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PLO2 from rags to riches, follow up thread

  • 14 replies
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      First session went a bit longer than planned, about 2,5K hands. Project started with a heater:

      There are some thought that have risen up while playing PLO2, but I will keep them in my head for now. Don't want to make too quick conclusions yet.

      Here are some hands I marked from the session:

      Hero (BTN): 803 BB
      SB: 116 BB (VPIP: 32.00, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 9.09, Hands: 28)
      BB: 97 BB (VPIP: 40.00, PFR: 10.00, 3Bet Preflop: 13.33, Hands: 30)
      UTG: 101.5 BB (VPIP: 30.00, PFR: 13.16, 3Bet Preflop: 3.66, Hands: 193)
      MP: 100 BB (VPIP: 16.77, PFR: 11.64, 3Bet Preflop: 2.09, Hands: 517)
      CO: 209 BB (VPIP: 58.49, PFR: 22.64, 3Bet Preflop: 9.52, Hands: 53)

      SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 3:club: A:diamond: 8:diamond: A:club:

      fold, MP raises to 3 BB, CO calls 3 BB, Hero raises to 13.5 BB, SB calls 13 BB, fold, fold, CO calls 10.5 BB

      Flop: (44.5 BB, 3 players) Q:heart: Q:club: Q:spade:
      SB checks, CO bets 43 BB, Hero calls 43 BB, fold

      Kind of flop that is not that great. Hand is pretty much locked and it's really hard to get value from anyone. And then CO donks for a pot in 3bet pot, which didn't make ANY sense. I almost folded, but as I looked at his stats I thought that as he understands something about poker he is not a passive drawer. Plan was to call flop bet and if he shoves turn I would fold.

      Turn: (130.5 BB, 2 players) A:heart:
      CO checks, Hero checks

      When I saw turn I thought "for fuck's sake!" as it doesn't really change anything but mentally makes it harder to fold. And opponent might think that A on the board blocks my AA hands which is the most obvious hand in my range. Although when I call flop I have Q on my range too, so it's not a good spot for opponent to barrel. He checked, which didn't help me a lot as the river would have the exact same spot unless it's A or Q.

      River: (130.5 BB, 2 players) K:spade:
      CO bets 126 BB, Hero calls 126 BB

      When the river came, I said to myself "FOR FUCK'S SAKE!" as now the ONLY worse hand opponent might bet for value on the flop sucked out on me. And then opponent bets pot.

      First I was quite ready to fold. Then I thought why would he bet pot with KK, and maximize the folding equity vs. Aces. Or is he even capable of thinking like that. Or would he be ballsy enough to pot with air and assume I would fold? And then I thought that either flop or river bet doesn't make that much sense with Q, and if I had Q myself I would bet something on the turn. So I am at the top of my range. To fold that, I would need pretty hard evidence that opponent isn't bluffing there. And all evidence leads to the fact that there's something fishy going on. So I call.

      CO shows 2:heart: 6:spade: 3:heart: 3:diamond: (Full House, Queens full of Threes)
      (Pre 28%, Flop 0%, Turn 0%)
      Hero shows 3:club: A:diamond: 8:diamond: A:club: (Full House, Aces full of Queens)
      (Pre 72%, Flop 100%, Turn 100%)
      Hero wins 370 BB


      Hero (BTN): 193 BB
      SB: 159.5 BB (VPIP: 41.80, PFR: 15.59, 3Bet Preflop: 1.14, Hands: 1,379)
      BB: 135.5 BB (VPIP: 28.17, PFR: 17.06, 3Bet Preflop: 11.22, Hands: 253)
      UTG: 247 BB (VPIP: 32.92, PFR: 19.62, 3Bet Preflop: 1.84, Hands: 908)
      MP: 60 BB (VPIP: 26.80, PFR: 13.07, 3Bet Preflop: 8.96, Hands: 154)
      CO: 217 BB (VPIP: 23.89, PFR: 14.44, 3Bet Preflop: 4.11, Hands: 365)

      SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 5:diamond: A:club: 8:club: T:heart:

      fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 3.5 BB, SB calls 3 BB, fold

      Flop: (8 BB, 2 players) 9:spade: 6:spade: 8:diamond:
      SB checks, Hero checks

      Here I checked, not enough folding equity on that board. On some turns we can valuebet, some we can check and some we can bluff.

