Omaha is not quite the passive game I once believed it was.
In fact, it's a game that lends itself to attacking suspicious bets even more than Holdem.
I've got $25 in a .10/.25 Pot-Limit Omaha game on PokerStars, and I'm in the cutoff position with - - - . This is not a great hand by any means, and we're nine-handed to boot, but I'll have position on just about everyone, I've got three Broadway cards (Ace High Straight = Broadway) and I'm suited to a King. So I call.
Besides, we can't have a hand of the week if I just keep folding everything, right?
A player in first position called and the blinds call and then check, so we're four-handed, and we see a flop of - - .
All right, I've got two pair. It's a crappy two-pair, as not only does the board make a straight, but any other two-pair beats me. It's also a likely straight, as people will certainly play higher cards. I'd limp with a decent J-Q hand in Omaha.
The blinds check, and the player in first position bets .75. That's the pot, and that's a little scary. But I call. If I fill up, I could take a nice chunk of his stack if he did flop a straight.
In theory, anyway. It's really not that great of a call, but let's see what the turn brings. The only redeeming value is I do have position.
It brings a . That's a card that won't scare anyone, even if it does put a flush draw on the board. The blinds have folded, and the original bettor bets again, this time $1.50.
It's a decent bet but not a great one. I call anyway. I really don't like my call here come to think of it. He's bet twice. He probably has me beat.
The river brings a , and my opponent bets $2.
Just $2? The pot at this point is $5.25. My ears start to perk up. Why would he bet such a small amount?
I'm beginning to think that he doesn't have much here. At the very least, I'm beginning to think that he couldn't call a real show of strength. His bet is so weak, I don't think it means he wants a call. I think it's a blocking bet.
Pot Limit Omaha is a game that lends itself to attacking weak bets because it's such a straightforward game. It's a game where players try to build a pot rather than lull you into a check-raise. It's a game of draws where other players try to prevent the next card from coming. It's a game where bets usually mean what they appear to mean. Checks almost always mean "I'm weak" and bets mean "I have a hand. Do you have something too?"
This bet, to me, says, "I have a hand, but it's a weak hand, and I'm hoping you'll just call and let me take down the pot with my hand. But that's all the money I want to bet on this hand."
Mike Caro is full of great pieces advice, but one of his best, one I'll always remember, is "Try to figure out what your opponents want you to do. And then disappoint them."
I'm going to disappoint him and raise $5 to $7. I have to raise nearly the pot here if I'm going to raise because I'm essentially bluffing, even if I do have two pair. I need him to fold. Plus it fits my story of flopping a straight and letting my opponent do the betting for me until the river and smacking him with a raise.
He pauses for a bit and then folds and I win a pretty decent pot.
Now I know why I was calling those bets. I was planning to take it away from him on the river. Yeah, that's it.