Saturday, December 1, 2012

#6: Configuring a HUD - Part 1

Hello all,

I've done a lot of blogging the last days, but mainly on my other blogs. But as I noticed it's been 3 days since I've updated RoadtoPLO, I decided it's about time!

We've discussed some preflop stuff, and before going to the postflop part, I think we'll benefit by setting up a HUD together. Having a good HUD will have a major advance for you on opponents, since you can spot Villain's leaks in a moment, and respond accordingly.

Let's start out with the basics that every HUD has, and go on from there:


VPIP = Voluntary Put money In Pot %
PFR    = Preflop Raise %
AGF  = Aggression Factor: (#Bets + #Raises) / #Number Calls

When you're a beginning player, I recommend playing Tight-Agressive (TAG), which should lead to stats into this area:
13~14 / 19~20 / 3.0~4.0

As soon as you're getting a bit more experienced, you can loosen up a bit, aiming for the sweet spot which is at an estimated PFR / VPIP of respectively 20 / 26. You should experimentate for yourself what works for you, but this is a proven strategy. In opposition of NLHE, there are so many ways to play (big) winning poker in PLO. Lot's of ways that'll lead to Rome. One will crush playig extremely LAG, another one will make a very steady profit playing 15/22 while exploiting regulars a lot. There are so many ways. In my opinion you should get an understanding of the game playing TAG, before changing your game to a bit more LAGgy.

3Bet OOP / 3Bet IP / Tot 3Bet

3Bet OOP = Times you 3Bet Out of Position %
3Bet IP      = Times you 3Bet In Position %
Tot 3Bet    = Well, you get it.

3Betting has a HUGE influence on your winrate in PLO. As I allready spent a chapter on 3Betting (Updated!) I'm not going to say all that much about it, but still some notes.

People will fold a lot to aggression at lower stakes. That's why it's extremely profitable putting much pressure on them, so to 3Bet a lot. But, as position is really important in PLO, you don't want to be in big pots out of position all that much. That's why you should really divide your 3Betting into IP and OOP. Here are the stats you should aiming for while beginning:

3~4 / 8~10 / 6~7%

These stats are pretty wide, but your 3Bet-range obviously depends (and has a hold) over your playing style.  Mine are 4.0 / 10.2 / 7, but I can imagine you want to start off a bit more slowly in the beginning, and don't start 3Betting like crazy without knowing the reasons for it.

I'm going to update the 3Bet post a bit, part 2 will come tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#5 Calling 4Bets and PQL Query

This is the moment it's getting a bit complex, and also the moment we're going to rely on the holy PLO tool. It's a tool maybe some of you are familiar with, with comparising equity's in NLH/PLO.  (PPT)

First an assumption: In all of the next Scenario's our opponent handrange = AA**

What we're going to do know is using the graph function to determine wether or not calling a 4bet is profitable or not. The reason we need to do this, is because there are lots of flops to be dealt, and we need to determine if we flop enough pieces with enough equity to get the money in. This is better known as the Flop Equity Distribution

The situation:

Eff stack = 100bb
Game = Rakefree

4Bet pot:
-Villain raises pot (3.5bb) we 3Bet (12bb), villain 4Bets (37.5bb) Hero call
-Pot OTF: 76.5bb
-Stack OTF: 62.5bb
-Effective pot-odds for commiting on the flop: 62.5 / (76.5 + 62.5 + 62.5)  * 100% = 31,0%
-Minimum equity threshold for calling/getting-it-in OTF= 31,0% (excluding rake)

This is the moment were PPT comes in, to calculate our Flop equity distribution.

Let's say we've got KK78ds. We fill AA** as the second hand and hit the graph button.

First we need to calculate the average equity on the top 31.0% of flops, we do that by calculating the surface  of everything that's on the left of the 31.0% border!

This is another part where PPT kicks in. It'll take ages to do it manually, and also you'll be adding quite some errors by doing it manually. 

In the menu border you'll find the tab "PQL" Which stands for Poker Query Language. From there go to the PQL runner. This is the PQL you'll need for calculating the surface:

select count(equity(hero, flop) >= 0.310) as threshold
from game="omahahi", hero="KxKy7x8y", player2="AA"

Where the bolded parts are respectively:

  1. Percentage of flops
  2. Hand Hero
  3. Hand Villain

2956614835 (50.18%)

Which gives us that we've got 31% equity on top 50.2% of flops.

