Omaheehaw Lessons

Carelessly betting the non-nuts on the river

by , Jan 22, 2010 | 3:46 am

We don’t necessarily talk much strategy here at Pokerati, but I’m gonna make an effort to occasionally chronicle my own errors at the table with the goal of not repeating them (often). I had a pretty good session of Pokerati 1/2 (no-limit hold’em/PLO round of each) at the Hard Rock. In for $400, I had made a nice come back from about $80, rebuilding my stack to about $800+change — thanks to Katikin-on-tilt — when I got 6d 8c 9c Jd in the small blind. With about four limpers I threw in the buck.

The flop: 6-7-10 rainbow.

I tossed in $6 … had to build something. The cut-off, a solid player and the other big stack at the table with about $700, also mostly from @JaKatkin, called.

I know better than to bet the non-nuts in Omaha … and my instincts were screaming, “That Ace is not a bad card for him!” But I convinced myself it might also have given him something like A-10, which he likely wouldn’t bet, but might call with.

The turn came another 7, to put two hearts on the now-paired board. He bets $20. I pot it for $82. Alarm bells go off for my opponent but he calls. I start thinking about the boats he might have. Not pocket 10s. 6-7 was a possibility, but I think he woulda raised me on the flop. Pocket 6s was a threat, but not a big one, because I had one. 7-10 was scarier, but same thing … I think he woulda popped me on the flop with either of those hands.

I’m new to this whole reading Omaha hands thing, but most likely he had a flush draw and/or a pair and a gutshot. Maybe trips. Something like A-6-7-8, with the Ace-x of hearts. A-10-J-x with a bunch of other big cards also occurred to me, but then he folds.

It also occurs to me: I hope I wasn’t being a bad grandson by leaving my 80-year-old grandmother at the airport by not leaving the game immediately when I learned she was still there after two canceled flights and possibly needed me pick her up and bring her back to my house for the night.

(Fortunately another young man from Texas was there and had been taking care of her all day after seeing her wander aimlessly near the gates, took her to dinner, called my parents and eventually got her on a midnight flight).

Knowing she was safe and that I didn’t have to leave after this hand no matter what, but also that I might be due for a slight bit of bad-grandson karmic recourse, I’m thinking: “No Ace, no heart, no middley cards for a higher striaght!”

The River: Ac.

I know better than to bet the non-nuts in Omaha … and my instincts were screaming, “That Ace is not a bad card for him!” But I convinced myself it might also have given him something like like A-10, which he likely wouldn’t bet, but might call with.

So I cavalierly throw in a $100 bill. Before it hits the felt I’m thinking: please no 7-10, please no 7-10!

My opponent insta-calls. Sure enough, he says, “7s full of Aces” and scoops a healthy pot.

I’m not sure betting there was wrong, but not trusting my instincts was. And even if the right play upon trusting my read was to bet, I bet too much. I think something told me to bet defensively, and that’s part of what was behind the $100 bill. I didn’t wanna bet pot, because I couldn’t afford a re-pot if he just happened to think I was bluffing. And if I checked could I fold to a much larger pot-size bet?

But with all that said, then the right bet there would been more like a thoughtful $50 bet. The smallness would scare him into just calling with a non-nutty boat. And if he pots it from there, I can fold. Right? Or maybe not. Maybe a confident $100 was the right thing to do because the same logic applies if he goes pot, but it stillgives me a chance that he’ll put me on something like 10-10, 10-7, or A-7 and fold a baby boat with 6-6 or 6-7.

I was upset because I felt that the river mighta given him a better hand, and yet I still tossed in a bill with little thought. So after doing what I thought was a mistake that visibly cost me, even if it wasn’t, and the game started to break, I didn’t fight to keep it going. I had gotten all these chips from Katkin, after all, by getting my money in when I wasn’t sure I was ahead, only to learn multiple times that I was, even after running turns and rivers twice.

