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Heater is Official: Pot Limit Omaha Hands

November 23, 2018

Wednesday didn’t start out all that promising. The PLO game at Palace was 6-handed to start and stayed that way for quite some time, with multiple players on the list initially passing on coming over.

Starting lineup was Part-Time, Charlie Hustle, Lee Markholt, Hit&Run, a mega nit, and myself.

The First Hand

I sat down with $700 on the table and on the first hand dealt, I picked up the AKdd63hh and decided to limp along. This is a pretty marginal hand but playing 6-handed if I’m going to play it, I should probably raise it. Honestly, I should probably just be folding it. I guess I wasn’t in the rhythm of things yet. But against very predictable opponents, I think it can be okay to limp along with some weak hands with nut potential and try to play cheap pots in position. This hand would look a lot nicer if it was double suited to the ace and the king. Action gets to Hit&Run in the big blind and he makes it $15 to go and all us passive limpers call.

Flop is KQ6 with two diamonds. I have top and bottom pair with the nut flush draw. Hit&Run leads out for full pot and Charlie Hustle calls. Charlie Hustle has some pretty massive preflop leaks, but postflop he plays a very nitty style. When he calls here, he probably has a very strong draw and he may have a strong made hand. Hit&Run started the hand with just over $500 and Charlie Hustle had $1000. I definitely have enough hand that I can raise and get it in here and maybe I should, but I opt to just call and see what develops.

Turn is a total brick, Hit&Run bets the max of $300 and Charlie Hustle calls. I just called again, but in retrospect, I think this is a pretty clear raise. Hit&Run had less than $200 left after his turn bet and at this point, I think it’s safe to assume that Charlie Hustle is on a draw. It would be strange if he was near-nutted on a wet board and decided to call twice when it was obvious that I was probably drawing. But then again, Charlie Hustle does not look comfortable in huge pots. This guy’s entire sessions are based around making $500 in the least turbulent fashion possible. I could already see that this situation had his breathing accelerated. But I have seen him show up with very big hands when he was clearly nervous. Still, it seemed like he is more likely to be drawing here than to have a made hand better than mine and since Hit&Run has like $150 left and I can’t imagine many rivers I’m going to fold against him (if Charlie Hustle folds in front of me), I should just make it $600 here to create a side pot with Charlie Hustle and also increase the chance that he pays me off if he has a flush draw and we both make diamonds on the river.

But I just called and the river was the 9 of diamonds. They both check to me and I go $300, Hit&Run folds, and Charlie Hustle goes into the tank. It seems like I’m probably not going to get paid off here. Not only do I have the nut flush, but I also have the king of diamonds in my hand, so the best hand he can have is a jack high flush. I was wondering what I would do if I had a hand I could arrive on the river with holding the naked ace of diamonds in my hand. Honestly, I don’t think I’d bluff with it. Not when Hit&Run has $150 left in a pot that has reached over $1000 and not when it seems like Charlie Hustle was drawing, most likely to a flush… so I don’t think I’m ever bluffing in this spot. But the longer he takes and the faster he starts breathing, the more I realize this pompous nit is actually going to give me another $300 with the third nuts (at best). It’s a really tough spot for him because if he calls off $300 here and is wrong, he might actually have to stay and play a session and that would be a real shame. He does stick the $300 in and I’m up over $1000 after one hand of poker.

I messaged The Joker and Radio Mike and told them I was on for The Coast-to-Coast Challenge with a massive head start, but I was informed that The Challenge is only relevant in limit games.

Okay, fine.

Bluff Catcher or The Nuts?

There are limpers and I raise to $30 on the button with a single suited AA53 and get three callers. Flop is T92 rainbow with one of my suit and we all check. Turn pairs the 2 and puts a flush draw (not mine) on board. Part-Time leads out $100, someone else calls, and I call also, planning to re-evaluate on the river and probably call bricks if the other player folds. But the river is an ace and I don’t have to make any decisions. They both check to me and fold when I bet $225. Considering I thought it was very likely I already had the best hand, that seems like some pretty bad sizing on my part. I can and probably should go as small as like $60 here. That’s a tough sizing to fold to if they have anything remotely decent.

