Friday, September 18, 2009

WCOOP Pot Limit Omaha/8 (gambling)

I didn't play well in the Full Tilt FTOPS PLO8 tournament last month, but yesterday I tried again in the Pokerstars WCOOP PLO8 tournament. The entry was 300+20, and there were a total of 1567 entrants. Pokerstars guaranteed a 500k prize pool, so that was a little extra up for grabs.

I played pretty well to start, and was well above average in chips as we got to about 300 people left. 234 made the money. Then, a few interesting hands came.

I held K♠QJT in the cutoff and flat called an early position raise. The button raised pot and I decided to call. When I have enough chips behind, I like to play a lot of hands like these, although I don't tend to raise with them. If the flop is bad it's easy for me to get away from the hand, while if I hit the flop it will probably be a scoop hand rather than a split pot. The flop came ♠JJ♠8 and I bet out putting the other player all-in. The other player called showing ♠A♠T4A. The turn and river were ♠64 so I took a hit to my stack.

Shortly afterward, I held A6♠Q♠2 from the button and called a middle position raise. The flop came Q84 and it was checked to me so I bet 2/3 of the pot. The preflop raiser check raised all in and I called as he showed ♠A325. Equity-wise, we were exactly even 50-50 when I ran this through an odds calculator. The turn and river came ♠3T so I was quartered and now had below the average stack.

Still with a below-average stack, I held ♠A♠2Q5 in the small blind. This is a very strong hand so when the cutoff raised and it was on me, I can see many players reraising here. However, I didn't want to risk my tournament here so close to the money and so I just flat called. The flop came 82♠6 and I check folded.

We had all just made the money when I held ♠A♠2♠34 in the big blind. The small blind raised and this is another hand that I see a lot of people raising and reraising too aggressively with. Yes it's a very nice hand, but wouldn't you want the option of not being pot committed when the flop comes KK5? So I call with position. The flop comes AA6 and it's checked to me so I bet a little more than half the pot. The preflop raiser calls and the turn comes Q. He now bets out for about half the pot. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I have the nut low draws as well so I flat call. The river comes the ♠T and it goes check to me. Figuring that I won't be called by any hand that I can beat, I check it down. I win the pot as the small blind shows ♠K♠456. Since we were already in the money, there's a lot to be said for him going for an all-in bluff on the river, since he took the aggression on the turn. It would be a tough call for me.

A few hands later, I get it all in preflop with ♠A♠QA7 against AK52 and double up to a sizeable stack. Now I have more flexibility in my play. This allows me to later limp ♠A♠89J under the gun, and call a raise from the button. The flop comes ♠TQT and I check raise the button's continuation bet as a semi-bluff and take it down.

I get it all in preflop with ♠K♠4A5 against ♠A♠9A8. It might look like a really bad spot for me, but equity-wise, I'm only down 46-54. In fact, if he had the 9 instead of the ♠9 (in late stages of tournaments I find most will play AAxx extremely aggressively regardless of the other two cards) it would be 50-50. We split the pot.

The last big hand of interest I held was ♠A♠5AQ. I was on the button and reraised an early position raise. The flop is 976 which looks really ugly for my hand, but we're both pot committed so I put him all in. He shows AKK2. I was a 56-44 favorite preflop, but became a 39-61 dog after the flop. Either way we were both pot committed, and I ended up losing this whole pot when the flush came on the turn. I did not really have enough chips or cards left after this cooler and limped my way through two more prize levels. In the end, I finished 66th after 9.5 hours of play, getting back 1075 for my 320 entry. I frequently make it this far in these tournaments, but still haven't been able to break through to a final table.

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