A few days ago, I paused going to any live poker games as part of a “social distancing” strategy necessitated by the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. It’s bad out there, people. If you don’t feel like you are over-reacting, you probably aren’t reacting strongly enough.
But I still have a couple hundred bucks in my Ignition Poker online account. Mostly I’ve been using that to get in some PLO experience at the lowest of the microstakes. And mostly doing OK. Until Wednesday night when I had a meltdown and lost several buy-ins.
I had been thinking about driving to Greensboro on Thursday for the ACC men’s basketball tournament. Duke would be playing at 2:30 pm. Tickets were available on StubHub as low as $7, and with people already withdrawing from crowds due to the coronavirus scare, surely it would be easy to move down to much better seats. But the remainder of the tournament and pretty much everything else was quickly canceled and I shifted to hermit mode.
Thursday night mentioned to a friend that I needed to move down to even lower microstakes after the Wednesday meltdown. His response? More or less “nah… move up instead. We might all be about to die anyway and you can’t take it with you!” And so I did.
On the fifth hand of my PLO session, I was in the big blind with a 6543 rundown. I going to go ahead and reveal the villains’ hands now, so we can enjoy this train wreck as it happens. I’m Player 1.
Player 2, who is UTG, has what appears to be one of the strongest starting hands in PLO –> AAKK with one suit. Player 3, in the small blind, has a fairly ordinary hand that looks tempting with three Broadway cards. My 6-high has the highest equity, however, at 41.55%. Notice how UTG and SB block each other’s Broadway and flush draws. Welcome to PLO!
With blinds of 10 and 25 (cents, that is!), UTG raises to 80. SB calls. Without knowing the exact equities, I like my hand. It has the kind of sneaky power that can make a well-disguised nutted hand, or be easy to dump on any unfavorable flop. Trips or even two pair can be a winner if UTG has a high pair and won’t let go easily. I call.
The flop is pretty close to what I was hoping for… rainbow with a 9-out draw to the nuts.
And very much what UTG was hoping for. Not only did he flop top set (AAA), he flopped second set too (KKK). He has two quad draws! Have you ever seen that?
And not obviously terrible for SB either, with a Broadway draw and the appearance of some additional equity with top pair.
SB and I both check and UTG bets again, this time a half-pot sized 120. With his monster flop, he doesn’t want to chase off his customers.
SB calls, and I call as well. Any 3, 4 or 5 will give me the nuts… which comes on the turn, while also bringing a diamond flush draw into play.
After SB checks, I check again. Right on cue, UTG bets 500, a full pot-sized bet. Not only does he now have two quad draws, he’s also picked up a nut flush draw. While I don’t know that yet, I can tell that he likes his hand. He should like his hand, with as many as 17 outs that would give him a nut flush, full house or quads. Besides, what kind of PLO dumbass would call a pre-flop raise from one of the blinds with both a three and a five?
SB calls again. At this point, it looks more to me like perhaps UTG has flopped a set of aces and SB a set of kings. In reality, SB also picked up a flush draw, which may look to him like he gained some equity to go along with a Broadway straight draw. Little does he know that it is he, not me, who is the PLO dumbass.
This seems like the right moment to stick it all in and both of them call rather quickly. Yeeee-hah!
The three of spades on the river cemented my position with the nuts for the triple up.
I only wish I could be a fly on the wall wherever UTG was sitting, to listen as he checked the hand history to find out what happened.
His double quad draw is no match when I’m playing 6-high like a boss!
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