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Confessions of a newbie PLO player...

As a background, I'm primarily a NL player who hasn't played any PLO in about a decade. I consider NL my dinner and PLO as dessert.

I think my biggest strength are pre-flop selection, understanding odds and evaluating hand strength. My biggest weaknesses are deep stack play, value betting and understanding good bluff opportunities.

Location: Lucky Chances $2/$3 blinds (w/ $5 straddle, $10 to bring it in) $100-$1000 buy-in (known affectionately as baby PLO)

Hand 1: $600 effective 553A

Pre-Flop ($10 - 9 players) Aggressive pre-flop UTG !20, I call on button, straddle calls.

Flop ($65 - 3 players): 46Q xxx
Turn ($65 - 3 players): 5 Straddle bets $40, UTG folds, I call
River ($145 - 2 players): 9 Straddle checks, Can I bet for value? How much?

Hand 2: $440 effective 44KT

Pre-Flop ($10 - 9 players) 2 limpers in the field, SB & BB completes, I complete my straddle.

Flop ($50 - 5 players) 843 . SB bets $45, I !125, guy on left cold calls (nut flush draw alert), SB re-pots, I ??

Hand 3: $485 effective AQTJ.

Pre-Flop ($10 - 9 players) I open on CO to $20, only loose straddle calls.

Flop ($45 - 2 players) 998. Straddle checks, I bet $25 (good?), Straddle calls.

Turn ($95 - 2 players) A. Straddle checks, I check behind.

River ($95 - 2 players) 4. Straddle pots, I ???


  • CycleV Posts: 1,102Subscriber
    With the caveat that I'm probably the worst PLO player amongest the people who comment on plo hands on CLP:

    Hand 1: I'm sure everyone calls this, but I'm pretty nitty pre and I might dump it. You're really only playing to overflush some donk, in which case I want half the table in the hand. With little interest, I may let it go. As played, bet the flop. Doesn't seem like anyone wants it and you do have oesd. On river I'd stick a small bet out there, like $50, hope V gets curious w 2p. He was in the straddle so it's possible.

    Hand 2, man I have no idea. Most players in my game aren't such droolers that they'll overplay bottom 2, and some % of the time he's going to just call the 3! even with a monster draw (wrap w fd). So I think we're looking at set vs set. From the SB he should be more likely to have 88 than 33. So I guess it depends if you think he'll shove a big draw, when it should be obvious he has no almost FE. So I'd probably let it go, but I really have no idea here.

    (FWIW if I was in SB or BB with your hand it's an easy muck. I honestly don't even like completing here closing the action, but stop me if you've heard this before, I'm a nit pre.)

    Hand 3: Well we block literally all missed draws except weaker rundowns. The sexy play would be to repot, but I don't have that in my arsenal. Also don't know if he'll fold 98 or 88, who folds boats these days. Depends on the V, but most players underbluff so I think we can overfold. Whatever I do, I feel shrug emoji about it.

    If you don't get many responses in the next day or two, drop a quick msg in the plo discord, the heavy hitters will come in and tell you the exact opposite of everything I said. ;)
  • DoubleSuitedAce Posts: 17Subscriber
    edited July 4
    Hand #1 - As played, I think you can value bet like half pot, and fold to a river check raise, as that would show a lot of strength. If villain can check raise bluff us off our hand, we tap the table and say "nice bet".

    I think the call preflop is fine in position with a suited Ace. If it were me, I would probably bet the flop with our OESD, and bet/raise turn with our turned set and nut flush draw added to our OESD, aware that someone could have made a straight with 23, 37, or 78.

    Hand #2 - These little sets, while great in NLHE, are very tricky in PLO. I would prefer to just call the SB lead and evaluate turn. As played, I would probably fold to the re-pot as we are only crushing 33xx, and are crushed by 88xx (hard to see the small blind going crazy with 43/84/83 unless they have a flush or straight draw to go with it). We are a slight dog to a combo draw, but a lot of turn cards can allow the SB to put pressure on us. Which is why the little sets are so difficult to play in PLO.

    (Note that in the first hand, no one showed much strength, so we should feel okay about our set of 5s. In this hand, there was a lot of strength showed, so we feel less happy with our set of 4s.)

