I played a long live session about a week ago where variance was kind of gross. I was up to +$300 at a few points and suckouts dragged me back down twice, once right at the end of my session in a large pot where I was an 80% favorite getting it in on the turn vs. two opponents. A double gutter hit the river and I lost $120 instead of winning something like $270. Still managed a $60 winning session, but that was a frustrating swing right at the end. I was glad I just left instead of letting my mental state deteriorate though.
On a completely different note, the online game I’m playing in has a NL/PLO rotation game that I’ve had my eye on for a while, as it plays deep, and I can’t imagine them being much better at PLO than they are at NLHE. I’d played a few sessions, and it had gone okay so far. The play is much more aggro than in the NL game, but I’ve seen some pretty bad stackoffs so far. But it will be tough for me to really know how I’m doing for quite a while simply because of how bad the variance is. I find myself playing significantly tighter than everyone else in both the NL and PLO segments. It will of course be sick if I run good, but gross if I run bad, so I haven’t decided what percentage of the time I want to play rotation in comparison to NL. We’ll see as time goes on I suppose.
After playing a few non-notable sessions of rotation, however, I had a session where things just started to click. For one thing, I was starting to get a better feel for PLO, but I also ran pretty hot:
I stacked a short-stacked guy twice in a row where he got it in pretty piss-poor vs. my range, and also pretty bad vs. my exact hand. Went a little “card-dead” after that time, where I was seeing flops with decent starting hands and bricking completely. Was also getting almost nothing going during the NL portion as well, which didn’t help since I figured my edge was bigger there anyway.
Then I went on a pretty sick PLO run. I won’t go into the hands in detail since I can’t easily post the HH’s (no PT4 for Omaha yet), but they mostly involved me holding in some pretty sick 65-35 and 60-40 spots. I was in for $200, planning to leave if I broke roughly the $600 mark, since stacks routinely get so deep in PLO, and while I may be rolled for 100bb-PLO (or at least somewhat close), I’m certainly not rolled to be playing 400bb-PLO. However, I got into a confrontation where I back-raised an aggressive squeezor with QJ98 ds (double suited), and he flatted OOP. I flopped front door and backdoor FDs and an 8-card NSD (nut straight draw). The villain snap-jammed the flop (about 0.7 SPR) and I of course called. I was something like a 60% favorite against his A854 ds (he had a backdoor flush draw that covered mine). I turned a flush, leaving him drawing dead in a sizable pot.
That put me at around $700, and in the next PLO orbit I opened AA74ss (single suited), got two callers, and flopped top set, a pair, and a flush draw, and had a blocker to straight draws. I got it in for roughly 200bb as a 60% favorite and managed to hold. I left the rotation up a solid 4 BI’s. Dangerously close to my biggest winning day ever in no limit.
After some reflection, I have decided that I will likely continue playing the rotation game, but probably only when I’m feeling in tip-top mental and strategic shape. The variance is decidedly unnerving, and the truth is I’m not exactly super-rolled for 1/2 NL even, let alone 1/2 PLO, which tends to have everyone sitting pretty deep within an hour or two. However, the game itself is too soft for me to pass up on, and I’m starting to hone my PLO game by reading a couple books. I’m currently about halfway through “Pot Limit Omaha: The Big Play” by Jeff Hwang. When I finish it I will likely pick up the first volume of his Advanced PLO series, and see where that takes me. After that, I may start watching some PLO videos, but we’ll see, since I’m not looking to make PLO my focus, just start mixing it in with NL.
All in all, the rotation game is a lot of fun, adds some variety to my session, works my brain in a different way, and could potentially be quite lucrative – I guess we’ll just have to see what happens.