Omaha Holdem Vulnerability and Weak Combinations. The 1st part
As I’ve already mentioned, online I often find myself at low-limit Omaha tables only because I usually play in small poker rooms, less choked up than major sites. Besides that I can play there with absolutely different players from careful amateurs, which seldom take part in tournaments, to complete losers and beginners, which are going to give me all their money. It’s a constant source of income, maybe not so big as you’ve imagined but of low risk for limited budget. This is the right game for most players who can’t fight variance at higher limits.
This week I remembered situations really advantageous for a player involved in them and really costly for those who make a mistake. Perhaps I’ll share with you some of my observations and gibe you some secret pieces of advice for Omaha high.
No doubt that one of Omaha holdem greatest advantages is that most players at the table happened to be there by accident having spent their time playing mostly Texas holdem. It can be seen when they show their cards at the end. The fact that with such hands they go to the river shows complete lack of understanding the initial game.
Thus you can see that these players will call with weak hands until the very showdown and even if you want to hear pass having gone bankroll on the turn with unfinished hand – you will get nothing but call.
Analyzing my own game I can say that opponents rarely can read my cards; it can happen only when I have a high chance to win or when I can make a cheap call at the end of a game in spite of high possibility to lose. You’ll be surprised how often your opponent’s small bet signals about his weakness. As if he says: “Hm, I have almost nothing but if I check I’ll give up. At the same time if I go bankroll it is likely that I’ll be called and will lose a lot of money, so I would rather make a small bet and hope for my opponent to pass.”
Today I found myself at the very situation. A player in late position played pot reraise in preflop and a player in early position, who raised first, called. The reraiser might have had A-A-x-x but we can’t be sure. There came a patched flop which as it seemed didn’t impress any of them so they both checked (either of them could have played slow). Anyway initiative passed to the player in early position who expected to get a high bet on the flop from an opponent in a better position.
The turn also turned in two checks. On the river there came another king, the player in early position thought it over for some time and then made a small bet something like 20% of the pot. I said to myself that his opponent should call. It is cheap and tempting: either the guy has a king and tries to collect the bet or he has almost nothing but he risks a high sum of money to take the pot. If you have A-A-x-x it is a reasonable call with pot odds 6 to 1, especially taking into account that players at these limits are used to bet the pot on the river in case of buying set or full house.
The player passed and his opponent proudly opened his unfinished draw. The loser could have won if he had bet 1/6 of the pot.
I don’t know whether the passing player really had A-A-x-x or not. If so than his nerves failed him on the safe flop K-x-x. If he was really scared by the king at the end then this pass could really be the right thing to do if the call had not been so cheap. He gave up the pot six times higher than a price he had to pay to check his opponent’s honesty. I think it was a good price.
Interested? See the Second Part.