Now we need to calculate our average equity on top 50.2% of flops, which we do with this PQL code:

select avg(equity(hero, river)) as rivereq
from game="omahahi", hero="KxKy7x8y", player2="AA"
where equity(hero, flop) >= 0.31

  1. Equity threshold on flop


Which allows us to fill in the following formula
Ev Calling 4bet:

-( 1 - top x% of flops = code 1 ) * Costs in bb calling 4bet
 top x % of flops = code 1 (Avg Equity = code 2 (Potsize) - Stacksize after 3bet))

- (1 - 0.50) * 25.5 + .50 (.58 (201.5) - 88) )
               -12.75     + 14.44 = + 1.69bb

Which would mean that the Expected Value of calling this 4bet is +1.69bb, in a rakefree game.

This is quite a calculation, but it needs to be done and understood if you want to win at PLO. One of those things you struggle to master, but once you master it, it'll pay of immediately.

With this part I'm about to end the Preflop part.

Any questions? Don't hesitate to ask them

#4: Preflop 3- and 4betting


A very important topic: 3Betting;

Let's go straight into the deep, why do we want to 3Bet?

  • For pure value (i.e. good Aces, good kings, very good rundowns)
  • Playing bigger Pots in Position
  • Isolating the weaker player --> Exploiting their Leaks (i.e. High fold to flop C-Bet, high fold to 3Bet etc.)

1. Let's start out with some hands you can 3Bet for value under most conditions:

  • Medium - High SS+ rundowns 
  • Good Aces: AA**ds, connected AA**ss
  • Good Kings: Semi-connected+ KK**ds
  • High Pair + Connected Side cards
  • High 2Pss+
Obvious you 3Bet range IP is MUCH wider then OOP.

2.Playing bigger pots In Position:

Especially when you're (semi)deep, you want to flop good. Let's start out with some random, unconnected Aces: AA39xxyz

Eff Stacks 100bb
Villain raises 3.5bb
Hero raises 10.5bb OOP
Villain calls, rest folds.

The scenario:

Pot size = 22.5bb ((10.5 *2) + 1.5bb )
Effective stacks = 88.5bb
Stack Pot Ratio = 88.5/22.5 = 3.9

This requires us to pull out 2 potsize bets in order to get the money in. 

Let's assume we 3bet these bad aces, and flop comes down: KJ4zww
This is obvious one of our better flops, but still it's really uncomfortable and exploitable for us to Pot flop and Pot turn.Let's say the flop is connected or drawheavy, are we going to x/fold? We really hate this scenario, and because of that we want to avoid it.

If you're IP, there's the possibility to check back the flop, and pull out a delayed Cbet on the turn if the board pairs, a straight draw, or a flush draw completes. This allows you to control the pot, and you'll be gained much more credit for a hand.

Probably the most common mistake from people transitioning NLHE --> PLO, is to overplay aces, especially OOP. Bad aces DO NOT!!! have enough of an edge equity-wise to 3Bet them OOP most of the time. Don't make that mistake!

Only 3bet hands OOP (!) when they've got a good flopability, or strong raw equity hands (AA**,AKK*), when you're able to get it it in OTF with oné potsize bet. As a rule of thumb.

Obvious a lot of hands that flop good are doublesuited connected rundowns, all the way to Medium-High singlesuited 2-gap rundowns.

If we're being dealt a mediocre double-suited speculative hand( i.e. KQT7xxyy), we'll be setting us up for some major reverse implied odds (making weaker flushes, making a lot of non-nut straights), while we'd 3Bet the hand IP.

This makes our conclusion:
Don't 3Bet much OOP, only with core value hands
3Bet much IN position, since we're able to represent a LOT.

3. Isolating the weaker player

Obvious this is our favorite part; exploiting the weaker player by 3Betting a lot. There are several ways you can exploit them:

  • At stakes <=10PLO, a lot people will 4Bet ANY AA**, which creates a very profitable scenario for us when we 3Bet small. Let's say:
Eff. stacks 100bb
Villain Opens 3.5bb, we 3B 8.5bb, villain 4B 27bb, we flat.
Pot OTF = 55.5bb
Eff. Stack OTF = 73bb

Next part will be about calculating the EV of calling 4Bets, so you can find out yourself how profitable it is to do this with some speculative SS+ connected rundowns.

  • Isolating the weaker player to exploiting their leaks.

