Monday, July 11, 2005

The Little Game That Couldn't

Well, I'm always jumping the gun, aren't I? I come up with the latest and greatest thing for me, only to find out that I can't hang.

I should have named this blog "Felicia Can't Hang," long before Al came into the big scene. Then again, my reputation of always being a day late and a dollar short wouldn't hold water, if I had.

At any rate, I tend to watch poker trends carefully. I want to see what players are interested in, what is the latest thing that seems to be growing at a faster rate than anything else. Naturally NLHE is the king of poker, both tourneys and cash games, these days, but I look for other trends that are having an impact.

Many players who are extremely into poker seem to be playing a lot of Omaha these days. Pot-limit seems to be the limit of choice, and the big games are both Eight-or-better and High only. The most skilled players, or those who want to take advantage of the players who overrate their abilities, are playing lots of PLO.

It seems to be the cash game of choice, as well as the tourney of choice, for those who want to separate themselves from the all-in NLHE mentality.

I started investigating a couple of months ago. First I watched the live games at different venues. I watched the interest lists and cash games at Rio and Bellagio. I trolled around online watching the number of games and reading the forums. The sheer number of posts about PLO and PLO8 were increasing daily on 2+2. Hmmm.

Finally I took the plunge and decided to find a strategy to beat the online games, the softer games. I knew that the harder games were -EV (I just know this, by putting in a lot of time researching).

Anyway, I investigated both games, and found that my personal playing style was more suited to PLO8.

There are many reasons why this is so. First off, I'm a nut peddler. In O8, it's easy to sit around just peddling the nuts. Second, I know when to trash a hand post-flop. I don't have to keep pumping the pot just because I'm actually "in" a hand for once. Third, I get calls. I just do. Some people sit around playing as tight as a steel drum, yet still always get called. I'm one of them. And fourth, I am very patient. Stud has taught me to be more patient than almost any poker player I know. Stud taught me to be patient early in a hand, then set a trap and snare my prey later. Yes, this has both helped and hindered my poker progress.

So, I armed myself and jumped in. I played many hours for a few days.

Only to find out that cash PLO8 isn't for me.

No, I didn't lose. No big wins either, but I was able to double up many times at the lowest stakes.

Basically my problem is that I didn't like it enough to seek out good games. And that is the krux with PLO8. Good games are fleeting and sometimes tough to find. It is a situation of constantly hitting & running. Table selection is of utmost importance. Playing for hours got too frustrating for me, because I was constantly having to seek out good games, on different sites. A game would start out great, with over 75% seeing the flop, and large pots for the buy-in, then quickly become unplayable (like within 5-15 minutes).

I just didn't like the game enough to constantly table hop as well as site hop. I knew things would only get even more difficult as I moved up in stakes.

Oh, well. Another experiment down the drain.

Tourneys, however, might be a different story. Bad players cannot escape the table until they have lost their entire stack. They must play on until busted.

There are only a handful of PLO8 tourney online right now, but I intend to play in a few and see where that leads me.

For whatever reason, I can play thousands of hours of LO8 without going too crazy, but I can't just flit around the internet constantly looking for good PLO8 games. I'm a moron.

If anyone else is interested in this game, which is a true grind, but a good "sure thing" money maker, feel free to e-mail or IM me and I'll give you all of my research material. Maybe someone else can turn PLO8 into the next goldmine.

Felicia :)