Like so many players, when I started out playing Omaha and Omaha8 I was enamored with all the draws I would flop, seemingly on every hand with any cards. And like most players, over time I learned most of those draws are actually crap. These days when I’m killing time at the nickel tables I do rather enjoy paying those lessons forward to the new kids. Consider the following hand.
I’m at a very loose table of poor Omaha8 players. It’s a limit game so whenever my psychotic fishies draw out it doesn’t cost much, and when I win I punish them. I make a gambling raise holding 4d Qd Qh Ah in the big blind. It’s not a powerhouse but against the range of my opponents I feel it’s worth a bet. I’m looking for high cards to scoop the pot. Richard00025 and Dzsenga come along for the ride, a surprisingly low number of callers for this game.
The flop brings 5c 9d 3d, giving me a marginal flush draw and my overpair. There are low draws out there but right now I think I’m fine, so I bet right out. Richard00025 calls, and Dzsenga folds. The turn brings the Kd. I’m not a huge fan of the second nuts in Omaha but against this table I’m not too worried. I don’t want to see a low card on the end so I bet again, and Richard calls. At this point I’m putting him on the nut low draw. I’m pretty sure I have to high half locked up.
The river is the 3c, pairing the board. I’m not very happy about it, but neither am I particularly concerned. If he had flopped two pair I would expected a bit more aggression. Richard00025 has been passive this entire hand. Whatever he has, it was a draw, and the 3c is probably a good card for me since it negates any low possibilities. If he backed into a full house with some garbage then it’s his lucky day. I decide to bet out for value. Surprisingly Richard just calls. He shows 2d 4c 6d Kh for a bad flush. Looking back at the hand his play makes sense, at least for a beginner – and only on the flop.
Despite starting with a garbage hand Richard00025 did flop a small wrap to a low straight, and has a weak flush draw to go with it. His call on my flop bet is sensible. But where he goes wrong is the turn. The flush comes in, and this negates all his straight draws for the high hand if I’m holding two diamonds. He’s hoping I’m not, he’s hoping that I’m just barrelling with a couple of unrelated Aces and his junky flush is good. (My play up to this point would suggest otherwise but he’s not paying attention to that.) Still, he might hit a low and get half right? Not really. We now see his low draw is only the nuts if an Ace comes. If he does put me on Aces, or even a single Ace with a low card, then not only is hitting his draw very unlikely, it’s also probable that most lows won’t be good if he hits it. As it happens I make the nut low with a duece. The only hand I’m worried about is Ad-2x with any other diamond. But he would bet and raise that hand. He’s gambling with bad odds to win only half, hoping his flush is good.
The river pairs and I no longer have to worry about A-2. Richard has already decided to call with his weak flush and pray. Needless to say this is not a good strategy in Omaha. His better line would be to raise the river. He has a flush that might be good but he can also represent that the 3c hit him and he made a full house with 5-3 in his hand. I also could have such a hand but betting is his only realistic way to win this hand; it would have been worth a shot. At this table I’m the only player this may have worked against. But he knows this table is full of calling stations and incorrectly assumes I’m one of them so he takes the cautious approach. Suits me – I scoop the pot.