      Turn: (8 BB, 2 players) 4:club:
      SB bets 4 BB, Hero calls 4 BB

      57 gets there, but we have one 5 ourselves. Sizing is the interesting here. Often half a pot on this kind of board is sort of "I am not sure what to do so I bet half a pot". If he had T7 or 75 (we block both) he would often bet bigger. So I called with plan to bluff a lot of rivers if his sizing looks weak and I don't improve.

      River: (16 BB, 2 players) 2:heart:
      SB bets 8 BB, Hero raises to 26 BB, fold

      River is a blank, and he bets half a pot again. Now the funny part is that as I raise, I pretty much rep nothing. If I had T7, I would have bet the flop or raised the turn. If I don't raise turn with 75 why would I do it on the river? So against a good thinking player this raise would be suicidal. Here the opponent is a bit loose and passive, and his betsizing tells me that he isn't on very high level of poker strategy and thinking. So when he faces a raise, he probably just thinks "I can't call with this hand" without ever thinking about my hand. Because he doesn't really understand range thinking.

      Hero wins 31 BB


      BTN: 40 BB (VPIP: 100.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1)
      SB: 156.5 BB (VPIP: 15.89, PFR: 9.51, 3Bet Preflop: 3.66, Hands: 1,011)
      BB: 105 BB (VPIP: 14.37, PFR: 11.49, 3Bet Preflop: 4.69, Hands: 177)
      Hero (UTG): 243 BB
      MP: 202 BB (VPIP: 28.03, PFR: 13.64, 3Bet Preflop: 8.33, Hands: 133)
      CO: 140.5 BB (VPIP: 38.83, PFR: 12.77, 3Bet Preflop: 1.45, Hands: 191)

      SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 6:spade: 8:diamond: 5:club: 9:club:

      Hero raises to 2 BB, MP calls 2 BB, CO calls 2 BB, fold, SB calls 1.5 BB, BB calls 1 BB

      Flop: (10 BB, 5 players) 3:club: 4:club: 7:spade:
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets 1 BB, fold, CO calls 1 BB, SB calls 1 BB, BB calls 1 BB

      This is just a funny one. I misclick on the flop with nuts and redraws. Opponent calls with gutshot and backdoors.

      Turn: (14 BB, 4 players) 5:spade:
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets 13.5 BB, CO raises to 54 BB, fold, fold, Hero raises to 175.5 BB, CO calls 83.5 BB and is all-in

      Turn is THE ACTION card. I still have the nuts with redraws. Now he has the nuts with redraws. We both have the flushdraw and gutshot to higher straight. And I have few full house outs. Big flip.

      River: (289 BB, 2 players) 8:heart:

      And I win.

      Hero shows 6:spade: 8:diamond: 5:club: 9:club: (Straight, Nine High)
      (Pre 42%, Flop 89%, Turn 54%)
      CO shows 6:diamond: T:spade: 8:spade: 2:diamond: (Straight, Eight High)
      (Pre 58%, Flop 11%, Turn 46%)
      Hero wins 279.5 BB
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      And I got Cash Trophy, 10bin stack too:
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      In the QQQ flop, I forgot to explain that KK doesn't beat me on the river. But while playing I didn't realize that (I wrote what I thought during the hand) as I managed to forget the A on the board. Kids, don't play when tired. :)
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      Little drop there for the latest session, a lot of set vs sets and rivered 2 outers.
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      1K hands more, back on track:

      Tomorrow at [Coaching] PLO Primetime we're going to unfold this project, play some PLO2 (lots of Lucky Dollars!) and talk in general how to adjust to really small stakes opponents.
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      Halfway there! (actually a bit more)

      Now someone probably wonders "how is that possible" as I know a lot of PLO2, PLO5 players are still struggling to get a good winrate. Despite the fact that most opponents are not-that-great at PLO. Here is my "secret", and the good news is that it applies at higher stakes too.

