Thursday, March 17, 2005

Just Ask WGPBE

Ron Burgundy: Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast!
Champ Kind: It jumped up a notch!
Ron Burgundy: It did, didn't it?
Brick Tamland: Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart!
Ron Burgundy: I saw that! Brick killed a guy! Did you throw a trident?
Brick Tamland: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident!
Ron Burgundy: Brick, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you're probably wanted for murder.
"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”

Before we get to anything else, a big shoot out goes to Sound of a Suckout who has organised the first Omaha 8 tournament through Noble Poker. Should be great, so head over to there and sign up through his links.

As this will be a real introduction to Omaha for most people, I suspect many will be reading up on the topic in the next few days. I’m sure there are some very good books out there with regards to starting hands and betting strategies, but for most people I think Omaha will be a secondary game. So I will give my “Totally Unqualified and hardly tested beginners guide to Omaha”. Take what you think is good, criticize me for what you think is bad. BTW, I have never played Omaha 8, only Omaha Hi so that is what this post concerns.

1. PRE FLOP - Most poor players fall very quickly into the trap of “I have four cards, anything could hit me!” and go from seeing 15% of flops in Holdem to literally 100% in Omaha. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that 100% flops seen= -EV. To make things easier, I think of it as I have twice as many Holdem hands, so I need twice as many options. Think of the hands you would see the flop with in Holdem, and now you must have two of them in your 6 holdem hands you have. 6 hands you say? Four cards in your hand (a,b,c and d) means you have 6 possible 2-card hands. AB, AC, AD, BC, BD and CD. This isn’t an ultimate strategy, but should be enough to give you a good start.
2. As an addition to the above, suited aces can be very beneficial in Omaha. For my “two hands” theory above, I count Ax suited as one.
3. POST FLOP – If there is a flush possible, some one has it. If there is a straight possible, some one has it. With so many cards, at this level there will be chasers, and when you have 3-4 chasers per hand, somebody is likely to hit.
4. Nine times out of ten, trips are no good. Two pair is obviously unlikely to win, and I have NEVER seen TPTK take a pot in Omaha. Bluffs are very rare.
5. Boats, Quads and even Straight-Flushes are more common, which is only natural being that more cards are in play. I have also seen a lot of, for example, sevens over tens get beaten by tens over sevens. Just because you have a full house doesn’t mean the pot is yours. Same goes for Ace-high flushes. Just be aware of this – as not only can it save you some cash when you just call your sevens full, it also helps a lot when you have the stone cold nuts and the guy across the table can’t move his chips into the middle fast enough.

That is probably the most strategy I have ever given out about poker. Like I said, I am by no means an expert, what I know about Omaha could fill a thimble. But my understanding is, that is a thimble more than some people so it all helps.

I have withdrawn my money from Poker Now, and now I am going to try to do as PSO recommends: Cancel my Party account and then re-join in 72 hours with their rake rebate. It’s funny though, when I emailed Party Poker about this, they said that no Party Poker skins have rake rebates, it is against their affiliate agreement. Hmm…I could think of one that did. Maybe this is why it is being withdrawn. Full marks to PSO though, they have handled this extremely well and no doubt the actions have caused them some grief and loss. I’m a big fan of PSO, they do great work and something for nothing is always welcome in my house.

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