Got PLO Questions?

We’re interviewing a pretty strong PLO player tomorrow (Tuesday) night, and I totally forgot to prep for it. Let’s turn that into an opportunity: what do you want to hear about the game? Leave your questions as comments here and we’ll try to get to as many of them as we can. Thanks all! And let’s keep this our little secret – Nate has a nasty temper when he gets salty about something!

12 thoughts on “Got PLO Questions?

  1. I often read that a wrap around straight draw is the best hand possible on a flop assuming there are no potentially made straights, flushes or fullhouses. So when i flop a wrap around i ship it as quickly as i can. But if there is a flush draw out there how should this affect your play, as basically any suit completing the flush will most likely leave you drawing dead. basically how does the 38% chance that a flush will hit, which crushes your draws affect your roughly 60+ percent chance of hitting the straight. And does the draw make potting your wrap around a less profitable play, Especially in a multiplayer pot.

    Regards,
    Jpants

    • Hi jpants,

      I talked about this question in the podcast but just a quick note until it gets posted – the effect is enormous when a flush draw is present. Think about this for a moment: When you hold a monster wrap (20 outs) on a flush draw board, you are a 40/60 percent _underdog_ to ANY hand that has a flush draw. Let alone one that shares some of your straight outs or blocks some.

      Things gets worse multiway when the likelihood increases that you’re up against a flush draw from one opponent and a set from another.

      In essence – play these hands slowly and cautiously and don’t be afraid to fold in a multiway scenario facing a lot of heat.

  2. In 6-max what are the merits to having no raising range UTG? Do these merits change as people get deep, or with a varied lineup of 35bb and 100bb stacks.

  3. I guess how a mixed stack size situation affects the opening, cold calling, and three-bet ranges of a 100bb stack is pretty interesting and valuable. Are 40bb stacks exploiting 100bb stacks exploitation of inferior 100bb stacks?

    • Hey Gareth,

      I answered your first question in the podcast but in regards to your second one – yes, a 40bb stack is exploiting a 100bb stack. Not only the 100bb stacks trying to exploit inferior players – but even those playing against equal skill opponents.

      The trade off though is that the 40bb stack can no longer exploit an inferior 100+bb stack to the maximum extent.

      Regarding how it affects opening/cold-calling/three-betting, essentially, the deeper stacks are required to tighten up in response to more shallow stacks in the table (thus limiting the extent that they can be exploited). The more shallow stacks that there are remaining to act behind you the tighter you should be in general. 3-betting light and isolating marginal hands can become -EV if three 40bb stacks will all be 3betting their top 15% of hands behind you.

      Speculative hands in general go down in value as stack sizes reduce and “high card hands” or those that win at showdown more frequently go up in value. An example is that 8754ds goes down in respective value whereas AsKd9d5c goes up in respective value. In a shallow game you’d much prefer to play the latter hand.

  4. You had John Beauprez on earlier if I recall, and his system was PLO Quick Pro?

    If this is correct, I would not mind some follow up… compare John’s views of learning/playing PLO to the new interviewees?

    —-for me, with both a limit AND no limit but NO MTT background—

    1. How would I learn PLO the quickest?

    2. Potential assumptions I probably have (player pool based) that are incorrect? (based on my background.)

    3. Potential qualities of game that transfer fairly easily (perhaps PLO is closer to limit, or not, maybe its more NL like? Or maybe its a completely different game, but it seems closer than it really is to us neophytes?)

    4. Why should I bother? Is the game that much fun? Profitable? will there be a GOOD crossover effect? Could it hurt my NLHE game? and some supporting ideas of why/why not?

    5. What is future of the game? Why bother learning a new game that I never see at WinStar casino poker room (56 tables) let alone maybe live anywhere in the US?

    6. Good sources to learn game, additional details of game away from podcast?

    7. interesting hands that might highlight thought processes from game? how would this compare to a NLHE hand, an MTT hand, or a limit hand?

    8. Like Gareth seems to allude to, are there stak size considerations in play? Would I be better off learning to short stak first, get comfortable, then deeper? Or other way around? Or does it just not matter?

    9. Are there bankroll/variance considerations in PLO that might not be so pronounced in NLHE since I have heard Omaha games have more variance? (Is that assumption even true?)

    10. Are there any traits peculiar to good PLO players ? if so, are they the same for other poker games, or maybe just NLHE, MTT or LHE specific?

    just a few of the things I could see being asked. but , I am sure it will be interesting. Don’t feel obligated to ask ANY of these. Y’all do a great job with interviews.

    which

    • These are great! And thanks for the kind words. This is the second interview in a row you’ve helped out with in a big way. You’ll hear the first on Monday – Johannes brought up a lot of the stuff you suggested himself, so we didn’t end up actually asking too many of your questions but they were still a big help in preparing for the interview.

    • Hey which,

      We touched on a couple of your questions during the podcast but here are some detailed answers to all of them:

      1. In a word, immersion. Get motivated then work your butt off – watch videos, read forums, post in forums, read articles, play a lot, look through your database, think about the game on your own, reach out to players you respect and ask questions of them (you’d be surprised how often people are willing to answer Qs).

      2. Hmm. I’m not really sure about this one. You might assume that the games are tough since the cats been out of the bag in regards to PLO for a few years now. They are not. There is still plenty/tonnes of money to be made and the game is still in it’s infancy imo. The games are very, very beatable.

