Pot Limit Omaha Basics


PL Omaha (or PLO) has been one of the most popular poker variants in European casinos for quite a few years now. Last year, it’s seen a huge popularity explosion online too. Most of the online exposure it saw was due to the nosebleed stakes players who transferred their 6-figure pot battles from the NL Holdem tables to the PLO ones. Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, Isildur1, Phil Ivey and scores of other professionals locked horns repeatedly in PLO cash games at the end of 2008/beginning of 2009. Pretty soon, all nosebleed stakes action was transferred to the PLO tables. The infamous (and by now I suppose it’s safe to call it boring) $1million durrrr Challenge also takes place at 4 specially created PLO tables at Full Tilt Poker. The largest pot ever taken down online, a huge 7-figure monster, was also a PLO one. As a matter of fact, PLO pots now dominate the top 10 of the largest online poker pots in history.

One has to wonder why these pros decided to switch from Holdem to Omaha. Also known as the game of nuts, Omaha is a game which lends the skill factor a much bigger importance than Holdem. These guys didn’t go after Omaha for the novelty value: they did it because each of them considered he could rustle up a long term edge easier at the PLO tables. Sure enough, while PLO worked out well for some, it proved to be a hard nut to crack for others. Isildur1 has to be the most famous and infamous victim of the game. A NL Holdem, specialist, the nosebleed stakes online poker celebrity once dropped nearly $4 million to Full Tilt Pro Brian Hastings at the PLO tables, in a single session.

Now that PLO is slowly but surely emerging as the game of the future, it’s only natural that you be interested in finding out more about it. What makes it tick and what do you have to do to become successful at it? First of all – and this is irrespective of whether or not we’re talking about NLH or PLO – sign up for anomaha rakeback deal if you haven’t already joined such a loyalty scheme. Poker prop deals may work even better. You are going to drop tons of money on the poker rake in Holdem and in Omaha too, so rakeback makes loads of sense.

Hand selection is extremely important in PLO. Because you get to take a look at a much bigger percentage of your possible showdown hand after the deal than in Holdem, starting hand selection gains bigger importance in PLO. What’s possibly even more important: exercise proper table selection. Because of the skill factor involved in it, PLO rewards good players much more generously when they play against weaker foes. When two good players duke it out though, it’s not exactly a Sunday walk in the park for either of them. Avoid good players as best you can and track down those rookies: you’ll thank yourself later.

The TAG style is probably the best approach to PLO. Don’t be shy to commit your chips when you know you have the goods (or when you know you’re likely to pick them up on later streets) and get out of the way when all you have is junk. It doesn’t get simpler than this. The game of nuts is extremely punitive towards loose-passive calling stations. In PLO, the number of possible straight draws you may hit can be as high as 20. Get used to such numbers and make sure your straight draw is as close to a 20-way one as possible when you shove those chips into the middle. If you need more information on Pot Limit Omaha Strategy, you can check this site – PLO School.

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