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Playing AAxx in early stages of PLO/NLO HL tourneys

    • acerbikas
      Joined: 03.01.2011 Posts: 231
      Good day,

      I currently generate most of my winnings playing PLO/NLO HL micro tourneys. The problem is I hit somewhat of an emotional downswing having lost around 80% of my AAxx hands in early stages of the game, forcing me out of the tourney every single time over the past month. The reason why I am approaching this topic is that I realized maybe it was not the fish stacking off light that was wrong, it was me not being able to get away from the allins with AAxx?

      Take the 'Stars 8.80 HL NLO Omania tourney for example. I played this tourney a maximum of 6-7 times over the past two-three weeks. 5 times I got out in the first 1-4 hands, every time with suited aces+low draw (AA4x, AA3x, AA5x). People are willing to stack off with right about anything, including A2xx.

      And today, I got A:diamond: A:spade: T:diamond: 3:spade: and got a 3bet in front of me which I gladly pot 4bet and eventually had two player ship into me, one with A:heart: A:club: 5:diamond: 6:diamond: and one with squadouche 4:spade: 2:spade: 2:diamond: 4:club: . Ofc, the third guy spiked a 4 on Q:diamond: 7:spade: 7:club: 4:heart: Q:heart: board.

      I have grown to learn how much the O8 format reduces the variance of the game (although when your opponents scoop the pot with 1-4% it grows to show how ridiculously f'ed up the equity calculations are), but I have not ingrained the pot controlling skills into myself where I potentially should try to.

      But should I actually force myself to change my approach to how these hands should be played? Should I write it off as variance and move on (which is terribly hard to do given how bad I am running at the moment)? Given the fact that AA3x vs A2xx is usually <60% v >40%, am I just flipping for the heck of it?

      P.S. Given how I have written this, you may get the impression I am the one usually doing the shoving. In NLO games I mostly get shoved on and even open shoved on. In PLO I get 3bet/4bet light which eventually leads to me stacking off.
  • 1 reply
    • Asaban
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 9,180
      First of all I am not a big PLO expert. However, I personally think that I have an edge in most midstakes PLO tournaments. I also played PLO cashgame tables for quite some time.

      With bringing in AAxx preflop, especially if double suited, you are sure doing nothing wrong. However, from what I experienced, your biggest edge should lie postflop when many players overestimate their holding. Especially on the low stakes you will get many high pots while two or even more other players split the low one. Easy profit.

      Therefore I would always try to play my hands postflop where you get way better chances of holding with your superior hand.

      In the end AAxx is a very vulnerable hand as long as it doesn't hit the set. Especially in multiway pots. By delaying the action to postflop spots you can equilate your chances more easily in most cases.

      I hope I was able to help.