The Dark Knight vs Lee Markholt

I raise one limper to $20 with a single suited QJT9 and Lee makes it $70 on the button. The small blind calls and I call also. Lee has at least 200 big blinds to start the hand.

The flop is KQ4 with two clubs and I think I should just be taking the lead here since I flopped a wrap and a flush draw. Lee is going to have AA a lot and if he does have that hand, he’s going to hate this flop and check back a lot. He might bet AA combos that have the nut flush draw, but mostly he will be checking back. He’s also not going to be 3-betting very many KK combos before the flop. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but he will be calling with most of his KK hands so the chances that I get raised on this flop by him are pretty small, plus I have enough hand that I can stand a raise anyway. However, I decided to check and Lee did check back.

Also, for all that analysis, it’s worth noting that this is a 3-handed pot. I’m trying to envision who the third player in the pot was, but I can’t recall. There were only a couple reasonable players in the game though and none of them were sitting in the nine seat at any point in time, so when the small blind calls $70 cold here it isn’t too alarming and probably represents a pretty wide range still.

The turn paired the king and, again, I can justify betting here when the small blind checks and maybe it’s mandatory at this point, but I checked again and Lee bet $140. The other player folded and I tanked for a while before calling. I thought it would be super unlikely for him to have two pair on the flop and have a boat now and there was 0% chance he flopped a set.

River is the 2 of clubs, giving me a queen high flush. As played, there is really no sense in betting here. Lee is not going to call me with any worse hands. I don’t think we have enough history for him to even consider that I’m ever bluffing here. He will, however, raise me if he does happen to somehow have a full house and he will certainly call me if he rivered a better flush. Also, my range seems to be pretty capped here. I would imagine he assumes I never have a full house the way I played this hand, so maybe he will bluff worse hands when I check, but with the $300 max bet, he will probably just check back when I have him beat and that’s okay. He does check back and my flush is good. He shows me the AAKx with the naked ace of clubs and says he didn’t think he could get me to fold a flush since I probably didn’t believe he had a king… and he was right.

I don’t hate my line in this hand, but I’m guessing leading out on the flop is probably the correct play.

Minimizing with The Nuts

I open AAJ7 single suited from early position and two players call. The flop is A82 rainbow. I bet $30 into $45 and the next player, a non-reg in this game and a weak player in hold’em, min-raises me to $60. The other guy folds and this board is as dry as it gets, so I just call. Turn is a king and we both check. Well, that’s annoying. I just let this rookie free card play me in pot limit Omaha when I have the nuts… on a board where no one should ever be raising for a free card. River is a queen and I decide to check again because now the nuts have changed and if he has something I figure he might bet facing a another check. He checks back… with QQ in his hand and who knows what else. I haven’t played PLO with this guy before, but I was pretty shocked to see him check back a set after I check to him twice.

I have no idea what was going on there but I’m obviously not a fan of my line. This dude takes very unorthodox lines in hold’em so I shouldn’t be surprised when he min-raises flop here with nothing and then checks a lot. It makes no sense but this player has never made sense. I’m not sure what my maximizing line is here against him, but I’m guessing small raises and bets are a good way to get more money in the pot even though I have the deck crippled on the flop.

Someone is Winning a Monster

There are limpers and I make it $25 from the small blind with AKK6 single suited to the ace. They all call. The flop is KQ3 with two hearts and one diamond, giving me top set, a backdoor nut flush draw, and an ace, which is not insignificant, as it is a straight draw blocker. I decide to start with a check as I will be checking the flop very frequently when I raise from the small blind and I want to balance my checking range with some strong hands. It may not be necessary for me to balance my ranges in this particular game, but I did it anyway here. It checks to the button and he bets $85. I make it $300 to go and that’s when things start to get crazy. The initial limper in the hand now calls $300 cold and the action is on Mr. Plow and he’s admiring the action going on around him, chuckling about the insanity of it all and that seems like a prelude to folding, but then he says, “I don’t see how I can fold here” and jams for ~$470. Action is back on the button and he asks, “can I raise?” and the answer is yes. Technically, the $470 is not considered a raise of my bet. I made it $215 more and Plow’s all in is only $170 more than my bet and needs to be at least $215 more to be considered a raise. However, I reopened the betting to the button with my initial raise to $300, so he can still raise. If he called though, I would not be able to raise because I’d technically be raising myself and that is not allowed. Confusing? The button does raise, going all in for over $700 and with one raise left I raise again to make sure the other player has to go all in to stay in the pot also. I have everybody covered and my three opponents are all in for ~$800, $470, and $730, respectively.

