When I tell people I play online poker for a living they often ask me where my edge comes from. After all you can’t see your opponents and get a read off them, right? Lol, well anyways when moving from 2/4 to 5/10 plo I think the main difference is the caliber of regulars that you are going to be tangling with. Below is a list of things I’ve compiled that separate the okay players from the good/great ones of PLO. It’s also where I think a lot of my edge comes from and where I was giving up a lot of money to the better regs when first moving up. Everyone is making money off the donks, but if you can’t do your best to at least breakeven against the regs you are never going to succeed at this game. So without further adiu, good PLO players…

3bet wide (If someone is only 3 betting AAxx this is 2.5% of all PLO hands, they will be extremely predictable and easy to play postflop when you know exactly what someone has. In addition, they are missing out on a ton of value by not pushing other preflop equity to set their opponents up to make big mistakes in 3 bet pots later)

don’t call off their chips drawing dead (This might seem obvious and most people think plo is all flips but you would be surprised how often this happens. Consider underflushes and underfulls. You would be surprised how often villains check/call three streets with a flopped 6high flush on a AKJ monotone board, or check/call or check/raise a 669 board with a hand like 4567 and you stack them with 69xx or 99xx and they were drawing dead the whole time. Incidentally, if villains are half decent and capable of folding these types of hands they create great spots to triple barrel bluff on because people are check/raising the nuts on the flop usually and check/calling weaker hands that can’t stand three barrels.)

don’t always pot it with the nuts (From most players the river pot bet is going to be the nuts like 90% of the time. There’s no reason to bet this large, you might as well bet smaller and give your opponent better odds to call and give yourself better odds to bluff in the future.)

raise less than pot on flop to get called by worse (I remember a hand I played against a 5/10 reg where I bet a T72 board with A2KQ or something like that and he raised me less than 3x my bet. It’s a spot where I would have just folded if he potted it, and it’s still the correct play even with his bet sizing, but because it was smaller raise I thought, oh he’s just doing this with a weak overpair, weak ten, weak two pair,draw or whatever I can call and improve and stack him. Well I ended up calling, hitting my two pair with a King on the turn and getting it in vs his set. The important point is he induced my bad flop peel with bottom pair and overs with his small raise sizing and if he would have potted it like most bad players do, I would have folded and he wouldn’t have won my stack.)

raise the flop with less than the nuts (You would be surprised how often some players are literally only checkraising the nuts and nothing else. I mean on a K94r board their check/raising range is literally KKxx and on a T67 board its 89xx and that’s it. Well, its very easy to read and play against and you need to be mixing in some check/raise bluffs from time to time or some thinish check/raises vs people who cbet too much)
-are capable of bluffing (Again this might seem obvious, but there are players who literally snap check back the river when they miss their draw and don’t even consider bluffing. It’s very easy to make a note on these players and adjust accordingly. While plo is a game of drawing to the nuts, you need to be bluffing from time to time)

don’t always raise with the nuts, call with it sometimes (Consider a KT9 two spade board where I lead out with AQ of spades and get raised pot. It’s a spot I can peel and then lead any spade, K,J,T, or 9 turn. This is like 20 cards, I dunno the exact # you count them yourself, but suffice it to say that it’s definitely profitable spot for me to be calling your raise even though you have the nuts. You need to be calling here some % of the time so you don’t turn your hand completely face up.)

don’t cbet 90% of the time (I can just bluffraise you a ton and you never get any free cards when you have the worst hand and get check/raised.)

valuebet thinly (Checkraising the K high flush on the river for example where most people are afraid to do it without the Ace high flush definitely makes you way harder to play against. Most just bet or check/call here.)

barrel in position (How often does someone check/call an 886 board with 8xxx vs a hand like QQxx. How often is he folding the turn or river with QQxx? Good players take advantage of this.)

Well that’s about all I have for strategy for today. Hopefully you learned something and if you did hopefully you don’t play in my games. In case you haven’t noticed by now I’ve also entered into a very, very, very small partnership with pacific poker. If you haven’t checked them out before you can play some 888 poker tournaments. Unfortunately they don’t accept US customers as real money players, but they do have some cool features like sports betting and backgammon which may be worth checking out. Be good, and good luck!


5 Responses to “What makes a good PLO player?”

  1. I think your list above shows why I am a PLO doinkey and don’t beat the regulars!

  2. […] as you will not know what constitutes being a good player but Andr3w321wrote a good piece on “What makes a good PLO player” Needless to say after reading the points, it confirmed what I already knew and that is that […]

  3. […] as you will not know what constitutes being a good player but Andr3w321wrote a good piece on “What makes a good PLO player” Needless to say after reading the points, it confirmed what I already knew and that is that […]

  4. […] thinking a lot about how I can improve my blog and create value for readers who come here. After my What Makes a Good PLO Player? post got such positive feedback I’ve decided I will be writing one poker strategy article per […]

  5. […] you haven’t checked out my What makes a good PLO player? article yet I suggest you read that before continuing. There’s lots of PLO leaks that are […]

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