PLO pf play
These are general thoughts about pf play in PLO from a noob who's converting from NLHE. I've put in about 45k hands at micro now (almost all at 6max) and watched some vids, and thought it'd help me to write out what my current thinking is. A lot of these thoughts specifically compare/contrast what I think the "correct" NLHE concept is vs. the "correct" PLO concept, since I think alot of what I'm challenged by in PLO is a set of preconceptions I have from NLHE.
I appreciate corrections/comments/additional suggestions!
- Everyone puts this first, so I'm going w the flow. But postflop play in PLO is so much about having position that it has to inform pf decisions. So, a couple of things about position:
a. Completing from the small blind is a leak, just like completing A rag or small pairs in the sb in NLHE. If you complete a raggy hand in PLO, you're going to be forced to c/f most flops, and worse if you catch a piece of the board, you're going to c/c or b/f the flop, and if you get to the turn you're going to c/f the turn. If you do happen to hit the flop, you're going to have problems extracting value from the hand (just like in NLHE).
b. EP opens need to be strong, and calling open raises from BB need to be relatively strong - see a. above.
c. Our LP range can be really really wide - we can make frequent stabs at small/medium pots that get checked around to us. Anyone who's c/c'ing the flop is generally drawing or has a weak made hand (overpair, top pair), and anyone who c/r's the flop is generally showing up w a monster.
2. Opening the pot
- In general, open the pot w a raise - initiative is still important in PLO, but is not as much of a factor postflop as in NLHE - there are many boards that we'll open raise and c/f or check behind as pfr because they're too dangerous to cbet. But open limping is bad in PLO just like in NLHE. Overlimping, though, is not a leak in PLO the way it is in NLHE. FE in PLO is very poor because hand values run so close together in PLO (and because PLO players call too much pf). Seeing a flop w a good hand ip cheaply is a good thing, and bloating the pot w very little FE pf w a good hand is a leak.
- Why do we 3bet in NLHE? For value when we have a strong hand, for value when we think we're ahead of Villain's range, for FE, to isolate, and obv for image.
First off, in PLO, 3bets have very little FE cuz hand ranges run so close together and cuz people call pf w marginal holdings (micro stakes, but from vids I believe this is the case up through small stakes as well).
Isolating and 3betting when we think we're ahead of Villain's range have value in PLO, say when you're on BTN vs. a CO open, but trying to isolate over multiple limpers does not.
In PLO, we obv 3bet for value when we have a strong hand. But what's a strong hand when equities run so close together and 3betting has little FE? Strong hands are those that will flop well. What hands flop well? Highly coordinated hands, specificaly suited rundowns and suited AAxx/KKxx. Pairs suck, though coordinated pairs have value (JJT9ss for example).
In PLO, having a very small 3bet range is an immediate tipoff that you're only 3betting AAxx. Against regs, this is a problem, since your hand is face up. For this image purpose alone it's important to have other hands in your 3betting range - but we shouldn't stray too far from those very solid hands (except against really bad players who we know fold a lot to 3bets and/or fold a lot to cbets).
4. Calling 3bets
- If villain is almost certainly 3betting AAxx, we'd first like to know if he'll fold postflop - a player who gets it all in w an overpair is a goldmine and is spewing implied odds
. Setmining and calling w strong rundowns is good. If villain's range is wider, we can 4bet our strong rundowns. Setmining loses some of it's value against players who will fold AAxx and/or have wider 3betting ranges, so calling w pairs that aren't coordinated (i.e., JJT9ss) isn't as profitable.
5. Villain types and table dynamics
- Obv we can be more aggressive against villains who play very poorly postflop (by poorly I mean either they can't hand read or they're so predictable postflop that their hands are face up). Need to pay attention to ss's when opening just as in NLHE (they can bloat the pot and force a premature decision point just like in NLHE). Need to pay attention to everyone's stack sizes in determining whether to enter the pot just like in NLHE - but because of the pot limit restriction on betsizing, we need to pay attention very specifically to how many psb's remain in effective stacks in order to manage risk - pf open raise sizes will change that dynamic in a hurry. Need to pay attention to how passive/agg players are postflop - passive players are easy to play against postflop, but bloating the pot pf against an agg player is a tricky proposition postflop (and we really want position on the agg player postflop).
6. Open raise sizing
- This is something I'm just starting to play w. I've been using pot open raises, but this is a prob against ss's (for the same reasons it's a prob against NLHE ss's). But it's also a pot management exercise - open raising psb limits your ability to make plays postflop if you have 100bb's effective. Vanessa Selbst makes this point explicitly, but bluntly I haven't had much success w less than psb open raises to this point.