Bluffing with naked ace in pot-llimit Omaha



Bluffing with the nut-flush blocker in pot-limit Omaha can cost you a lot of money, especially against good players. Making your line look balanced and believable can be tricky.

In the seven-handed, $10-$20 game, I was in the big blind with {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} and $3,500. The action folded to the cutoff, a solid player, who opened to $80 with $4K behind. The button and I called. The flop came {5-Clubs}{4-Spades}{2-Clubs}, giving me the second nut straight. I led for $200, the cutoff called and the button folded. The turn was the {8-Clubs} giving me the nut-flush blocker. We checked. The river was the {10-Hearts}. I checked, he bet $250 and I check-raised to $800 and he folded.

PREFLOP: I opted not to three-bet my aces because I didn’t want to give away the strength of my hand. I was out of position, the aces weren’t suited and the stack sizes were a little too deep. Calling balances my range and I can rep a lot of hands on paired boards while holding showdown value.

FLOP: I bet out because we were so deep and I wanted to see where I was while not giving free cards. You could argue there are reverse implied odds with this line, but because I have the naked {a-Clubs}, it gives me a lot of ghost outs to make effective moves on later streets.

TURN: With the {8-Clubs}, Plan B is set into action. Assuming my opponents’ range included a flush draw or open-ended straight, he made his hand and chances are a bet wouldn’t get him to fold. While his flop range includes two-pair hands, I don’t need to protect my equity since I’m a big favorite. Checking is the right play because check-raising my naked {a-Clubs} makes my line look believable and I can win right there. Also, this is a smart player; he could be floating me pretty light to take a stab on the turn, which brings even more value into play for my line.

This is a pretty complex turn, though the action went check-check. If my opponent decided to bet the turn, the chances of him bluffing are good. He wouldn’t need to protect his bad flush’s equity against a straight and it’s unlikely he would want to be building a pot without the nuts because my range includes the nut-flush draw since I called preflop out of position and led the flop with a deep stack.

RIVER: Showdown equity and a smallish pot make checking the right play. If my opponent checks, there’s a chance I could win the pot. Since he bet $250, he opened up a believable line for me to take.

Though I’m turning a made hand into a bluff, it’s the optimal play. If my opponent has a bigger straight or a bad flush, the chances of him folding are pretty high in this spot. I showed my bluff because I plan to make the same play again with the nuts. It’s all about balancing your range when you’re always playing with the same guys. Keep ’em guessing.

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine