(Nut Flush) squared

If you think you’ve seen it all, think again. You haven’t.

Last night I was playing a low stakes PLO game on one of the popular mobile poker apps. The blinds are $1 and $2, plus a $0.25 ante. In the big blind with a stack of 345 BBs, I peeked at A♠A♣3♠7♣

The UTG player straddles for $4. Alright, alright! Let’s have some action!

Everybody folds to the button, who makes a pot sized raise before I get all disappointed. For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Noah.” He has my stack covered. From prior games, I know that Noah likes action.

So I give him action, making a pot-sized re-raise to $57. Noah calls as I would expect with most or all of his range, given out deep stacks and his positional advantage. I haven’t figured out how to define or describe PLO pre-flop ranges. Many low-stakes PLO players have such high VPIPs and the number of possible combinations is so large (270,725 vs. Texas Hold’em’s 1,326 combos that can be quickly simplified into a grid with 169 squares) that even attempting to assign a pre-flop range is a daunting task.

The flop is K♠Q♣8♣. It occurs to me that this will be a good flop for part of his range, including a lot of combinations that include KKQQ, or 88, and wrap draws with hands like AJTx or JT9x. But this is too good to slow down. I bet pot again.

Noah raises pot. This shit just got real. Am I really willing to commit my entire stack with an over pair and nut flush draw? In PLO, 1-pair on the flop ain’t shit! I could be a supernit and fold, leaving more than my initial buyin on the table. If I call his raise, surely the rest will go in on the turn. If I re-raise, surely Noah will call. If both of use have the run-it-twice setting turned on, getting it in right now gives me an extra chance to realize my equity if behind.

I take the option of folding off the table and decide to get it all-in right away. I chose to sit at a PLO table and even in the worst imaginable case I’m far from drawing dead.

Noah calls, and much to my surprise he shows K♦J♣9♣6♣. At this $1/2 game, he put in $57 to be able to see a flop with this garbage, then put in about $630 more on the flop. “Hey Noah, there’s a leak in your Ark!” All of his flush draws are counterfeited, but he can still win with a non-club K, or a J, 9 or 6 to make 2-pair, a non-club T to make a straight, or the T♣ for a straight flush. That’s 15 outs, but if my hand also improves… Noah drowns (unless he makes the straight flush). [Blogger’s note: an earlier version of this post omitted the T♣ as one of Noah’s outs, a regrettably unforced error pointed out by a diligent commenter.]

The turn is 9♠, giving him 2-pair (dammit!). This flips the script. Now Noah has the lead and I have a slew of outs. Picking up a spade flush draw gains me nine new outs to go along four club flush outs, the remaining two aces, and any Q or 8 that will give me a better 2-pair, for a total of 21 outs.

The river is the 4♠, giving me the nut flush in spades.

We are running it twice, flipping the script back again to the flop where I’m ahead and Noah has many outs. The 2nd turn card is the 2♣, giving me the nut flush in clubs. Game, set, match!

TL;DR: I had double suited pocket aces in PLO, we run it twice, and I make BOTH of the nut flushes to scoop the pot. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

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