You can’t ignore the pot odds, especially in Omaha

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I was playing in my regular $10-$20 PLO game at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond when this hand took place.

We were five-handed and everyone had stacks of around $4K-$5K. I was in the big blind with {q-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} and the action folded around to the small blind, a good player with whom I have a ton of history. He raised to $60 preflop and I called. The flop came {8-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{3-Spades}. He led $100 into me and I raised to $350, which he called. The turn was the {8-Hearts} pairing the board. He checked and I bet $600, which he again called. The river was the {8-Clubs} for a board of 8-4-3-8-8. He led $400 into a pot of roughly $2K and I folded. Then something happened. But before I tell you what that was, let’s break down the hand.

PREFLOP: The action was pretty standard. I have a double-suited hand in position, enough stack depth to make plays on most streets, and I can control the pot size. Easy call when he makes it $60 and I’m already in for $20.

FLOP: I flopped bottom set on {8-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{3-Spades} with $120 in the pot. A smart player leads $100 into me with the effective stack size being roughly $4K. I raised to $350 because I’m ahead in the hand and I don’t want this player to see a cheap turn in case he has marginal draws. Also, because of our previous history, my range is wide when I raise in position in this spot because I would definitely raise my drawing hands as well.

TURN: When he checked and I bet $600 into a pot of $800 on the turn, I’m not just betting for value. A big bet on a turn that pairs the board looks bluffy to most solid players in this spot. If I really have a boat, why would I bet out all of the draws that missed? Because of this dynamic, if he has an overpair such as A-A or K-K, he’s going to call a high percentage of the time.

RIVER: With the board reading 8-4-3-8-8, my full house diminished to eights full of threes, as opposed to threes full of eights. An eight or any pair bigger than mine wins. Since my opponent called my large turn bet, I’d say he has an eight or an overpair a high percentage of the time. Rarely would a solid player check-call $600 on the turn with just a drawing hand, since he could be drawing dead out of position in a sizeable pot. With $2K in the pot on the river my opponent bet $400 into me and I folded. How bad was my fold? Epic bad. I should have called because of the overwhelming pot odds. I didn’t think my opponent was capable of making a call on the turn with a pure drawing hand and no pair. I was wrong.

My mistake was forgetting that my bet-sizing on the turn was actually TRYING to induce a light call, and not just from overpairs. I got what I wanted and then choked.

After I mucked my opponent showed 4H-5S-6S-7D for the open-ended straight flush draw that missed. He took advantage of the fact that he made a bad turn call and used it against me.

I don’t play every hand perfectly, no one does. Well, maybe except Phil Hellmuth. But I make sure that when I do, make a mistake I try and learn from it.