Wednesday, August 10, 2005

PLO and PLO8 Theories

Recently I've been reading a lot about PLO and PLO8 cash games. I did my little, baby experiment awhile back and was turned off by having to table hop so much.

Ribbo from Two Plus Two turned me on to Party and his site. While I still haven't made the move to Party, I did go through his site with a fine tooth comb and read every word. I am very impressed by writers who can "walk" a reader through a hand.

I have also gone through Greg's O8 site a second time, and am still working on it.

I retrieved my Ciaffone Omaha book from the dusty bookshelf. I set my mind into a pot-limit mentality and read some Zee that I knew would translate over, with minor adjustments.

I hopped back into the saddle again, with a slightly more educated view of pot-limit, and an adjusted strategy, although by no means experienced in the slightest.

What prompted this post, however, was a little experiment that happened accidentally. As I was reading posts, websites and playing the micro-blind PLO and PLO8, I was thinking deeply about the aggressiveness factor in this game compared to limit, and compared to my earlier belief that it is somewhat like a spread-limit Stud game (suck them in and trap them), rather than trying to bet them out of the pot.

I could see that turning up the aggression worked in many more cases than I'd previously assumed. I started ramping up a little bit to see where it would lead (although by no means would I be considered an aggressive player, if PT followed my play).

While pondering these theories, Glenn accidentally stumbled into a small experiment. After I'd gone to sleep, he played for a few hours under my nickname on the sites I have regularly played (UB, FTP). He played a much more aggressive game, in both PLO and PLO8. He didn't lure anyone in and snag them, but raised and reraised a lot more with premium hands pre-flop.

His results were negative, and he lost every session. While this is by no means any type of long term (or even short term) conclusion, I did find it interesting.

My results have been a steady, if small, profit almost every session. If I'd played more aggressively, I believe I could have made quite a bit more per hour. My losing sessions would have been greater, too, but my winning sessions would have more than made up for the losers.

So what is my point? Well, this small experiment begs the question: If a player makes the transition from LO8 to PLO8 and PLO, is it better for him to play more cautiously and tight in the beginning, booking small wins, then gradually open his game once he has some experience under his belt? Or is it better for him to immediately jump into a more aggressive mode, although he has no experience in pot-limit games, knowing he is going to lose a few buy-ins before he can adjust to the type of post flop play required in pot-limit?

My first instinct is to say that he should be more cautious. He should gradually open up, but then, that has been the biggest thorn in my side when it comes to Stud games. Since I began poker playing tiny, spread-limit Stud games, I learned to be crafty, to lure and trap them, then keep raising and reraising when they were successfully snared. After years of playing spread limit, I have had trouble adjusting to tourneys and fixed limit, although that is virtually all I play these days. My previous correct strategy has been so ingrained that I have a hard time adjusting, and my learning curve has been lengthened out to preposterous proportions.

So naturally I don't want the same thing to happen to me playing pot-limit. I don't want to have the mental enforcement that tight, trapping works, so why fix what isn't broken. Yet the constant wins are nice, too.

Interesting dilemma (at least, to me). I am interested in what others think.

Felicia :)
(Here are the meager results of the little, accidental experiment):

1 hour; FTP; .05/.10 blind PLO; -7.80
30 mins; UB; .01/.02 blind PLO; -.80
1 hour; FTP; .05/.10 blind PLO8; -1.65
30 mins; FTP; .05/.10 blind PLO8; +2.50
60 mins; FTP; .05/.10 blind PLO; -1.00
30 mins; FTP; .05/.10 blind PLO8; +2.50
60 mins; FTP; .05/.10 blind PLO8; +2.00
30 mins; FTP; .05/.10 blind PLO8; +8.00
60 mins; Stars; .01/.02 blind PLO; +2.00
60 mins; Stars; .01/.02 blind PLO; +1.00
120 mins; UB; .01/.02 blind PLO; +0.00
30 mins; UB; .01/.02 blind PLO8; +.50