Last year, members of the poker community were enamoured and glued to our screens watching Phil Galfond overturn a $1 million deficit in his high stakes Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) heads up match against the online known poker player known as Venividi1993. For some of you, this would have been the spark that fired you up to try out the great game of PLO for the first time. I myself was one of these people. To cut a long story short, it didn’t go too well for me. Brash with arrogance, visiting the school of YouTube was all that I thought was needed to win at the micro and low stakes online in PLO.
Despite these setbacks, I was and still am determined to improve my game to climb up the proverbial ladder, so when I found out D&B publishing were releasing Mastering Small Stakes Pot-Limit Omaha by Fernando ‘JNandez’ Habeggar, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy.
If you’re familiar with the game of PLO and PLO content in general, then you’ve likely heard the name ‘JNandez’. One of the bigger names in this sphere, the PLO specialist is one of the most recognised and sought-after coaches for those transitioning to game of four cards. The information you’ll be getting from this book is gospel and if you are still sceptical about JNandez’ credentials then his results ought to do the trick.
READ MORE: Interview with Fernando “JNandez” Habeggar
Making the move from No Limit Hold’em to PLO in the latter stages of 2010, JNandez has won $150,000 – $400,000 each year since then. His coaching has also benefitted hundreds of students thanks to his PLO training platform, PLOMastermind.com and now with this latest release, you too now have the chance to establish the fundamental framework to master small stakes PLO.
The book is split into three sections and is packed with everything you need to know.
This section looks at preflop concepts, ranges and hand categories. Did you know there nine of them?! Before reading this book, I thought I had a decent grasp of basic preflop play and it was my actions postflop that were my biggest downfall. In reality, my understanding was just extremely poor in both areas.
Like with No Limit Hold’em, having sound preflop fundamentals in PLO is the first step towards developing a positive win rate. However, in PLO it isn’t as simple as remembering preflop charts. In PLO there are other factors you need to take into account when you decide you want to commit chips to the pot. Mastering Small Stakes Pot-Limit Omaha is great in explaining these nuances in an easy-to-follow matter and gives you all the tools to make correct decisions preflop.
For many others and I, The Four Pillars of Postflop Analysis has been identified as one of, if not the most important chapter in this book. Once you have a full understanding of what JNandez is telling you, you’ll be in great shape to make the correct decision when the flop is dealt. Recognising spots where you need raise, call or fold will help you when you are playing later streets and you’ll find yourself in stronger positions more often in these situations.
The postflop play chapters also look at concepts like c-betting, blockers and bluffing. As well as this, you’ll have all the information necessary to navigate single raised, 3-bet and multiway pots. There’s no stone left unturned and when looking back it is extremely embarrassing how little I knew and how much of an misunderstanding I had when playing PLO.
Whilst the meat and bones of this book is made up in the first two parts, this section is not to be skipped over, especially if you are new to studying poker. There’s little point in consuming this content if you don’t have an effective study plan. Luckily for you, JNandez has got you covered here as well.
There’s also a great chapter on what to do when playing PLO in a live setting. Reading it and internalizing its lessons will allow you to identify the different types of live players that exist and how to make the correct adjustments against each player type – an integral part of maximising wins when playing at the casino.
It can be argued that progression in PLO could be a more realistic avenue in achieving ‘the poker dream’ than No Limit Hold’em. Once you have a solid understanding of the fundamentals and approaches that JNandez explains to you, you are going to be ahead of much of the player pool at the lower stakes and you could potentially see some fantastic scores.
So, if you’re thinking of making the switch to PLO as your main poker game of choice, this book is without doubt required for you in order to have a smooth transition. Like with most D&B books, Mastering Small Stakes Pot-Limit Omaha is well paced, and the concepts discussed are done so in a manner where anyone can understand the lessons being taught. You may have to read the odd paragraph a few times to fully understand certain theoretical aspects, but that’s to be expected so don’t be disheartened if you have to go over the same page multiple times.