      Exploiting vs. Denying

      We can approach game strategy from two perspectives. One is to exploit our opponents weaknesses (tendencies in poker) and the other one is to prevent our opponent from exploiting ours. In poker we are always balancing with these two as we see fit. The idea is never to play 100% GTO or 100% exploiting, it's always opponent based. And against same opponent we should exploit when we can and deny (being balanced) when we can't. That's poker, adjusting to our opponents. It doesn't if you play PLO2 or PLO5K, the core idea is the same.

      In general, the lower we go in stakes, the less opponents are able to exploit our tendencies. They just don't have the skills to do it. In PLO2 environment I think it's safe to say that 99% of opponents are not going to exploit you no matter what your tendencies are. They might notice that you raise them a lot on flops, but they don't know how to adjust.

      In PLO2 it's sort of funny as players in general over call a lot and also over fold a lot. They over call especially on the flop, like calling a raise with a gutshot or cbet with really weak hands (without it being a float). But then on the other hand on locked flops (paired, monotone, K72r) they over fold and on the turn they usually over fold (as that gutshot is not so good anymore, or one pair when flush completes).

      One myth about PLO2 is that you can't bluff. That's nonsense, you can bluff a lot. But you have to pick the spots. In bluffing, it's all about Folding Equity (FE). Based on our betsizing, we need certain amount of FE to make the bluff profitable. If opponent folds often enough, we make money. The important thing to understand is that if we have 50% FE versus one player, we can bet anything less than a pot and it's +EV. But if we have two opponents the chance that BOTH of them folds is just 25%. Meaning we can't bet more than 1/3 of the pot (and for that sizing no one folds a lot). So as a rule of thumb, most of the bluffs in PLO should be done in HU pots.

      Here I have filtered hands where I open preflop and enter the flop with one opponent. As you can see, that spot is quite profitable:

      My cbet in HU pots is 80%. Against better opponents that would be quite bad, but versus opponents who don't adjust or fight back it's printing money. If you play a little with Odds Oracle or PokerJuice, and see how much you have FE on different boards (flops, turns) you will quickly see where you can cbet for profits and when to barrel the turn.
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      As I have said so many times during this project, these PLO2 players never stop amazing me. Here is a hand I played today:

      BTN: 87 BB (VPIP: 30.20, PFR: 5.70, 3Bet Preflop: 2.56, Hands: 522)
      Hero (SB): 123.5 BB
      BB: 632 BB (VPIP: 20.64, PFR: 14.83, 3Bet Preflop: 6.11, Hands: 348)
      UTG: 100 BB (VPIP: 22.41, PFR: 15.52, 3Bet Preflop: 13.64, Hands: 119)
      MP: 80 BB (VPIP: 21.70, PFR: 16.21, 3Bet Preflop: 5.41, Hands: 373)
      CO: 100 BB (VPIP: 22.55, PFR: 10.34, 3Bet Preflop: 3.55, Hands: 1,507)

      Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has A:diamond: K:spade: 2:heart: K:heart:

      fold, MP raises to 3.5 BB, fold, fold, Hero raises to 11.5 BB, fold, MP calls 8 BB

      Flop: (24 BB, 2 players) Q:diamond: K:diamond: 6:spade:
      Hero bets 13 BB, MP raises to 62 BB, Hero raises to 111 BB, fold

      When we entered the Flop, MP had 67,5bb stack. He raised me to 62bb, leaving 5,5bb behind. 11 cents. As I re-raised, he thought for a second and folded. Wasn't a snapfold where he would have checked "fold to any bet" and it wasn't a timeout fold. It could have been misclick fold, who knows. Never underestimate the Folding Equity.
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      14K/20K done.

    • benaars
      Joined: 03.06.2010 Posts: 783
      Wow, sick winrate! Well done! :f_thumbsup:
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158

      Here are some interesting hands from today:


      BTN: 93.5 BB (VPIP: 25.00, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 9.09, Hands: 20)
      SB: 101 BB (VPIP: 15.63, PFR: 8.33, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 98)
      Hero (BB): 270 BB
      UTG: 73.5 BB (VPIP: 24.12, PFR: 8.82, 3Bet Preflop: 2.94, Hands: 174)
      MP: 67 BB (VPIP: 60.00, PFR: 40.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 5)
      CO: 109.5 BB (VPIP: -, PFR: -, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1)
      SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB
      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has A:diamond: A:heart: K:diamond: 4:spade:
      UTG raises to 3.5 BB, fold, CO calls 3.5 BB, fold, fold, Hero raises to 14.5 BB, UTG calls 11 BB, CO calls 11 BB
      Flop: (44 BB, 3 players) A:spade: Q:spade: Q:club:
      Hero bets 16 BB, UTG raises to 59 BB and is all-in, fold, Hero calls 43 BB

      On the flop opponent said in the chat "If you have AAxx this ***** is rigged!". I replied "You have QQxx?" and then he shoved.