      3. I’d say it’s closest to NLHE since in essence it’s the same game with just 2 more cards and a cap limit on the betting (how often do people overbet in NLHE anyway). Things like value betting, bluff-raising, floating, hand reading, etc, are all transferrable. The ranges people have will be different but the concepts at their core are the same.

      4. I’m gonna link to my own article from a couple of years ago here: “5 Reasons why you should switch to PLO from NLHE today” – godlikeroy.com/2011/02/21/5-reasons-why-you-should-switch-to-plo-from-nlhe-today/ – I know I wrote it a while ago but I just re-read it and agree with everything in there in today’s environment still.

      5. Kinda spoken about in #4, but I think the future is very bright. As NLHE gets solved more and more, and as players get better and better, people will continue to move over to PLO (as they have been). Future looks strong.

      6. All the usual ones. Training sites: runitonce is the best for PLO content atm probably. Forums, articles, books. I’m in the planning stages of writing my own book / series of books for learning PLO (tailored to players just like yourself). I intend for it to be very reasonably priced so if/when that comes out that would hopefully be the ideal method for you/someone like you. It will be a while before it hits the e-shelves though.

      7. Hmm, honestly, if you’re starting out, pretty much every hand should be interesting to you. I don’t have any examples on hand that highlight a specific thought process but if this is what you’re interested in I suggest checking out a training video as it’s the type of thing that will be covered in that.

      8. Start off learning deep, then move to short (imo). It may seem counter-intuitive and be harder but in the long run i believe it’s the better way to go. You will learn hand reading and how to play turns/rivers and the ranges people play so that if/when you want to play short you aren’t limiting your abilities. If a fish sits you want to be able to extract the maximum from them – if you only know how to play short you’re giving up tonnes of value.

      9. Omaha games have WAY more variance. 20-30 buyin swings are commonplace (i’m talking about in a day/session). The long run is really, really long. I’ve seen graphs of people running 300buyins over/under EV after a million hands. It’s a tough game and you need some mental fortitude to be able to survive. But if you can survive there’s still a ridiculous amount of money to be made and a lot of fun to be had.

      10. Mental fortitude and the ability to stave away tilt. I think a lot of the traits that make up a winning PLO player are the same as most other variants – you’ll notice those at the top of every game tend to have the same things in common (intelligence, ability to focus, not tilting, playing within a bankroll, handreading, etc).

      Cheers,

      Roy

  5. roy,

    thank you very very much! I look forward to listening to it. (shouldn’t there be some type of sneak preview for Halloween?)

    Write your book in a hurry, sign a copy for me and come back for a follow-up podcast. I am a guaranteed sale.

    which

  6. I’m late to the party but maybe someone is still paying attention (if so, thanks!):

    1) Live PLO is super slow, right? How does this affect profitability and enjoyment?

    2) Online PLO has higher rake (bb/100). Some people say that micro stakes online are unbeatable. What does this mean for starting out? Should I save up enough bankroll to start higher, get my feet wet at micro stakes (and lose even when I play well because of outrageous rake), or what?

    3) PLO is higher variance but people also say it is possible to have a higher ‘true’ win rate with the same skill/effort as compared to NLH. How does this affect bankroll requirements? Might NLH be more profitable for a given bankroll because you can play higher?

    4) Online you can play more tables of NLH AND it plays faster. Does PLO still possibly have a higher hourly?

    Because of these issues I haven’t worked on my PLO game much and play mostly NLH cash. I keep hearing that I should learn PLO though so I’m not comfortable with the decision!

    • Hey Rant2112,

      1) Yes, generally it is. This is due to it being full ring (9 or 10 handed) and there being fewer hands per hour than holdem (it takes longer to deal 4 cards, time is spent calculating the pot, and the game is more complex so people take longer with their decisions). It’s still highly profitable but I personally don’t enjoy it very much unless the game is somehow shorthanded.

      2) Micro stakes are certainly beatable – especially when you take into account rakeback/rewards programs. Stars especially give out bonus rewards to micro stakes players. Regardless, I would start at the lowest stakes to get your feet wet since that’s also where you’ll face the softest competition. Then use an aggressive bankroll management strategy to move up in stakes.

      3) Your winrate may be higher but so will your standard deviation (much higher in fact) which is where the variance comes from. So even if you do manage to have a higher winrate in PLO, I believe the variance will be higher (unless your winrate is significantly greater). Whether NLHE or PLO is more profitable depends on what winrate you personally can achieve at various stakes – take a 50k roll, you may be comfortable playing 5/10 NLHE with it but only 2/4 PLO with it but if you’re only beating 5/10 NLHE for 1.5bb/100 and are beating 2/4 PLO for 5bb/100 you end up winning more despite the lower stakes.

      4) Again, this is highly dependent on the person. I suppose if you had the same winrate in NLHE as you have at PLO then your hourly would be higher at NLHE. I believe though that PLO is a lot softer than NLHE and higher winrates are far easier to achieve for the disciplined player than they are at NLHE.

      I highly recommend learning PLO. There is a ridiculous amount of money to be made in the game and will be for a long time. Plus, it’s fun! And, you don’t have to stop playing NLHE just because you start playing PLO. Do as you mentioned earlier and just get your feet wet — perhaps dedicating 5hrs a week to PLO to begin with and if things go well / you’re enjoying it, take it from there.

      Cheers,

      Roy

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