3 reasons why I love Pot Limit Omaha
In my first ever Texas Hold'em No Limit card game, I can clearly remember the day I first picked up my two cards, and they were the 9 of spades and 3 of clubs. It was a shaky start held with a shaky hand. I had reluctantly accepted the invitation from a student friend, but a few hours later, there I was playing the game in a high up apartment in Eastbourne with some other students I barely knew. At this time, I loved the feel of the chips, the way they looked piled up and the general thrill of not knowing what other hands the other players held - there seemed to be a lot of bluffing, but I wasn't entirely sure, and I was doing my best to make my stack bigger, even though I had no clue about what I was doing. Kx 8x seemed like a good hand to me. It didn't take me long to learn the rules though!
In sharp contrast to this, when it came to transitioning from Texas No Limit Hold'em to playing Pot Limit Hold'em for the very first time years later, my my memory is a lot hazier. Pot Limit Omaha was always there in the background, like the attractive girl next door, who you wanted to find more out about, but never felt confident enough to approach. Actually when I finally did make the leap, probably on some dull grey meaningless day, it wasn't as difficult a game as I had been anticipating and I really had nothing to be afraid of.
It was no where near as complicated as I thought it would be. All it required was learning the new rules, and it turned out they were actually very similar to Texas Hold'em, just more focused on drawing to hands like flushes, straights and full houses, rather than predominantly protecting the hand in No Limit Hold'em, such as top pairs or sets; of course there are two extra cards in hand in PLO.
In PL Omaha, if you don't have the absolute nuts on the river, be very wary about what the other player might have. This is a game full of straights, flushes, full houses, better full houses, straight flushes and four of a kind - all of which players seem to hit a lot more often than in Texas Hold'em. It also means that more combination of hands can be potentially be made, with back door straight and flush draws usually chased down as well if the turn card is good.
Flopped straights if the cards are too low can become trouble hands by the turn, so be wary and also AAxx has to be played with caution - usually I do get all my chips in pre flop with AAxx (suited) against the right player, perhaps a loose raising shortish stack, but not often against a deep stack, and I never go all in if the aces do not have at least one suited card combination.
What are three reasons I love Pot Limit Omaha so much?
1. There is a lot of action
2. It is filled by weaker opposition compared to Texas Hold'em
3. There can be multi-way pots allowing for the chance to win huge pots.
In recent articles, I've discussed a considerable amount about bad beats I've recently had so I think now it's time to be a little bit more positive and share with you some of the wins I've had in the past 2 months.
While deciding to move up to a slightly higher level of 15c/25c $25 buy-in, I played extremely cautiously and tightly, which I think in Pot Limit Omaha is definitely a good approach.
First up - a win with AAsuited under my username Gold_Card7
It was a while back since I won this hand, so I'm going to have a guess a bit how this hand played out. In fact I will give you two scenarios about how it could have gone.
Scenario 1. Player 3 raises from EP (early position) I re-raise to the Pot Limit, she re-raises and I go all-in and after she calls making me a biggish favourite with 64%, but as you may also note, not that big! I don't think she was that incorrect to call and a lot of the time players aren't too far behind compared with AA V Ac 9h say in Texas Hold'em. AA are 87.78% favourite to win according to the pokerodds website.
On the flop I hit an A to give me top set and my opponent hits top two pair with her A9 and this means my odds of winning improved drastically to 91.34%
The turn is a Q of clubs and the river completes both full houses with a 9 so $49 arrived in my back pocket - thank you very much.
Scenario 2. The player from EP still raises the limit preflop, I re-raise again and this time she just calls, but in the end with the same result only she calls my smallish raise on the flop and hits a 9 to turn her top two pair into a deceptively strong full house of AA999 - this kind of thing happens a lot in Pot Limit Omaha so you have to be very aware of how your opponent plays and what he or she might have.
For example, when I was on the losing end, there have been a few times when I had top full house with JJ only to bet small and have some player outdraw me when they catch a lucky Q or K on the turn or river to make a bigger (and deceptive) full house because I wasn't aggressive enough on the flop.
In a different hand, I did manage to double up my money on a different table but for the same blinds of 25c - 50c and a $25 buy in. Frustratingly I'd lost a bit of money in previous hands so it looks like I was down to about $16.50 and only doubled up to $33 when it could have been $50 had I re-loaded my buy in. Still, a straight flush is a straight flush!
And finally, a tather satisfying higher straight v a lower straight in a lower level game (10c - 15c) Pot Limit Omaha cash table.
Less money won though, which is where playing at higher stakes, the extra risk can turn into greater rewards. Surprisingly in the last hand, the player went all in on the river and doubled me up; can't really fold the nuts!
Thank you so much for reading 🙏