Wild Kingdom: Hands 161–176

Just four of the original 65 players remain in an online PLO8 Bounty tournament. I’m the chip leader as player 21, but even I only have 17BB. We’ve been in the money since we got to the final table, but I’ve also picked up several bounties. It’s going to be an action-packed batch of hands!

HAND 1614000/800069JQT

UTG has a suited ace and a great low draw, with 41% of the pre-flop equity. He pots to 28K. I have 8K in the pot already, UTG only has 5.5K behind, so I repot (88K), and he’s all-in. The board isn’t kind to him, cutting off escape avenues on each street. I take another bounty with sixes and nines, and player 27 goes out in 4th.

HAND 1624000/800065T45

I’ve got the other two players outchipped, but I’ve still got only a little over 20BB. I open to 24K with double-suited kings. BB goes all-in with a run-down and I call. The flop looks good for him, he has a variety of outs to a straight that don’t complete my club flush, but the turn and river just tease, leaving him empty. I collect the bounty and player 7 is out in 3rd.

HAND 1634000/8000

I’ve got nearly twice what BB has in chips. I min-raise to 16K and BB folds.

HAND 1644000/8000

D folds.

HAND 1654000/8000

I fold my button.

HAND 1664000/80008K7

I call D’s min-raise with a double-suited hand. He’s got a wrap around the lower cards on the flop and pots 32K. I fold.

HAND 1674000/8000AK9

I raise to 24K from the button and BB calls with deuces. I pot 48K with flopped top two pair and he folds.

HAND 1684000/8000

He doesn’t even try.

HAND 1694000/80002T6

I limp in from the button and BB checks his queens. He folds to a bet on the flop of 16K.

HAND 1705000/10000622

Blinds are up again. D limps in and I check. He min-bets with two pair and a flush draw, I fold.

HAND 1715000/10000

I fold the button.

HAND 1725000/100008QJ

This is where I start to lose control of the game. I had more than twice D’s stack, but that doesn’t mean a lot in PLO8. I wanted to go for the kill here and went with the double-suited hand. I’m not as far behind as all that pre-flop, and call a pot vet to 30K. I’m marginally ahead for the high half on the flop, with middle pair, but I don’t have the flush draw and no good low, so I fold to a c-bet of 60K.

HAND 1735000/10000K8799

I start this hand with 64% overall equity. Suited ace, low pair, second-nut low draw against essentially nothing. I open to 30K and get called. The flop isn’t so good for me, a ten makes two pair for BB. I need an ace or the case three for the high pot, or another low card. Nothing comes, however, and BB’s seven is all he needs for the win.

HAND 1745000/10000

Now I’m the one who’s massively outchipped. D raises to 30K and I fold.

HAND 1755000/100002K37T

I open to 30K and BB calls. Both of us start with good low draws, but his gets counterfeit on the flop. BB bets 30K with two pair, I have almost that many chips left and call with the straight draw, nut low draw, and top pair. On the turn, I have 95% equity, and the river doubles me up with a scoop.

HAND 1765000/100006QJ7A

D calls and I pot to 30K, which he calls. I want to go in for another double-up, and I’ve got a decent low draw, but I don’t know his is even better. The turn isn’t good for me, although I pick up bottom pair, but I commit, and bet 60K, D calls with middle pair. I shove the last bit in on the turn with just 13% equity, D calls, and he scoops the hand for the tournament win.


I was involved in this tournament for the majority of its run, going from 30/60 in Level 3 to 5K/10K (Level 25) in just 176 hands, an average of about 8 hands per 10-minute level, a little slower than a NLHE tournament, but not as much of a difference as in a live PLO8 game, where dealing plus split and side pot distribution can make for slower play even with skilled Omaha dealers.

I saw 65 showdowns at my table(s)—37% of the hands played—with 37 lows made (57% of showdowns). I was involved in nearly two-thirds of the showdowns myself (41 overall), winning highs in 25 (61% of showdowns) and lows in 9 (22%), with 5 scoops. I also won 17 hands without showdowns (nearly 10% of the hands I was dealt).

I put money into the pot in more than half of the hands I was dealt, even before play got short-handed. In fact, my VPIP didn’t stay below 60% until nearly hand 100. In part that was because I was short-stacked, but even after I took the chip lead with just a few players left, my VPIP was lower than it had been in the early stages of the game.

Before hand 75 I didn’t make a single pre-flop raise. In the last 100 hands, though, my PFR was 18%, nearly one in five hands.

Two attributes were most prominent in the hands that won chips either through getting other players to fold by raising or in showdowns. A suited ace combination featured in 65 of the hands that won without showdown or for the high hand (37%). 62 of those types of hands (which overlap to some extent) had three or more low-qualified cards (including aces).

27 of the hands that won low pots at showdown had suited aces (73%). The same number had three or four low cards (rather than just two). Only 18 of the low pot winners had A2 combos.

44 high or winning hands (25% of all hands) had pairs of tens or better, with 28 having pairs under ten (at least one winning had had both). 26 included three or more Broadway cards.

What conclusions can we draw from this? Well, the sample size is small, so drastic conclusions shouldn’t be made from this data, but the gross disparity in winning hands with suited aces—for both low and high pots—is something I plan to explore further. And I suspect that players may overvalue their nut low draws (A2) and high pairs.

If you’ve enjoyed the series, let me know. It’s going to be the last of its kind from me for a while, as my coverage of the WSOP starts in just about two weeks!

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