“Money is plentiful for those who understand the laws which govern its acquisition.”
I think this quote has relevancy in any industry or business, but when I read it the first time, I immediately thought about how it applies to poker. See, if you play long enough, you’ll eventually find yourself in a situation where someone asks, “So, what do you do for a living?” or “What do you like to do in your free time?” I usually say I play and coach poker, and they usually have the same response, which is “What?! Can you really make money doing that? Isn’t that stuff all luck anyway?”
As poker players, we know the reason that we’re able to come out on top in the long run is because we have a better grasp of what the laws are that control how the money flows in the poker universe. After all, the reason we watch videos, buy coaching, and are constantly working on our games is because it isn’t all luck.
What I’m saying here is that there is almost always a logical explanation behind everything we do in both poker and life. So if your goal is to learn this stuff and become a successful PLO player, then the first step is to learn some PLO theory, so that you have a reference point to guide your decisions when you’re at the table.
PAINTING A POST-FLOP PICTURE
In Chapter 1, we discussed the benefits of basing our pre-flop decisions off of what type of post-flop situations we want to create. What does that really mean? Which post-flop parameters should we use, and which ones are the most important?
If you follow the NBA, you’ve probably heard people use the term “the big three” to describe the powerful trifecta of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. So to help you remember the three parameters that deserve the most attention, I’m going to refer to them from now on as the Big Three, which are:
- Position and Relative Position
- Stack-to-Pot Ratio (SPR)
- Number of Opponents
Each starting hand has an ideal situation for it in terms of the Big Three. Basing pre-flop decisions around the Big Three gives us the best opportunity to realize our equity (which, if you recall from reading the Core PLO Concepts, is definitely a good thing).
These aren’t all the parameters that define each post-flop situation, but they’re definitely the most relevant, and the easiest to measure. Other parameters like initiative, image, board texture, and opponent tendencies will all be discussed throughout QuickPro, but for now it’s best to focus our attention on the three that impact our decisions the most.