Friday, January 13, 2012

What is it about the last hand?

I'm trying to get more Omaha into the weekly cash game, but some players aren't thrilled with the idea. So this week, I halved the stakes down to .50/.50 blinds in an attempt to let the less experienced play around with smaller dollar amounts. We got a nice full table alternating orbits of Omaha and Holdem.

I didn't play particularly well. I flopped middle set and then call/call/called to the river, letting a guy with a monster wrap hit his straight. I don't think a raise anywhere would have gotten this hand to fold, so the calls on flop and turn were ok, but the river call was weak, and I paid off an obviously better hand.

Later in the night, I made a bad fold with the nut flush, on a paired board. My opponent was talking up a storm and happy and making speeches - I thought he had the boat. He proudly showed complete air.

I was up 40 blinds or so on the last hand of the night - an Omaha hand. I followed a couple limpers with a mediocre Ten-Eight-Eight-Seven - not a hand to write home about, but our collective Omaha game is usually weak-tight (myself included) and I figured I would see a flop.

Tony was having none of it. He raised the pot up to $15 - a ridiculous overbet into a $2.50 pot (we were officially playing NO limit Omaha, mostly out of laziness of not wanting to keep count of the pot). Everyone folded back to me. I took an extra second to think things through. Tony was stuck on the night and tends to change his play based on his status on the evening. He also makes 2 or 3 aggressive plays every night without regard to opponent or cards, maintaining just enough of an image to keep people guessing.

I was guessing here. I felt like this was a move. I checked his stack - he was losing on the evening as I mentioned, and had only $27 behind after his $15 bet. Would a limp-reraise-all-in get him to fold some of the time? Or would he decide to gamble it up?

"I'll put you all in" I declared. Tony called before I could put the period on the sentence, and flipped over ace-ace-ten-three.

Alllll-righty then.

He outplayed me on this one. My reasoning was pretty good, but he was guiding my reasoning with a perfect, well-timed, out-leveling play. Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you.

And sometimes, the bear gets you but you suck out with an eight on the flop and win anyway.

I have come a long way with my emotional state in live play - at least in my own home game. I was irritated about being outplayed (the true long-term outcome of the hand), and not really pleased in any way about sucking out and winning the hand. The suckouts will happen, both for and against me. (if I'm a good player, I should get sucked on far more often than the other way around, because I should be getting my money in good more often). Emotional state is an even more important facet of Omaha - a game with bigger pots, bigger swings, more frequent swaps from nuts to garbage with a turn of a card. The rollercoaster never stops.

1 comment:

Bumstead said...

Omaha can be quite a ride. We mix PL Omaha (hi) and PL Omaha 8 tournaments into our league play. Everybody loves those tournaments but they can really swing chips quickly. Our league starts its 5th season Saturday. Can't wait. Thanks for the post!