Adapting Omaha 8 Strategy

With regards to Ray Zee’s high/low split poker book:

People seem to read what they want to read.  Some say that Ray seems to promote a far too aggressive approach, Mark Tenner tells me that Ray promotes far too passive play. Bah humbug!

The truth is, like most Two Plus Two books, it’s not something to be read once, then discarded. It is something to be read again and again, as we face different situations.

Also, the times change, the games change. What works on one type of table, in one time, must be updated for the present.

HEFAP is an excellent approach to full ring Limit Hold’em, but if it is tweaked for today’s game, what do we get? Short Stakes Hold’Em, that is what we get, but because so many players couldn’t adjust with the times, a whole new book had to be written (and both are excellent, imo).

So today we discard some of Ray’s advice, like folding a bare A2 when there is a chance we might be getting quartered. Why? Because the game no longer plays like this: “First guy has a lock for high, another tight player and I are most likely splitting low.”

Now it’s more like, “Three monkeys are jamming with highs, none of them have any idea that someone else might have high locked up, I have the A2, another guy has A3 and maybe, just maybe, another guy has A2, too, but there is no way in hell I’m folding this bare A2 with 70 big bets in the pot!”

Sure, we don’t set out playing for half, but not only does it happen today, we also profit greatly from it! In this scenario, raising to knock out other hands just isn’t gonna work. Not only will A2 never fold, but neither will A3, nor the king high flush, nor Broadway, nor top set! So it becomes more of a guessing game. ‘How much am I going to get, most likely? Am I getting half or less? If I’m getting half, I’m raising until there is no tomorrow (nut flush). But if I’m splitting low, maybe I should slow down and simply overcall along with the rest of the monkeys.’

You must use your judgment! Ray is only giving you a guide to winning!

As far as your approach, you should definitely keep doing what you are doing and THINK about Omaha. Think about what your best move is at this time. And then on the next round, think again. That is the best, and most winning approach to low limit monkey Omaha 8. But disregarding Ray’s advice is a mistake. Instead of chucking it into the fire, start adjusting it for the games YOU play in, instead of trying to make his games fit into your box. You are trying to force a round peg into a square hole.

Believe me, there is wisdom in that book. Omaha 8 is my most winning game, and I am a Stud player!!! But one thing that I know has to be done, and done all the time, is that great advice in ANY book must be adjusted for TODAY’S game, and even further adjusted for MY game.

Ten years ago poker was a different world. Omaha 8 was a tight, nitty, grinders game except in a few locations on the strip and in other places. There was no online O8, there was no PLO8, there was no Chris Moneymaker or the WPT.

Think about when this book was written. Ray says you have to start playing some “real” poker at 10/20. Yeah, not anymore, thank God. You can still play nitty, rote poker at 30/60! If I took every sentence in that book and refused to adjust it for today’s game, I would be a loser.

Open back up your mind, and then read it again and again when you are on the pot. Things will come to you, if you give it a chance, but it is not the end all to be all. It is dated and it must constantly be adjusted. Keep an open mind.

Felicia :)

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About Felicia Lee

Poker, Writing
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