Omaha Followup: Illustrative Example

If you read my previous entry, I said you should fold the nut straight if there’s heavy action between two players in front of you and you don’t have a redraw. I received a couple emails on that subject and I noticed this hand a few minutes ago on Stars, so I thought I’d bring this to your attention.

Here’s the hand, bit by bit:

PokerStars Game #3796705551: Omaha Pot Limit ($10/$20) – 2006/01/29 – 15:59:22 (ET)
Table ‘Diadem II’ Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: JOE FRASER ($1687 in chips)
Seat 3: crazytiger ($2185 in chips)
Seat 4: thaitiger ($1987 in chips)
Seat 6: Bhoth ($2027 in chips)
Seat 7: Pupu II ($1560.50 in chips)
Seat 8: Hörhö2 ($5787.50 in chips)
Seat 9: hamsa ($1415 in chips)
crazytiger: posts small blind $10
thaitiger: posts big blind $20
emilie: sits out
** HOLE CARDS **
Bhoth: calls $20
Pupu II: folds
Hörhö2: folds
hamsa: calls $20
JOE FRASER: calls $20
crazytiger: folds
thaitiger: checks

The preflop action isn’t important, although you should always be careful to not even bother entering pots where you can’t make nut hands.

** FLOP ** [Ad Kd Js]
thaitiger: checks
Bhoth: checks
hamsa: bets $87
JOE FRASER: raises $261 to $348
thaitiger: folds
Bhoth: calls $348
hamsa: folds

JOE FRASER is a regular in the 10/20 PLO game on Stars. He isn’t making this move without at least a straight with a redraw or a set with some other draw. While people frequently semi-bluff in Omaha, a pure bluff is very rare and you should never put your opponent on a pure bluff as it’s a long term losing play even if you might snap one off every once in awhile. Therefore, set + flush draw, straight + flush draw and possibly top two + flush draw are the common range for JOE FRASER when he repots a pot-sized bet on the flop. For Bhoth to call with a straight, he should have a redraw because he’s a dog to JOE’s range.

** TURN ** [Ad Kd Js] [9d]
Bhoth: bets $870
JOE FRASER: raises $449 to $1319 and is all-in
Bhoth: calls $449
** RIVER ** [Ad Kd Js 9d] [Qc]
** SHOW DOWN **
Bhoth: shows [Qd Tc Ts 8s] (a straight, Ten to Ace)
JOE FRASER: shows [Jc Jd 5d 2s] (a flush, Ace high)
JOE FRASER collected $3508 from pot

As it turns out, JOE flopped a big hand… bottom set plus 2nd nut flush draw. Bhoth only had a straight without a redraw except to a runner underboat (I’m not sure a running underboat can even be counted as a redraw). This is a prime example where the nuts should be folded. Why? First, Bhoth holds two tens, so that makes it a bit less likely that JOE FRASER also holds a T. Therefore, it’s slightly less likely that he flopped straight. Bhoth is a dog to set + flush draw to the tune of 63% to 37%. Considering the turn card, it’s terrible for Bhoth to bet out in my opinion. He would have saved himself quite a bit by just folding the flop with pot and re-pot action in front of him.

Take this hand as a lesson for your play in the future. Everyone makes this mistake, but if you can cut down on mistakes like this, you’ll be a much more profitable PLO player in the future.

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