Playing in Limit Omaha Tournaments

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In Limit Omaha tournaments, especially when playing online, you will feel pressured to call with a lot of hands, as a large portion of your table is doing the same, calling to see what they hope will be the perfect flop for their hand. The players are very loose and love to limp in, as very few people are confident enough to raise preflop when they know they’ll likely have five or six callers. Pressure will be placed on you to limp in as well, due to the fact that there will be so much money in the pot from all the limpers that if you make a hand and have it hold up, you will be pulling in a lot of chips. The problem here is that your stack will be leaking a lot of chips if you do join all the other limpers, so you still have to maintain some standards in hand selection.

When I play Omaha, I normally have to have at least three different ways of winning the hand for me to even consider playing. This means that I have to have high flush possibilities, straight possibilities, or full house possibilities (with a pocket pair), in some combination that it adds up to at least three. More is always better, and I also consider pocket pairs to be weaker than the flush and straight draws, so I normally only count those as half a chance. This keeps my hand selection fairly stringent so that I don’t leak chips throughout the course of play. This is especially helpful when playing Pot Limit Omaha, as the pot can get very large very quickly, which will force a fold when one is playing with a marginal hand.

However, Limit Omaha is a different beast, because with the limits in place you know that the pot can’t become prohibitively expensive to enter preflop. This is why so many people limp in, they feel that it is a low-risk high-reward scenario. While this does seem logical, they are leaking chips and will need luck to see them through. The early stages of a tournament are where you see this sort of action the most, because as the blinds start rising, the more damage limping will cause to the chip stacks.

How do you deal with all of the limpers? The best way is to maintain your hand selection, because the tighter you play, the more chips you will save, and the more likely you will be to hit a good hand when you do see the flop. If you can start amassing a small amount of chips in the early stages, you will be well set to take advantage of the limpers who have found themselves with short stacks when the blinds begin to raise and play becomes tighter. Once the blinds force tighter play, then you can give consideration to raising preflop, as with higher blinds there will be a greater chance that the other players will fold to raises which they wouldn’t have folded to when the blinds were small.

The key to playing Omaha is always hand selection. If you can maintain a tight hand selection and keep a tight rein on your natural impulses to chase cards, then you should do well, at the expense of those who limp in all the time and whose chip stacks are a flood of leakage.

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