. I expect people to continue with a reasonably wide range, as Lurch describes.  

I do think UTG's range is a bit snugger than Lurch does. I wouldn't cbet all pairs in his shoes. To me betting 77 or whatever into 3 opponents on KQ9 two tone is just torching $. The chances that we are just getting that through is pretty miniscule. This board is a wet dream for the range of people calling a single raise pre.

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Yes I agree that I was most likely to have J-T. I was worried that if I raised I'd only get called with K-K, Q-Q, J-T, K-Q, and A-x of spades. I'm a 2-1 favorite versus that range but if I got re-raised I'd have to fold. Anyway, I bumped it up to 48 BBs and they both folded. UTG showed A-K of diamonds and SB showed A-J with A of spades. I didn't show.

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4 hours ago, Bookman said:

Last night I saw an out-of position player shove 120 bb into an empty side pot. Four players in the hand. Main pot was 126 bb. He had K-9 offsuit on a 9-T-3-3 rainbow board.

I am going to start playing again here once my 2 weeks after vaccination is over. 

but your story reminded me of a real hand I played about 2 years ago here in Austin.     Its literally my first hand dealt as I just sat down with $300 on a 1/2  Im like late middle position.  UTG makes it $10, MP calls, I have 56s and call, and someone else behind me calls. 

4 to flop all of us have at least $300.   its a rainbow  789 flop. 

UTG just announces all-in for like $400.    the pot was ~$40 at that point.   MP hesitates a second and calls for something like $350... and sitting with the idiot end of the straight, I am slightly worried about the MP call, but i am obviously not going anywhere.   I call for my $290.   last guy folds.

UTG shows.... KQo   

MP shows 78.  runs out K-Q, so the moron who shoved 200BB into an 8 BB pot ends up taking the sidepot, but I tripled up on my first fucking hand. 

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BestBet has a new rule that (at least while masks are required) you cannot wear sunglasses with hats or hoodies. I didn’t see a single person wearing sunglasses in the entire room of 15+ tables. Since the glasses were hard for me to wear, this is a welcome development

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Jesus.

Same table. I’m sitting in seat 3 next to a young dude in seat 2 for several hours. He’s buying everyone drinks and chatting up the whole table. Tough player moves to our table in seat 4 with a deep stack so I move after a few orbits to seat 5 to get on his left. Tough player then takes seat 3

We play another hour like this. Floor suddenly shows up and seized the kids chips, moves $40 of it to Tough guys stack and then escorts the kid to cage and out to cop car up front. Apparently this kid grabbed a bunch of chips while guy was in restroom and someone saw/reported it.

What the fuck. I don’t think he got any of mine but now I’ll spend the rest of the night wondering

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