While I was playing in a PLO game in Tunica, Mississippi, the following hand came up. The blinds were $25-$50, and I called $50 with K-K-7-4 in PI. P2 called, and then P3 raised the size of the pot ($25SB + $50BB + $50me + $50P2 + $50P3 = $225), making it $275 to go. (SB is the small blind, BB the big blind.) The button, small blind, big blind, I (PI), and P2 all called the $275. With six players putting in $275 each, the pot had $1,650 in it already, and we hadn’t even seen the flop yet. With a flop of 0-0-0, 1 was a very happy camper. I had flopped the best possible hand! Now BB bet out $1,650, and I said, “Raise it the pot.” The math is easy because after calling the BB’s $1,650 bet, I could raise 3 x $1,650 more. So I called $1,650 and raised it $4,950, making it $6,600 to call me. By betting the maximum here, I was trying to protect my very strong hand with a very strong bet.
Now P2 said, “I’m all-in for $12,000.” I thought, “Fantastic! He has three tens, and I have him in bad shape this hand.” The action got back to the BB bettor, and he began to study for quite some time. Now it seemed to me that the BB player had the three tens. What the heck was going on here? Finally, the BB folded his hand, and then I quickly called the $12,000 bet. I proudly flipped my hand up, saying, “I have the best possible hand.” P2 responded, “OK, but you’re an underdog to win the pot.” What? How could this be so? He then proceeded to flip up his hand, 0 49 42 “0 • He had noPPed tne best possible flush draw and needed a nine, jack, queen, or ace to make a straight. Indeed he was the favorite to win this hand, but it was pretty close. If the board paired, then he couldn’t win because I would make a full house or four kings. But if the board didn’t pair, and a diamond, a nine, jack, queen, or ace came, then I would lose the pot.
I said, “Do you want to just deal the cards, or make a save so that we don’t leave $26,000 to chance?” He said, “I’ll split the pot with you.” I said, “Let’s just deal one card and then we’ll talk” because I was thinking or hoping that the board would pair right away. He said, “Split the pot or deal both cards, final offer.” I said, “OK, we’ll split it, then.” They did deal out the cards for posterity, and the first card was the harmless 0, but the last card was 0, which would have made P2 the best possible hand (the ace high flush). Good split, Phil, you just saved $13K!
Omaha, in all its variations, is a game of great skill. I will teach you basic, intermediate, and some advanced strategies for both PLO and 08B in Chapters 9 and 10.