    Hand #3 - Tough spot on the river. Smells like a 9, as villain knows when you checked turn you don't have a boat. I agree with CycleV that the sexy play is to repot, but I also don't have that play in my arsenal. I am fine with a fold on the river. Again, if villain was able to check raise bluff us off the winning hand, we can only tip our hat to them.

    Finally, I am not one of the "heavy hitters" CycleV mentioned, so please feel free to search out differing opinions. Oh, and welcome to PLO! I love the game and rarely play NLHE anymore. 4 card poker is so much fun!
  • TerpHimselfTerpHimself Posts: 295Subscriber
    Hey @Garland thanks for posting, happy to have you in the mix here in the PLO-portion of the site.

    Hand #1 - If you're going to call with this hand pre, then you have to bet this flop when checked to. A553ddxx has a narrow range of positive outcomes (which is why I would say try to look for reasons to NOT play this hand), and flopping open-ended with a BDNFD and both opponents checking to you in position is one of a few great spots for a semi bluff. Turn play fine, river play I actually think a check back is ok. Your range includes slow-played 87xx, could have the under straight (32xx), and of course includes baby sets. I doubt two pair looks you up often enough to make this a profitable value bet on the river.

    Hand #2 - This is a BB issue to me. If the game is a $10 bring in, then you are playing only 40BBs off that initial stack pre. So when you raise the flop, you really need to be prepared to commit your stack to the hand. If you do not want to commit your stack, then do not raise that flop. If you're going to play this particular game in the 30-70BB range a lot (as many players probably do with $300-$700 type of stacks), then you are going to be faced with constant SPR spots where you commit yourself to a hand on the flop or on the turn. You're just never deep enough to make smart folds like this existing in that range. So as played, if I raise the flop, it's b/c I think that getting re-raised means I'm going with the hand. I would take a few seconds to evaluate every raise you make when you're under $1,000 in this game. B/c if you ask yourself "If I get re-potted here, am I comfortable going all-in?" and the answer isn't Yes, then you need to re-evaluate the play. B/c you're going to open yourself up to more folding mistakes, or getting trapped in a spot like this where it really looks like you're beat, but you kinda can't fold b/c of the third player's dead money, and the fact that in low stakes PLO, some players won't have 88xx here every single time.

    Hand #3 - Fold. You're getting slowplayed. You cover all the strong draws, so you have all the cards your opponent would need to run an insane bluff lead into you. It's almost certain the V is overvaluing a 9 or flopped quads or is full. Most opponents are not going to fold to a re-raise that reps AAxx, and that would only work if you're 200BB deep. You started about 45BB deep and by the river, the re-raise isn't consequential enough given how the betting went.

    Keep posting! Love looking at hands.
  • GarlandGarland Posts: 355Subscriber
    edited July 5
    Thanks to @CycleV, @DoubleSuitedAce, @TerpHimself.

    “Heavy hitters” or not, your opinions matter and I really appreciate your thoughts and opinions while learning live PLO at the lowest levels. I’m sure I’ll play more as I get more comfortable with deep stacks and various situations. I like having different points of view.


    Hand #1: I like my pre-flop call, but as mentioned, if I’m going to play this hand, I need to bet when checked to in position on the flop. Agreed wholeheartedly.

    I think if I size down enough, I should get a curious 2 pair to look me up. All sets should be betting the flop, so if I’m overset, then it’s gotta be by a 9. 87 is betting the river, so that leaves 73/32/2 pair. And I assume at this level 73 is gonna lead a good portion of the time on the river. I am a value bet fiend in NL, but have to tone it down a lot in PLO, but shouldn’t take it to the extreme being passive with the weakness shown by villain. I don’t think anyone at this level is capable of a bluff river raise:

    Result: I checked back, V announces 2 pair and I take it down.

    Hand #2: Although I didn’t relay this in the OP, SB is a pretty competent player and I didn’t think the was overplaying any worse hand. But as Terp mentioned, being short stacked, I kind of committed myself to this.

    Result: I went all-in, guy on left went all in. Left guy had nut clubs as predicted, SB had 88xx as predicted. Turn and River bricked and SB took it down.

    Hand #3: Agreed, the sexy play is to pot river. I thought for about a minute and chose the worst of the 3 options and called hoping to catch a bluff like in NL. V was sheepish to show, but had 9xxx for the winner.

    These hands show I have a lot to learn about PLO.... Thanks again.

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