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New for 2014: Small Stakes Solutions!

The mathematics of in-position play in Pot-Limit Omaha from pre-flop to river explained in 5 interactive lectures.
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PLO Pre-flop Strategy

Twice as Nice? Why the King holds a double-edged sword.

“But it was sooted…” comes the familiar refrain from the novice NLHE player, whilst the veterans shake their heads in unison. This justification for clumsy hand selection is so commonly rejected that the phrase is more usually used in jest. In the PLO realm however, the Holy Grail of double-suitedness remains untarnished (I’m talking to you, mid-stakes reg.). I’m here to, if not defile it, at least scuff it up a little

1. Sometimes the prettiest hands are also the dirtiest…

Caught in a vice
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  1. So as to avoid offence to any Christians reading, I’m defiling the notion, not the Grail. God, guns and gambling suits me more than Hope and change…
By | 2017-04-10T13:23:13+00:00 January 22nd, 2013|

Kelly, bankroll and you… the smart path to high stakes PLO

Bank-roll management is a familiar term for any serious poker player these days, yet there seem to be so many conflicting pieces of advice. Furthermore, with the acknowledged higher variance in PLO, do the guidelines provided for NLHE games still apply?

In order to create this article, I used an adjusted Kelly betting simulation

1 to build optimal bank-roll criteria for a number of commonly discussed scenarios for Pot limit Omaha games. For those of you unfamiliar with the use of the Kelly principles, the simulation aims to tell us which game to prefer given the parameters of win-rate for each game, standard deviation, and our accepted risk of ruin. When I use the term ‘prefer’ I mean, mathematically, at which stake will our bank-roll grow quickest without jeopardizing our future profits? For the purpose of this article, I used the standard deviation of 144bb/100 from my own database of several hundred thousand hands. I adjusted the win-rate and accepted risk of ruin depending on the simulation. It is worth noting that I do not recommend being a regular at any limit without reaching a win-rate of at least 5bb/100 for that limit. The remainder of this article will discuss the main conclusions which I drew from these bank-roll simulations.

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  1. Credit to Dario Rehman for the initial version.
By | 2017-04-10T13:23:14+00:00 October 22nd, 2012|

Differences between NLHE and PLO, Part 1

Any NLHE convert who has played a few thousand hands of PLO quickly notices there is something ‘different’ about PLO. Many accomplished NL players, even erstwhile professionals, suddenly find themselves breaking even (we’ll call it that, a lot are losing) despite playing PLO at stakes far lower than those they are accustomed to. This feeling that something is ‘different’ can rapidly turn into a feeling that something is ‘wrong’ and a casual glance at the Omaha literature seems to offer scant consolation.

Classical Explanations

“In Omaha you have four cards,” the author/video producer sagely asserts. For those readers for whom this information is a revelation I gently suggest a different hobby, perhaps one requiring less attention to detail. You would fit right in as an officer of the treasury at most governments. The rest of us continue reading, “four cards is like having six combinations of hold’em hands!” The mathematically literate among you are thinking, “no sh*t Sherlock, 4C2,” whereas those with different interests will find this amusing in passing. Still, it is likely that none of you needed to be told that with four cards there are more ways for your hand (and by extension everyone’s hands) to interact with the flop. The real issue is that most people, even strong Omaha players, have difficulty explaining the real differences between PLO and NLHE. Sure they will tell you that ‘position is more important in PLO’ but they won’t tell you why? You are also pretty sure you see heads-up PLO players playing just as aggressively OOP as they do in HUNL.

This series of articles will explain the substantial differences between NLHE and PLO. By the time we are done, you should have a deeper appreciation for what makes Omaha such a fascinating game, and a new set of tools to outplay your less sophisticated opponents. We’ll start with…

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By | 2017-04-10T13:23:16+00:00 August 31st, 2012|