You'll find a lot of very very weak regulars at the lower limits, whom make 3Betting IP very profitable. For example when they carry a high Fold to Cbet, or float to much OTF OOP, and folding to 2 barrels. Exploiting these things will give a huge boots to our winrate. Which kind of stats could be exploited will be talked about later on.

A good, 3betting range will be around:
In Position:10%
Out Of Position: 4% 

Over here I've got a very good video about 3Betting in PLO, by Tom Chambers:


Especially at the lower limits, your 4betting range will consist of Aces for a huge part. This is because of the fact that people won't 3bet much at limits <=25PLO. So in that manner it's bad to 4bet naked kings to be up against AA** a lot of the times, and getting it in with 32% equity. That's also another reason to not 3bet naked kings or other raw equity hands, even when IP.

Scenario's when you'll 4bet other hands then AA**

Somebody is a very wide 3bettor.
Hands to 4bet are hands that will dominate their 3betting range, so a lot of high rundowns:

  • [9-A][9-A][9-A][9-A]ss
  • [89TJ]-[JQKA]ss+
  • Some Good KK, with A blocker prefered. ( Having an Ace in your hand will reduce the amount of Ax combos with 40%!)
That kind of stuff. When you'll 4bet them your percieved range =AA**, so that's why it's very profitable.

If you've got any questions, don't hesitate to ask them. Next part will be the EV of calling 4bets.

#3: Training Video's

Hi there,

I wanted to give a short update before determining which part I want to discuss next, since there are a lot of basics. Probably the next part will be 3/4/5-betting preflop.  In the meanwhile I would like to advice you guys to one of the following videos, or if possible all of them. It goes from easy to a bit more difficult, although most of them are pretty basic in general. You can watch them on DeucesCracked, or send me an Email to

1) 2x6: by Vanessa Selbst and Whitelime
2) HellOmaha by NoWhereman & KasinoKrime

And for the Mental part, an all-time must-have classic:

The Eightfold path to Poker Enlightment by Tommy Angelo

#2: Pot Limit Omaha Opening Chart


Just like in the old days (2005/6/7/8) the only thing you needed to do to win pretty big at poker (NLHE), was think logical and play ABC poker. Nowadays it's the same with Pot Limit Omaha.

Play ABC --> Win

Our strategy basically holds his self on this two pillars:
-Betting the nuts for value, getting much money in when we've got a strong hand.
-Using Position to steal pots from (weak) opponents, when we're able to exploit them since we can represent a huge range of hands.

Which determines our strategy to:
-Play strong starting hands
-Play in position.

Preflop Opening

Some 6Max Cash opening Charts I found on my PC while looking for some interesting material. The Charts are published by Poker Professional Tom Chambers, in the online community better known as LearnedFromTV on Pokerstars.

On the Internet you'll find various PLO Hand ranking systems. You're better of ignoring these, because of the fact they sort out hand rankings by raw equity. For example; If you're 200bb deep, you prefer playing 89TJxxyy instead of QQ[2-A][2-A]random suits, while you should prefer playing QQ[2-A][2-A]random suits with a 20bb stack.

You can look for some raw equity simulations on:

Anyhow, here we go:

unp  = Unpaired
1p = One pair
2p = Two pair
ds = Doublesuited
ss = Singlesuited
r = Rainbow

Page 1

Good luck practicing!

#1: Pot Limit Omaha Intro

Hello there!

At the 28th of November 2012, I decided to stop making it a private blog, and switched from a Dutch-written blog into an English-written one. So If you look further back then this you'll probably think what's happening over here? So, don't worry, It's not a disease or a virus.

Anyhow, for the moment I'm taking a little break from grinding so I study a bit more, and regain the pleasure in playing PLO. That's why I started making this blog, try to stabilize a little income. A iny tiny low-variance income.

Disclaimer: If you're a beginner trying to learn PLO: PLO is like Heroin, once you start playing you're addicted. Upswings feel like Heroin, downswings feel like Heroin. Period.

You can split Omaha into two Major Parts; The mental part, and the theoretical part. Let's kick of with the mental part.

Small Technical Theoretical Introduction:

First of all; Most of the people visiting my blog will come from playing Hold'em, and decided to make the (correct decision) playing Omaha because of the weaker player pool. To make the transition HM --> OM, you'll save yourself a lot of pain by stop to compare these 2 games. Straight away. Omaha =! Hold'em. Not even a tiny bit. I give this pretty abstract advice because I wish someone said this to me once I started. That would've saved me lots of time, money and stress.