Bottom line is I wasn’t sure how to stay in control of the hand, and I didn’t feel comfortable about my stack, nor my ability to protect it + I had a little grandma guilt, even though she was now safely en route from LAS->DFW, thanks to a nice young man from Flower Mound who wasn’t her grandson playing poker just down the street. So it was probably time to go. Book a win, write off the leak, and maybe play again tomorrow.

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14 Comments to “Omaheehaw Lessons”

  1. jeff

    We play the same game twice a week in Corpus except the nlh round is 2/5….. after reading this i cordially invite u to come play next time ur in Texas :-)….will be in LV in April, will try to make the Hard Rock game….Fishy comes to Vegas.

  2. bill reynolds

    His call of your bet on flop and lead-out bet on the Turn should have made your alarm bells go off. Don’t play a straight aggressively on a paired board. You should have folded right there when he lead out with $20. At least after he called your raise you should have shut it down right then and there.

    Nobody comes over the top with a Pot bet/raise on the river on a paired board with a non-nut boat against aggression, so based on your Turn re-raise, you could have bet a smaller amount on River without fear of a re-raise. But you never should have got to that point

  3. Spaceman

    I don’t think your raise on the turn is bad at all, but the signal he gave you by calling that raise – especially since you’ve characterized him as a solid player – is what should determine your action on the river. If I’d played the hand the way you did, once he calls on the turn I’m most likely going to check and go to showdown because there are so many combinations that have my flopped straight beaten.

    But if I do bet on the river, it’s going to be a small one – say, 1/5 or 1/6 of the pot – to keep my story cohesive. (“I can only bet this much – if I bet more you won’t call me with a losing hand!”) I’ve seen so many people fold to those small bets because they just KNOW they’re beaten – they’re willing to go all the way to the river with a dominated hand, but once they get there to the end they won’t throw in the extra 15-20%. And if he DOES call you, you’ve saved yourself a bit of ammunition for the next hand.

  4. Tom Schneider


    After your recount of how you played this hand, your poker calendar will fill up faster than a chick with new breasts.

  5. BWoP

    Now I’m really bummed that I missed the game last night.

  6. Scott Chaffin

    Dude. Your grandmother? Your 80-year old grandmother? TWO canceled flights?

    I think you’re lucky a hole didn’t open in the earth and swallow you whole, never to be seen again, on the way to your car.

  7. DanM

    I blame the terrorists.

  8. TBR

    I’m going to have to side with Tom on this. And to prevent myself from sounding like an ass, I will reduce my 9 million questions to one: in what world do you expect someone to raise with two pair after you lead into five players in a 6-7-10 board? Had you established THAT Dan-y an image?

  9. DanM

    you two forget that this is “beginners” omaha.

  10. brdpoker

    You have $8 in the pot when the board pairs. Check/call the $20 and shut it down on the river. You’re playing with 350BB effective stacks, no reason to go to war with a straight on a paired board.

    If you feel like being a hero, check/call his river bet, but I think you’re paying off way too often here. You say that it’s beginner’s Omaha… but I think that makes it MORE likely that someone has a 7 with a T, 7, 6, or A, not less likely.

  11. jeff

    Dan, If your going to put up announcement for the Hard Rock game how about a short recap the next day.

  12. DanM

    We’ll be seeing more of that, but yesterday was a rough day, with little to report:

    I won $400 in about a half hour playing NLH before our game got started. Then I lost $500 playing NLH/PLO. The table was full with two people on the waiting list. I was feeling sick and playing like shit, so I took off. Net -$100.

    We did have yet another run-it-twice debate. And Jess Wellman came up with the great idea of having Tom Schneider do a video explaining how the “Tom Schneider rule” (aka automatic run-it-twice) works.

    I sent Tom a text to that effect, and he did not reply.

    I had a really bad headache so fugk him. I’m leaving the little announcement up though, because I will be at the Hard Rock again tonight — so maybe I can give round-of-each another go tonight.

  13. jeff

    good luck,maybe u could get a hot chick to do a little video clip for the update !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. brdpoker

    What kind of “run it twice” questions are there? Should be pretty straight forward…