Your source for poker information, culture, and community
Views: 954 (Total: 2176)
Date Posted: May 20th, 2009 (1:44pm)

In addition to occasionally playing low stakes PLO, I enjoy railing the high stakes games.  It keeps me up to date on how the best cash game players in the world are doing.  Pot Limit Omaha is a game with a lot of inherent variance built into it, but at the high stakes, this only seems to be magnified by the aggressive styles played.  From an outsiders viewpoint, it can appear that these top players are making sub-optimal (read Donkey) moves.  My personal perspective is that it's a combination of factors that leads to this aggression and extreme variance.

 

1. Each player has tremendous confidence in their game.  If they have moved up through the ranks to play at the highest levels, they must feel they have an edge over most of their opponents.  At the highest stakes, this fearlessness often creates a game of chicken, of who will blink first.

 

2. While the players certainly know how to play ABC solid poker, they have learned that you have to give action to get action.  Your bluffing and thin value betting frequency has to increase to protect and create value for your strongest hands.  Because the player pool is so small, they have to vary their playing style to not seem predictable.

 

3.  The best players in the world are not immune to the psychological effects of winning and losing.  They can tilt and steam just like any player, but for much higher stakes.

 

Combining all these factors leads to some seemingly questionable plays.  I'll share 6 examples I collected last night from watching some of the high stakes action.  I'll let you be the judge if you feel they are standard or not.

 

Example 1 -  Heads up changes your hand values, but second pair and open ender draw seems very light to be reraising all in by Gus.

 

Full Tilt Poker:  Table durrrr (heads up, deep) - $500/$1000 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi
Seat 1: durrrr ($146,193)
Seat 2: Gus Hansen ($43,795.50)
Gus Hansen posts the small blind of $500
durrrr posts the big blind of $1,000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Gus Hansen raises to $3,000
durrrr raises to $9,000
Gus Hansen calls $6,000
*** FLOP *** [6d 9s 3c]
durrrr bets $18,000
Gus Hansen raises to $34,795.50, and is all in
durrrr calls $16,795.50
Gus Hansen shows [Jc 8s 7h 6h]
durrrr shows [Js Jd 3s Td]
*** TURN *** [6d 9s 3c] [6c]
*** RIVER *** [6d 9s 3c 6c] [8d]
durrrr shows two pair, Jacks and Sixes
Gus Hansen wins the pot ($87,590.50) with a full house, Sixes full of Eights

 

Example 2 - While Ivey's top and bottom pair on the flop isn't a lock, Durrr's all in push on the flop with the overpair and no draw seems more questionable.

 

Full Tilt Poker: Table Ivey Thunderdome (heads up) - $500/$1000 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi
Seat 1: Phil Ivey ($92,786.75)
Seat 2: durrrr ($340,097.10)
Phil Ivey posts the small blind of $500
durrrr posts the big blind of $1,000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Phil Ivey raises to $3,000
durrrr raises to $9,000
Phil Ivey calls $6,000
*** FLOP *** [4h 2s Kc]
durrrr bets $11,200
Phil Ivey raises to $42,000
durrrr raises to $144,000
Phil Ivey calls $41,786.75, and is all in
durrrr shows [Ac Td Tc Ad]
Phil Ivey shows [2d Ts Qs Ks]
Uncalled bet of $60,213.25 returned to durrrr
*** TURN *** [4h 2s Kc] [4c]
*** RIVER *** [4h 2s Kc 4c] [8h]
Phil Ivey shows two pair, Kings and Fours
durrrr wins the pot ($185,573) with two pair, Aces and Fours

Example 3 -  Playing a nut flush draw aggressively works for Durrrr this hand, but a naked nut flush draw is not a winning play normally.

Full Tilt Poker: Table durrrr (heads up, deep) - $500/$1000 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi
Seat 1: durrrr ($102,094.50)
Seat 2: Gus Hansen ($87,888.50)
durrrr posts the small blind of $500
Gus Hansen posts the big blind of $1,000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
durrrr raises to $3,000
Gus Hansen raises to $9,000
durrrr calls $6,000
*** FLOP *** [8c 7h Kh]
Gus Hansen bets $18,000
durrrr raises to $72,000
Gus Hansen raises to $78,888.50, and is all in
durrrr calls $6,888.50
Gus Hansen shows [5s 9d Ks Kc]
durrrr shows [4h 9s Ah 9h]
*** TURN *** [8c 7h Kh] [Jh]
*** RIVER *** [8c 7h Kh Jh] [2h]
Gus Hansen shows three of a kind, Kings
durrrr wins the pot ($175,776.50) with a flush, Ace high

Example 4 - Another questionable example of playing mediocre hands and draws aggressively.