There is around $2900 in the middle and while I have the nuts, my hand is very vulnerable to straight draws and flush draws here, so I’m happy to run it more than once, but that gets shut down pretty quickly and everyone only gets one shot at a piece of this monster pot.

The turn is a 3, immediately pairing the board and hopefully giving me a lock winner. I say hopefully because this crowd is certainly capable of punting with bottom set in this spot and if you follow my blog you know I’ve taken that beat before. Fortunately, no one has quads and my hand holds up to win everything. One of the players flashed a set of queens, but I didn’t see what anyone else had.

They are Punting

I raise with KJT8 single suited and get some callers. The flop is QT9 with two hearts and one diamond and since I’m out of position against two opponents and I’m deep with one of them, I decide to check and see what happens. While I do have the nut straight and a backdoor flush draw here, my hand has minimal chances of improving and this board is very wet. I’m not looking to play a massive pot here. Someone bets after I check, the deep-stacked player folds, and a shorter stack calls. Okay, with the deep-stacked player out, I don’t mind playing for stacks now. I pot it to $135 and they both call.

The turn is a wonderful black 4 and I make it $300 which is enough to put them both all in and they stack off.

The river pairs the 9 and not only do I not lose on that card, but I’m not splitting with anyone either. It’s another $1000+ pot my way.

But… I have Blockers!

There are limpers again and I raise from the big blind with AKJT single suited to the ace and everybody calls.

Flop is AKJ and this is not a great flop for me, even though I did pair every card. I start with a check, someone bets $25, and everybody else folds. I am pretty happy with that result, as I’m now heads up, and his bet of like 30% pot doesn’t exude strength. I can easily have the best hand here. I call.

Turn is a ten, so I now have the ever elusive four pair. We both check.

River pairs the jack, which gives me the third nuts. I’m only losing to AA and KK and that’s not much of a consideration since this player limped in preflop. I also realize that the way this hand has played out he either had total air when he bet on the flop or he probably has a full house now, so I bet full pot and then something inexplicable happens: he raises the maximum. What. I start tanking, but quickly stop myself because it’s absolutely silly. I’m never folding here with all the blockers that I have and knowing that I only lose if he limped in with AA or KK. I call. He does have KK! What in the world.

My Worst Hand of the Night

There are multiple limpers in this hand and I complete from the small blind with QTss88.

The flop is AKJ and all spades. It’s a pretty decent flop for me as it gives me a Royal Flush. I check and it checks to the button. He bets $25, I call, and so does Charlie Hustle. I think this flop line is reasonable, but…

…the turn is the 4 of hearts and now I should be leading out. When Charlie Hustle calls on the flop, it’s clear that he at least thinks he’s drawing to the nuts, or maybe he flopped a flush also. However, he’s not going to bet either of those hands and after getting called twice on the flop, the button is not going to continue firing with many hands. It’s a total botch job on my part and I practically throw up in my mouth with immediate realization when it checks around.

The river is a red 7, I lead out $60 and both players fold. I showed my hand and that was pretty dumb because now the other two players can make up hands they had that I missed maximum value against. Charlie Hustle claims AK and the other guy says he had a set of kings. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but either way, my line in this hand is absolutely horrible. I think checking on the flop is defensible, but checking the turn is absolutely horrible. There’s really no excuse for it. It’s pretty impressive to flop a Royal Flush and have end wind up as the worst hand you played all night.

Final Score: +$3690

Yep. I’m on a heater. That cash game downswing I was on? Firmly in the rearview now. I can actually see the full scope of it. It stretched from October 12th to November 8th, 113+ hours of pure torture, to the tune of -$5832.

Since that last session on November 8th, I have been absurdly hot, starting a different kind of streak. For one, I have won eight sessions in a row. More impressively, I have had a +$1000 upswing in every single one of those sessions, even when I was playing 4/8!

All in all, I am now on a torrid +$12k heater over my last 8 days of poker.

Insane.

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