Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Holdem V Omaha and passing the nuts

I must play some live poker this week. I’ve been lazy of late just playing online due to the convenience. I much prefer playing live though because I generally play a lot better. I keep meaning to try the Western Club as there should have a good dealers choice/Omaha game on. The main reason I don’t play Hold em cash is because I believe it can lead to situations that lead you to losing all your money and I just don’t think this happens in Omaha.

There are a number of situations that I think in Holdem you will lose all your money. The most obvious is holding KK in the pocket against someone who has AA. If it flops rags then your hand is almost impossible to get away from. Another situation where I think you inevitably lose all your money is when you have AK and it flops an A or a K and two low cards. If your opponent has made a set then you are likely to lose alot or all your money of money practically drawing dead. If you flop a flush and your opponent flops a higher flush its very hard to get away from and the same for straights.

The reason I like playing Omaha cash is that you don’t ever have to be drawing dead. If you play well you should always have a number of outs. Omaha is a game of drawing too or playing the nuts. If you draw to the nuts straight, nut flush and only commit all your chips when you have top set then you are never drawing dead when you commit your money. You still get to trap a number of players who will call you down without the nuts if you do hit. Also because Omaha is a more attractive game for players who like to gamble it tends to attract a lot more bad players than high stakes Holdem cash. I’ve seen some truly terrible players blow well over £ 5000 playing like maniacs.

Talking about Omaha I was playing the £ 2.50/£ 5 on Betfair and had the following interesting hand. I have £ 750 in front of me before this hand. There are 7 players on and there is a pre flop raise of £ 25 and I call on the big blind. 6 players call. I have 9sJsKdAd. It flopped 7c8h10c to give me the nut straight. I lead out a raise of £ 80. Player to my left calls and the player behind him reraises £400 more to play. The player on the button goes all in for £900. So I am sitting with £640 with the nuts and after deliberating I pass. I think this is the right play for the following reasons. Firstly, I am pretty sure at least one of the big raisers already has the nut straight and perhaps even both of them. However, as there is a flush draw and I can’t improve on my straight this is a very dangerous hand to commit all my money. Say for example that raiser A has 9JQ# then he already has the nuts and 7 cards to kills me as he will improve upon my straight. I can assume that either player A or B is drawing to a flush or has a chance of making a full house. As it happened player A had had the Ace Flush draw and two pair and player B had the nut straight and the Q to give him straight improvements. So on the flop if I had gone all in the size of the pot I would have been involved in would have had £ 2405. Player A had a 45% of winning the entire pot. Player B had a 4% chance of winning and I would have had a 0.5% chance of winning all the money. There was about a 50% chance of a split pot between me and player B. These odds just aren’t favorable enough for me to commit all my money. I have passed the nuts before in similar situations when I can’t improve my hand and at least two people have gone crazy on the flop.

What happened? Well a river heart came which gave player A all the money.

1 comment:

Boris Dangiens said...

did you mean a river club ?