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A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned

I played a solid session of Omaha 8 at Full Tilt last night. After re-watching some of Joe Tall's limit O8 videos from DeucesCracked, I was better able to bring my A-game (or my mid-to-high B-game) to the tables. If you want to be a winner playing split-pot games, it's important to remember that a tight pre-flop and a tight flop strategy focused on scooping pots is the easiest way to beat the low-limit games. Hopefully I can maintain the discipline at the tables that I showed last night and keep rolling along.

I looked over my PokerTracker stats after my session last night. Over 1,150 hands, I find myself down about 28 BBs at the $1/$2 fixed-limit O8 games. While 28 BBs is not that big a number, it may take me a while to recover. The most I've ever won on a single hand of O8 is 10 BBs ($20) and that hand occurred last night. I picked up the nut low draw with a backdoor straight and a backdoor flush draw. But I was playing in a 4-way pot and called a flop bet getting roughly 12:1 (or 6:1 if I count only the low portion of the pot). As luck would have it, I picked up the nut low on the turn and also picked up a 13 card wrap draw to the straight. The river gave me the straight and the scoop.

The one thing that I have to constantly force myself to remember is that Omaha 8 or better is not hold'em. Another important lesson to remember is that a bet saved is a bet earned. It's very easy to call off bets on earlier streets to justify loose calls on the later streets when the pot gets big.

Here's a hand that I played last night that makes the hold'em player in me shake his head in disbelief. The only read I have on my opponents is that UTG is very loose passive and UTG+1 seems to be a standard tight/passive O8 player over a 100 hand sample.

Full Tilt Poker $1/$2 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo - 7 players
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is BB with JJ of clubs KK of hearts 66 of hearts TT of diamonds
UTG calls, UTG+1 calls, 4 folds, Hero checks

(My hand is crap but I'll take the free look hoping to flop quads, Kings full of Jacks, or the broadway straight with redraws to the nut flush in hearts.)

Flop: (3.5 SB) 88 of clubs 77 of diamonds 99 of diamonds (3 players)
Hero checks, UTG bets, UTG+1 raises, Hero folds, UTG calls

(Technically, I flopped the nuts but I have a few problems with this hand: I'm out of position, I have no redraws to a better hand, and I have no low draw. I think this is an easy fold when a passive player bets and a tight regular raises. I imagined that I was likely up against a nut low draw, a flush draw, a set, and/or another nut straight with redraws.)

Turn: (3.75 BB) 44 of clubs (2 players)
UTG bets, UTG+1 calls

(When UTG bets here, I'm putting him on the nut low. When UTG+1 calls, I'm putting him on a straight with the second or third nut low or a made hand with a flush redraw and a possible 2nd or 3rd nut low.)

River: (5.75 BB) 33 of clubs (2 players)
UTG bets, UTG+1 raises, UTG calls

Final Pot: 9.75 BB
UTG shows JJ of spades 22 of spades KK of diamonds AA of diamonds (HI: Ace King high; LO: 7,4,3,2,A)
UTG+1 shows 55 of clubs TT of clubs AA of hearts AA of clubs (HI: a flush, Ace high; LO: 7,5,4,3,A)
UTG+1 wins 4.75 BB
UTG wins 4.625 BB
(Rake: $0.75)

According to ProPokerTools, I had about 33% equity in the pot on the flop. Still, calling a raise from UTG+1 with the betting still open is not that great a proposition. While I'm sure certain O8 players might say that my fold on the flop was a little tight, I still think I made the right play regardless of the actual results in the hand. Had the pot been bigger on the flop, I might have considered peeling one street to look for the non-diamond turn card. Then again, I would have folded my hand pre-flop to any raise. Crazy game...

Have a good one!

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