Anything But Hold Em

There\’s More to Poker Than Texas Hold Em

Playing a Maniac in PLO

Posted by pmpoker on April 5, 2007

Mark at Plan3t Gong writes:

The table was 6-max and soon what could only be described as a mainiac of maniacs joined. Now Omaha gets a fair share of raise every hand pre / bet pot on any flop types – but this guy was amazing!!! He followed up with a pot on the turn and another on the river… every time.

After picking up pot after pot after pot he went from $50 to about $120 very quickly, still no let up… there were a couple of additional factors to note. If raised he would usually call a small bet but check / fold the next street with nothing, if raised pre flop he would usually mini-reraise but shut down if he missed the flop.

Now I love cheap flops in PLO but none were available – so time for some serious strategy adjustments. Being seated to the maniacs left was an advangage here but it was a case of going into calling mode with ‘reasonable’ holdings, playing the kind of hands that would not be good enough for a raise in themselves but good enough to hit a flop hard on the odd occasion, think A6Q9 single suited to the A for example.

This meant throwing away a lot of draws after the pot bet on the flop but all worked out on the couple of occasions a flop hit me hard… after that it was a matter of calling the flop and turn pot bets and reraising on the river of required to get the last $ in. All good and a tidy profit for me when the guy eventually went broke.

The biggest pot I have ever won was at a pot-limit omaha table with a maniac who was driving the action so that the average pot was larger than the maximum buy-in. And I called his big bet on the river with a jack-high flush. I had early lost a sizeable pot to him with a ten-high flush to his jack-high flush, but I more than got it back. Since then, I’ve mostly quit playing big-bet poker, but the basic strategy in playing against a maniac or an over-aggressive player remains the same: you check-call them to death. (See the chapter on Heads-Up Theory in The Making of a Poker Player by Matt Matros.)

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