I am not a Pot Limit Omaha player.
I am, however, someone who managed to finish 3rd in the last Saturdays with Dr. Pauly. I'd like to attribute it to my skill, but I think my reputation precedes me. Nonetheless, I was a massive chip leader with three players left, holding more than 50% of the chips in play. It didn't last... and I think that's because I don't know how to play PLO.
Perhaps you can help me. Here are three key hands that I may have played poorly.
This one came early in the tournament, the 15/30 level. I had worked my way up to 3380T and was the chip leader at the table of 6. UTG, I call with 9c9sTdJs. I like grouped cards plus I had a pair and a flush possibility. Five of us see a flop of Tc5h9h. What's not to like, right? At this point, I'm only behind pocket T's. I lead out for 100 into a pot of 150 and get called by Mean Gene.
The turn is a seemingly harmless Ace of diamonds. It doesn't complete a straight and it doesn't complete a flush. It's unlikely to give Gene a set of Aces because he didn't raise preflop. That card couldn't have hurt me. I lead out 275 into a pot 350. Should I be betting the pot? I should, right?
This is where I become a giant pussy. Gene raised me to 445 to 720. "Really?" I type. "The ace did it."
"Nah," Gene tells me.
"Already had it?" I ask. "Big draw?" My time runs out, and I fold. I'm really out of practice, especially in Omaha, and I think my rust caused me to see a monster. It wasn't logical, but I saw it nonetheless. He raises preflop with Aces and he didn't raise. The chance of him having the last two T's is slim (remember, I have a T). Unless he's sitting on a monster draw like QJh, I'm in great shape. And yet, I folded.
"Top 3 pair," he tells me. Bad fold. Terrible fold.
It's Level VII now (150/300) and I'm among the chipleaders with 9477T. There are only five of us at the table now. Again, I'm UTG, this time with 8hJs9dTh. Once again, they're grouped, and I think they offer lots of possibilities. I limp again and three of us see a flop of KcQd7s. Bayne leads with a pot-sized bet of 900.
I have to call, right? I don't raise, right? The turn is the 8s. It puts a flush draw out there, but I shouldn't be too worried about that, should I? Anyway, the 8 gives me even more outs. Now, I complete my straight with any 6, 9, T, J or A.
Bayne leads out with another pot-sized bet of 2700. To me, that suggests he's trying to push out the draws. So he's sitting on a set or two pair, right?
This is where my tough decision comes. There's 5400 in the pot right now and I need to bet 2700 to see a river. If I'm getting 2-to-1 on my money, then I need to be getting 2-to-1 odds. My rough math had me with at least 17 outs out of 40 cards. I could have been wrong, but I figured it was good enough to call.
The river was a blank for me, the 4 of spades. Surprisingly, Bayne checked. I suppose I could have bluffed the flush. Would he have folded? I doubt it. I checked behind him and his set of Queens took it down. (He held 7d8dQsQh.)
Now this is where it all went down hill. We're down to three players. I had been as high as 25K, but a cold run had me down to 16K. AA_Matt_AA sat with 11K and Bayne had 8K.
From the SB, I'm dealt Js7sJc8c. I like that hand a lot three-handed. I've got a big pair, grouped cards and I'm double-suited. Bayne raises to 2400 UTG. I think my first mistake was not re-raising, but I just call. We see a flop of Td6cQc.
I've got a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. All in all, I'd call that a good flop. The question is whether or not I want to get all the chips in the middle. I'm pretty sure Bayne is playing a big pair, just hopefully not Qs. If he does have an overpair, I think I have a lot of outs.
I check, he bets the pot, and I check-raise him all-in. I think I like the play, but I'm not sure. Bayne shows 9hKh3hKd. I'm glad the read was right, but I lost some of my outs. The turn is the Ks, which puts me in even worse shape. I'm down to any 9 or any club that doesn't pair the board.
The river is the Th. Not only does it not help me, but it gives Bayne the boat. I'm down to just a few thousand chips. It doesn't take long for me to bust out.
Did I play these right? I'm positive I should have pushed with my pocket 9s in the first hand. Should I have been more aggressive with my draws? I did an awful lot of calling. How about the check-raise on the last hand? I could have just called and then folded to the big bet with the K on the turn.
Anyway, I'll wait for some of you PLO experts to let me now if I could have played it another way. Hopefully I'll see some of you at the tables tomorrow at the next Saturdays with Dr. Pauly.