      Turn: (162 BB, 2 players) Q:heart:

      And then he had Quads. :D :D :D

      River: (162 BB, 2 players) J:spade:
      Hero shows A:diamond: A:heart: K:diamond: 4:spade: (Full House, Aces full of Queens)
      (Pre 72%, Flop 95%, Turn 0%)
      UTG shows Q:diamond: A:club: K:club: 8:diamond: (Four of a Kind, Queens)
      (Pre 28%, Flop 5%, Turn 100%)
      UTG wins 156.5 BB


      BTN: 366.5 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 4)
      SB: 88.5 BB (VPIP: 27.91, PFR: 16.47, 3Bet Preflop: 3.13, Hands: 87)
      Hero (BB): 188.5 BB
      UTG: 113.5 BB (VPIP: 19.12, PFR: 11.27, 3Bet Preflop: 1.32, Hands: 205)
      MP: 150.5 BB (VPIP: 26.87, PFR: 7.46, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 69)
      CO: 131.5 BB (VPIP: 39.34, PFR: 13.11, 3Bet Preflop: 6.17, Hands: 184)
      SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB
      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has K:club: A:heart: J:spade: 2:club:
      UTG raises to 3.5 BB, fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero calls 2.5 BB
      Flop: (7.5 BB, 2 players) 4:spade: 6:diamond: T:club:
      Hero checks, UTG bets 5 BB, Hero raises to 18 BB, UTG calls 13 BB

      Flop really misses UTG opening range, as opponent is 19/11/1. UTG range is probably 10% at max, so the question is can he fold an overpair? Good thing is that I have A and K in my hand so he will have overpair a little less than normally.

      Turn: (43.5 BB, 2 players) T:heart:
      Hero bets 31.5 BB, fold

      Didn't fold on the flop. If he doesn't have T, I am quite sure he folds his hand. As he has T+ here 30% of times, we should have almost 70% folding equity.

      Hero wins 42 BB

    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      Almost there!

      Marked some hands but I will same them for Thursday and [Coaching] PLO Primetime

      Come there and see how this ends, and see what the world is at PLO2 and how to live in that environment! I have some nice stuff prepared.
    • Tim128
      Joined: 29.01.2017 Posts: 324
      Wow even higher then I expected!
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,158
      Soooooooo busy life that the conclusion part took a bit longer to make. But here it is.


      Is PLO2 beatable, or does the rake kill you? Some say that micros are unbeatable. Some say it's playmoney and if you know the rules you should be making money. There are few midstakes players that have made micro-projects, but most of them have ended before the set time or they don't really post the graphs.


      PLO2 is beatable.

      I think the graph says it all, it goes so steadily up. There are couple of 10 buyin downswings to it wasn't all easy and shiny.


      PLO2 is a bit different world than PLO10+. The way money is made at PLO2 doesn't work that well at PLO10+. Or the way we make money in PLO10+ doesn't work that great at PLO2. But it's poker. Poker is a game where you put your strategy against opponents and see who wins money. It's all about your strategy and adjusting to opponents. One reason why higher limit players struggle a bit at micros (or especially at PLO2) is that they dont adjust in the right way. They might think that opponents are so bad that the edge allows them to play a lot of hands. After all, playing a lot of hands against worse opponents can't be a bad thing?

      But it is.

      Let's see a standard PLO2 opponent. High VPIP, low PFR. Doesn't understand things like range, balance, adjusting, probabilities, equities or outs. He knows some of those words but doesn't understand the concepts. So in other words, they like to call instead of bet, raise or fold. In general. The oldest adjustment in poker is "don't bluff a calling station". And it's true. If opponent doesn't fold, then you shouldn't count on folding equity (in PLO2 you can bluff a lot. And I mean A LOT!).