Omaha is a postflop game. In contrast to HM equity's run very close to each-other preflop. Where you an easily be an 80-20 favourite preflop by holding KK vs QQ, there are lots of situations where you're only a 55-45% favourite with AA[2-K][2-K]; Random Aces (I immediately start give correct, complete Pro Poker Tools notations, the key software to studying PLO, it could be  a bit difficult in the beginning, but you'll benefit from it)

So; Equity's run close preflop because of the fact you've got 4 cards, but you obvious really want to maintain an edge. Position is the most profitable factor in PlO. Simply becuase you can have a huge range; you can practical represent anything.

Small Mental Introduction:

Because of the fact all equity's run close, variance is huge. Depending on your mindset, the mental part can be harder then the technical aspect of the game. An advice I can give which would be great from the beginning, is: Don't look at your EV. EV in PLO means nothing because of the flop equity distribution. Don't whine about running below EV; Poker owes you nothing. What you only should care about, is playing your best game.

Random PLO Graph

Variance is sickness. Ignore it and you'll become a beast. Care about it and it'll break you.

That's it for now, hope I'll get some followers and I'll keep ya guys updated!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Last Dutch Post!


Heb de afgelopen week weinig gegrind; dit omdat het de week daarvoor allemaal niet zo lekker ging, en daarom even besloten er mooi even mee op te houden. Wat dit even ophouden voor mezelf inhield wist ik eigenlijk ook niet. Gewoon een onbepaalde tijd tot ik het gevoel had dat het weer kon gaan werken. Of gewoon niet, mocht ik dat gevoel hebben. 

'T is een grappig iets dat poker. Je kan het in bijzonder weinig manieren vergelijken met een 'normale' (voor zover normaal gedefiniëerd kan worden) baan, en helaas is de term 'easy money' er ook al vanaf gegleden. Grootste voordeel is natuurlijk de constantheid; een vast salaris. Hoewel je dat zo nu en dan ook wel tegenkomt. Leuk voorbeeld:

Vorige zomer (ten tijden dat ik op mezelf woonde) kwam er een post voorbij op een Nederlands pokerforum. 2 'Professionele' (daar gaan we weer, wat is professioneel? Is professioneel een levensstijl? Is het alleen een professie; iets wat je uitoefent als beroep? Hedendaags noemt 80% van de spelers die >20 uur p/w speelt zich een 'Professional') pokerspelers. Dezen gaven je de kans om op Malta (gunstig belastingklimaat) voor een op dat moment X aantal maanden 40 uur p/w in totaal aan Grinden en Analyse in te brengen. Alleen tijd, geen geld. Daarbij kreeg coaching van deze welgerespecteerde Professionals - die liever anoniem bleven. Salaris? €2000. Verliezende maand? €2000. Winnende maand? €2000. Op contract.

Het aantal reacties waren schaars en ik besloot het er ook op te wagen. Na een aantal dagen kreeg ik een berichtje terug met het verzoek mij 'Poker-CV' in te sturen. Ik was sceptisch als het maar zijn kon, en besloot er verder niet op in te gaan. 

Las ik gisteren een artikel, bleek het bijzonder goed geregeld te zijn, en de club er 7 maanden gebleven is. Wat een rare wereld is het toch. Vol wantrouwen, verzieking, en bedrog aan de ene kant, vertrouwen en eerlijkheid aan de andere kant. Jammer dat het tegenwoordig moeilijk te onderscheiden is.

Afijn, om ook enige zekerheid te hebben, tevens als voor het sociale aspect in mijn leven heb ik besloten om een baantje (heus!) te zoeken. Waarop ik (dankzij Chantal) terechtgekomen ben bij de post voor Week 49 t/m 52. ~32 uur per week. 

Door de PLO swingaments heb ik mij afgelopen week aan Yoga gewaagd. Eerste beleving: Vreemd, maar fijn. Beste omschrijving die ik na 1 les kan vinden denk ik. De week erop niet gegaan vanwege gebrek aan volume, maar nu ik het vertrouwen in mijn spel weer terug begin te krijgen, is het het overwegen waard het door te trekken. In de decembermaand gaat het mij helaas niet lukken vanwege het baantje bij de Post, maar wie weet daarna.

Dit was het voor nu, tot de volgende keer.