The 1-3 Grind and a Tough Spot vs. Donkey Kong

To boost my motivation, win-rate, and to mitigate the boredom that’s arising from the 1-3 grind, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to begin learning Pot-Limit Omaha. If you’ve read any of Jack’s articles on his transition to PLO, I’m sure you’re well aware that it is by far the most profitable game that’s regularly spread at the Jack. The game plays huge relative to 1-3, with the buy-in ranging from $100-500. The larger buy-ins accompanied with huge swings and more “gambling” draws the biggest whales in the room, making PLO far juicier than any of the 1-3 or occasional 2-5 NL games. I’ll start out my PLO learning by reading excerpts of Advanced PLO Theory by Tom Chambers, which Zach was kind enough to lend to me. I also plan on checking out some of Phil Galfond’s PLO training videos on Run It Once, and likely reading some of the books Jack read during his transition.

Now I want to talk a little bit about my experience at the Just Hands event with Greg Raymer and one of the hands I played against one of Zach’s students, Dave, aka Donkey Kong. Overall, I had a lot of fun. It was a nice change of pace to play in a tougher game with some more competent players than I typically play with at the Jack. It was also interesting to go back and watch the footage with everyone’s hole cards along with Jack, Zach, and Greg’s commentary. It definitely was a good learning experience. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking it out here.

Here are some of my thoughts on a tough spot I found myself in vs. Dave aka Donkey Kong. You can find the exact hand played here.

Game: 1-2 NL, 8 handed

Hero (579) UTG with 8d8s. Likely somewhat TAG (or possibly LAG) image in eyes of Villain. Villain knows hero writes this blog and plays professionally.

Villain (1100) CO. This was the first session I played with Dave. All I really knew about him was that he was a student of Zach’s, which led me to think he played a more LAG strategy. Based on what I had seen up to this point in the session, that seemed to be the case.

Preflop: Hero opens to 8, folds to villain in CO who calls, everyone else folds.

Flop (19) Kc6c6d. Hero checks, villain bets 10, hero calls.

This street seems fairly straight forward to me. In this spot, I don’t feel like betting accomplishes too much, as I’m likely to only get called by hands that beat me and force hands that I’m beating to fold. I’ve got a good bit of showdown value so playing this hand as a bluff catcher seems like the most +EV option. When I check, I expect villain to value bet his Kx hands as well as some of his 6x hands (some may choose to slow play), as well as bluff a ton of his air and semi-bluffs, which make up significantly more of his range compared to his value hands.

Turn (39) Js. Hero checks, villain bets 25, hero calls.

When villain continues on the turn, I expected him to be somewhat polarized between Kx and 6x hands for value, and flush draws/ straight draws that he picked up on the turn. In game, I assumed villain would be over bluffing here and would actually have a decent amount of air/ semi-bluffs in his range and decided to call with the plan to check/ call again on blank rivers.

River (89) 6s. Hero checks, villain bets 80, hero calls.

At this point in the hand, I think villain will perceive my range to be a lot of 77-TT type hands and QQ, and with the sizing he chose, I thought he was certainly polarized to Quad 6’s/ Kx hands and air. The 6 on the river is a great card for me, as it takes away from the combos of 6x villain can have. This and my read that villain was over-bluffing in this spot led me to decide to follow the plan I had set and make a hero call. With the sizing OTR and the triple barrel, I never even considered that villain could be going for some thin value with a Jx type hand, but to my disappointment, Dave rolled over JT for a superior full house and left me feeling like quite the station. Dave, if you’re reading this, you totally owned me. Nice hand, and well played IMO.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll talk to you all next week. Happy Thanksgiving, happy grinding, and may the run good be with us all.