      Lets dig deeper. Opponents play a lot of hands. Meaning that they can hit all kinds of flop, all kinds of ways. What if we play a lot of hands too? We will too hit all kinds of flops, all kinds of ways. In PLO boards change. Flopped monsterhand might be killed on turn. Flop garbage can become a monster on turn. If we play a lot of marginal hands, they don't have a lot of ways to improve on turn and rivers. Hand like K742 is nice if the flop is K76. But 4/5 turns are bad and we are quite lost with our hand. Playing marginal hands leads to turn and river situations where we are guessing way too often. So we need to adjust in the right way.


      My EV adjusted winrate was 27bb/100. And there are hands where I made terrible decisions. Stacked off with KK when it was 99% chance that opponent has AA. Made river calls when opponent just screams the nuts. Call River Efficiency was 1.7 which is not too bad. But here it could have been higher. Still, it's HUGE winrate. Here's how I did it:

      The basic plan is to create situations where we can either:
      1) Capitalize folding equity for immediate profit
      2) Get the money in with best equity


      You might have heard that bluffing is impossible at PLO2. I'd say it's the opposite. Bluffing creates money in PLO2. Just find the right spots. And the right spot is headsup pot where Hero has raised preflop. Here is a graph from hands where I raise preflop and get one caller:

      See the redline? I make more money without showdown than I do at showdown! Cbet in HU pots is 82%. Remaining 18% is on flops that I don't have the required FE or I check back against aggressive opponent. That number is crazy but no one adjusts to it in PLO2. Winrate in those HU pots is 217bb/100.


      In 3way pots, the chance of someone hitting the board is almost twice as high. That leads to situations where we don't have required FE to make a ton of cbets as bluffs. Here is a graph from hands that we go to flop with 3+ players:

      Notice that now the money comes from showdowns, opposite to HU pots. When it looks like we are going to have a multiway pot, it's mostly about nutty components of the hands. We want to go to the flop with hands that outflop our opponents. Higher sets, higher 2pairs, higher flushdraws and so on. My cbet in multiwaypots is quite high still, 48%. One reason is that my range is strong, meaning I hit stronger stuff on the flop.

      In short: multiway play with your holecards, headsup play with folding equity.


      Here is a fun fact: over half of my profit came with AAxx. See the graph for AAxx hands:

      I 3bet AAxx always. No matter what the situation, I 3betted AAxx. Doing that leads to some tougher postflop situations, but I trusted my abilities as I have done decent amount of work with Aces on different boards and vs. different ranges. From the graph you can see that the money came from showdowns and non-showdowns. Cbet flop was 71, and I made a lot of cbet on boards that I shouldn't cbet at PLO10+. But at PLO2 most opponents don't understand what boards your 3bet range hits or misses. River Call Efficiency is 2.02. Often opponents bluff the river in a situation where my hands is more or less face up and they don't have FE (like when draws miss and board pairds on the river).


      My positional RFI in the end was 17, 19, 23, 44 and 52 from SB. Bit tighter from CO and BTN as against PLO2 field and 15bb/100 rake we don't make money with the bottom part of "normal" CO and BTN ranges. From SB I opened a lot as it was Zoom and people folded a lot of BB's. And as seen above, RFI+HU is pretty good situation.

      3bet was 6, mostly Aces and other premium hands.

      Here is a graph about BB defend:

      You will see that for the first half I was diving like a rock. Then at the later half the loserate slows down. Reason is that in the beginning I played way to tight from BB. I folded a lot. At around 10K hands I looked my stats and saw that my BB winrate is horrible. So I started to play a bit more from it and the winrate normalized. If I had played the same way from the stars, I would have won around 10 buyins more.

      Here is a graph with top20% of the hands:

      And here is a graph with 20-100% of the hands (bottom 80%):

      Difference is HUGE. Top20% made over 90% of profits. And 20-100% was virtually breakeven. That's the reason why high VPIP kills your winrate at PLO2.
    • Tancev987
      Joined: 19.08.2010 Posts: 9
      great winrate keep up with it :D