Full Tilt Poker Game: Table Hansen Knockout (heads up) - $500/$1000 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi -
Seat 1: Gus Hansen ($39,592.50)
Seat 2: durrrr ($60,394.50)
durrrr posts the small blind of $500
Gus Hansen posts the big blind of $1,000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
durrrr raises to $3,000
Gus Hansen raises to $9,000
durrrr calls $6,000
*** FLOP *** [3c Qs Ac]
Gus Hansen bets $6,000
durrrr raises to $36,000
Gus Hansen calls $24,592.50, and is all in
durrrr shows [8s 7c 9c 3s]
Gus Hansen shows [Qd Jd Kc 2c]
Uncalled bet of $5,407.50 returned to durrrr
*** TURN *** [3c Qs Ac] [8c]
*** RIVER *** [3c Qs Ac 8c] [8d]
Gus Hansen shows a flush, Ace high
durrrr wins the pot ($79,184.50) with a full house, Eights full of Threes

Example 5 - An overpair is enough for Ivey to get his whole stack in on the flop.

Full Tilt Poker Game: Table Crazy Action (6 max, ante, deep) - $300/$600 Ante $100 - PLO Hi
Seat 1: Phil Ivey ($108,106.50)
Seat 3: MR B 2 U SON ($96,096), is sitting out
Seat 5: durrrr ($268,053)
Phil Ivey antes $100
durrrr antes $100
Phil Ivey posts the small blind of $300
durrrr posts the big blind of $600
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Phil Ivey raises to $2,000
durrrr raises to $6,200
Phil Ivey raises to $18,800
durrrr calls $12,600
*** FLOP *** [2s 5c 7h]
durrrr checks
Phil Ivey bets $37,800
durrrr raises to $151,200
Phil Ivey calls $51,406.50, and is all in
durrrr shows [Jc Kd 7d 5d]
Phil Ivey shows [Ks Kh 4h Qs]
Uncalled bet of $61,993.50 returned to durrrr
*** TURN *** [2s 5c 7h] [2d]
*** RIVER *** [2s 5c 7h 2d] [5h]
Phil Ivey shows two pair, Kings and Fives
durrrr wins the pot ($216,212.50) with a full house, Fives full of Sevens

Example 6 - Durrr's flop overcall with slight overpair and J high flush draw seems questionable with two all ins before him.

Full Tilt Poker Game #12304257306: Table Sandspring (ante, deep) - $300/$600 Ante $100 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 23:31:08 ET - 2009/05/18
Seat 2: Phil Ivey ($81,893)
Seat 3: HarrisMP ($35,300)
Seat 4: Patrik Antonius ($58,398)
Seat 5: Gus Hansen ($32,597)
Seat 6: MR B 2 U SON ($28,986)
Seat 8: durrrr ($308,433)
Phil Ivey antes $100
Patrik Antonius antes $100
durrrr antes $100
Gus Hansen antes $100
MR B 2 U SON antes $100
HarrisMP antes $100
Gus Hansen posts the small blind of $300
MR B 2 U SON posts the big blind of $600
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
durrrr has 15 seconds left to act
durrrr raises to $2,100
Phil Ivey calls $2,100
HarrisMP folds
Patrik Antonius folds
Gus Hansen raises to $9,600
MR B 2 U SON calls $9,000
durrrr calls $7,500
Phil Ivey calls $7,500
*** FLOP *** [8h 5h 3c]
Gus Hansen bets $22,897, and is all in
MR B 2 U SON calls $19,286, and is all in
durrrr raises to $126,977
Phil Ivey folds
durrrr shows [Qc 9h Jh 9d]
Gus Hansen shows [7h Ac Kh Tc]
MR B 2 U SON shows [3h Ks Qs Th]
Uncalled bet of $104,080 returned to durrrr
*** TURN *** [8h 5h 3c] [Td]
*** RIVER *** [8h 5h 3c Td] [Kd]
durrrr shows a pair of Nines
Gus Hansen wins the side pot ($7,222) with two pair, Kings and Tens
Gus Hansen ties for the main pot ($48,427.50) with two pair, Kings and Tens
MR B 2 U SON ties for the main pot ($48,427.50) with two pair, Kings and Tens
Avatar
JackDogWelch Added 5/22/09 11:23am
Let me rephrase... "a game of chicken, of who will bink first." Ha!
Please login to add a comment.
Rounded border

© Poker Curious LLC 2009 | All Rights Reserved. | User Agreement | Privacy Policy | Site Map