Monday, October 8, 2007

Omaha Hi-Lo and Childrearing

Two separate questions to pose to my readership today (unrelated, I think).

Question 1: The Omaha Hi-Lo game. Just to clarify, this is play money, which I'm sure throws a whole other spin on it. But for sake of getting better, I play my play money tourneys like real money. I'm playing Omaha Hi-Lo. I have a love hate relationship with Omaha - its challenging and interesting, but the river ALWAYS seems to screw you. I lost 3 times with the best full house to quads on the river. I also lost three hands with full houses that got trumped by a better random full house on the river. But even though I got screwed innumerably, I ended up heads up against a decent player.

I had approximatley 14,500 chips; he had 4,500. It was a limit tourney and blinds were 300-600. So his "M" is low at this point. He played more agressively than me, but not overly aggressively and usually did not bet without something. The tough part of heads up in Omaha Hi-Lo is that frequently, you are only playing to split the pot, as even a crappy low might stand up. In fact, one of the pots we split was when I had trip queens and was betting aggressively at a time where he had the other queen, but also had a 5 for a full house. However, we still split the pot, as my 86 won the low.

The other part that is tough about heads up is that with an M below 10 and the chances of splitting a pot pretty high, its rare that you can get someone to lay down the blinds. That, and its play money. So I figure with a 2 1/2 times lead, I just need to play smart, and eventually odds hold up. I checked/called a lot, not wasting chips, raised a couple times with good hands . . . but over the course of the game, I split ALOT, and NEVER scooped. He, on the other hand, never raised, always called, and managed to scoop several times (with legitimate hands, not bluffs).

I took second. Now, I moneyed, and part of my strategy is to money. So from that perspective, I'm pleased with my play. However, how would you have played it differently, given the situation, to keep that 2 1/2 times lead? Sean? Drizz? Iggy? Who has advice (or at least an entertaining opinion)?

Question 2: Childrearing. So my 10-year old and the au pair frequently butt heads. In our household, we are not overly rule-oriented. But with the au pair, I thought it best to be more specific, so there was no confusion on her part. So I made a schedule of Son #1's homework time and free time. 90 minutes of each. For a while it was 90 minutes of homework first, and then 90 minutes of free time. However, his friends often had different schedules, which resulted in him not being able to play when they wanted to ride bikes, etc.

So I agreed to a flexible schedule. He could chosed which 90 minutes he spent doing homework between 3:30 and 6:30. However, this appears to have cause more arguments between he and the au pair as she tries to encourage him to do things first. Additionally, his little brother has soccer practice/games, which means twice a week, he can't be flexible and has to get homework done first. The situation is exacerbated by the fact, I think, that her English is not sufficient to find a variety of ways to be encouraging or discuss it with him. As such, she comes off to him as nagging or dictatorial. And Son #1 is partly at fault too. He's not a huge self-motivator, and can tune out the rest of the world in a heartbeat, so sometimes it requires nagging to even get him to hear your request. And he occassionally slips into that "its not my fault mode" - with flimsy 10-year old logic.

If the Dr. was here, I'd throw up my hands once in awhile and say "You sort it out." But I'm the only parent so it always comes down to me having to moderate our little ongoing turf war between the two of them. I may be in an institution by the time he gets home.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife


The Sister said...

Considering I don't play poker and I don't have children, I am probably the wrong person to give advice on either. I take it from the post, though, that the fact that the au pair is hot has worn off for my nephew and she has simply become an additional voice in the household that he must listen to. Maybe playing the "man of the house" card would come in handy? (notice my subtle attempt to include both blog subjects in my comment?) As the interim man-of-the-house he simply HAS to do what he must at the right time without complaining (too much).

Instant Tragedy: Just Add Sean said...

When you have a lead, in my opinion, you have to push and keep the pressure on the short stack, when I am at heads up, my normal play is not call any sb plays without good cards but to raise up all my bb plays with ATC. It works for me, but what do I know, I haven't walked or played poker for over a week, damn work!

All my best


DrChako said...

Omaha 8 - If you get comments (most likely from Drizz) they will probably tell you:
a. when you are heads up, it's a crap shoot
b. they have also lost big leads, even though they are supposed to be "good" players
c. 2nd place is quite awesome, especially after a couple one-outers. Most people would have tilted out in 5th place
d. Finally, in order to have any chance of changing the outcome, they will probably say you have to push small edges when heads up. That means being more aggressive (which I know you hate hearing from me).

On childrearing - I've got nothing for you. If I was there, I'd be happy to take the kids off your hands for a while. I really miss them. I know Son #2 will be 5 in two days and it's killing me that I won't be there. Please take some video and sent it to me on a CD.

Drizztdj said...

Being aggressive heads up in Omaha is fine as long as you're doing it for the right reasons.

Unlike Hold Em', you're rarely going to steal the blinds for the simple fact that the other player always has true odds to call and see a flop regardless of his/her holdings.

I like to call A LOT and raise a little in Omaha tourneys, simply to outplay someone after the flop.

My suggestion is to practice post-flop play by simply limping in whenever possible for the several SnGs. Or play a small cash/play chip game where you'd be comfortable losing X amount of chips to see flops.

Good luck!