Phil Ivey - Poker Professional
Phil Ivey Home
Phil Ivey News
About Phil Ivey
Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker
Phil Ivey Tips
Phil Ivey Gallery
Phil Ivey Links

Playing Low
Karina Jett
April 16th, 2007

How Much Luck? How Much Skill?
Ben Roberts
March 30th, 2007

The Weak Lead
Lee Watkinson
March 23rd, 2007

Satellite Savviness
Team Full Tilt
March 1st, 2007

The Pain Barrier - Manipulating Your Opponent
Joe Beevers
Feb 9, 2007

Finding the Low Cards in Omaha Hi/Lo
Mike Matusow
Jan 15, 2007

Looking at the Long-Term
Erik Seidel
Jan 6, 2007

Playing Small and Medium Pairs in Seven-Card Stud
Perry Friedman
Dec 29, 2006

Playing Aces in PLO
Andrew Black
Dec 21, 2006

Playing in Australia
Mark Vos
Dec 15, 2006

Playing Mixed Games
Jennifer Harman
Dec 7, 2006

Pot-Size Manipulation
Gavin Smith
Nov 30, 2006

Betting out of Position
Gus Hansen
Nov 20, 2006

How a Pro Thinks Through a Hand
Team Full Tilt
Nov 13, 2006

Cash Equity at the Final Table
Rafe Furst
Nov 6, 2006

Getting Beyond Your Cards
Perry Friedman
Oct 30, 2006

The Mindset of a Winner
Kristy Gazes
Oct 23, 2006

Balancing Poker and Life
Clonie Gowen
Oct 16, 2006

Play More Pots
Erick Lindgren
Oct 9, 2006

Heads-Up vs Multi-Way Hands in Omaha Hi/Lo
Andy Bloch
Oct 3, 2006

Playing Big Slick in Deep Stack Tournaments
Paul Wolfe
Sept 25, 2006

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
Ben Roberts
Sept 18, 2006

Playing Cap Games
Howard Lederer
Sept 11, 2006

From No-Limit to Limit
Richard Brodie
Sept 4, 2006

Check-Raising on Draws
Steve Brecher
August 28, 2006

Betting the River with Marginal Hands
Andy Bloch
August 21, 2006

Learning from Allen Cunningham
Jay Greenspan
August 14, 2006

Acknowledging Mistakes
Team Full Tilt
August 7, 2006

Playing the Main Event
Gus Hansen
July 31, 2006

Managing the Short Stack
Mark Vos
July 24, 2006

Playing Pot-Limit Tournaments
Rafe Furst
July 17, 2006

Red for a Day
Brian Koppelman
July 10, 2006

A Big Stack Mistake at the 2006 WSOP
Phil Gordon
July 3, 2006

Winning Poker - It's About More Than Money
Ben Roberts
June 26, 2006

Seventh Street Decisions in Seven-Stud
Keith Sexton
June 19, 2006

Big Blind Play in Limit Hold 'em
Jennifer Harman
June 12, 2006

Firing the Second Bullet
Greg "FBT" Mueller
June 5, 2006

Fourth Street Decisions in Seven Stud
Keith Sexton
May 29, 2006

Finding Your Inner Maniac
Greg "FBT" Mueller
May 22, 2006

Beware the Min Raise
Phil Gordon
May 15, 2006

Playing Bottom Two Pair
Rafe Furst
May 8, 2006

The Other Danger in Slow Playing
Howard Lederer
May 1, 2006

Why I Prefer Cash Games to Tournaments
Huckleberry Seed
April 24, 2006

Early Tournament Play
David Grey
April 17, 2006

Bad Position, Decent Cards
Howard Lederer
April 3, 2006

Inducing a Bluff
Layne Flack
March 27, 2006

Back to Basics
David Grey
March 20, 2006

Representing a Bluff
Huckleberry Seed
March 13, 2006

Viewer Beware
Howard Lederer
March 6, 2006

When Passive Plays
Chris Ferguson
February 27, 2006

Book Smarts vs. Table Smarts
Erik Seidel
February 20, 2006

Playing with John D'Agostino
Jay Greenspan
February 13, 2006

On Cavemen and Poker Players
Ben Roberts
February 6, 2006

Small-Pot Poker
Gavin Smith
January 30, 2006

Tips From Tunica
Andy Bloch
January 23, 2006

How Big a Bankroll?
Team Full Tilt
January 16, 2006

Thoughts on Omaha-8
Jennifer Harman
January 09, 2006

In Defense of the Call
Gavin Smith
January 02, 2006

Stepping Up, Stepping Down
Kristy Gazes
December 26, 2005

Playing a Big Draw in Limit Hold 'em
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson
December 19, 2005

Know Your (Table) Limits
Paul Wolfe
December 12, 2005

Getting Started in Stud-8
Jennifer Harman
December 05, 2005

What's Your Starting Hand Really Worth?
Steve Brecher
November 28, 2005

Big Slick: A Slippery Hand
Rafe Furst
November 21, 2005

Bad Cards or Bad Plays?
Team Full Tilt
November 14, 2005

Strategies for Short-Handed Limit Hold 'em
John D'Agostino
November 7, 2005

Taking on a Short-Handed No-Limit Game
John D'Agostino
October 31, 2005

What I learned at the WSOP
Jay Greenspan
October 24, 2005

Back to the Drawing Board
Perry Friedman
October 17, 2005

It's Not Easy Being Green. Or Is It?
Team Full Tilt
October 10, 2005

Texture Isn't Just For Fabric
Phil Gordon
October 3, 2005

Know Your Opponent; Own Your Opponent
Paul Wolfe
September 26, 2005

How Bad are the Beats?
Steve Brecher
September 19, 2005

Third Street in Seven Stud
Perry Friedman
September 12, 2005

Flopping a Monster
Richard Brodie
September 6, 2005

Our Favorite Poker Books
Team Full Tilt
August 30, 2005

Holding On To Your Winnings
Aaron "GambleAB" Bartley
August 22, 2005

No-limit by the Numbers
Andy Bloch
August 15, 2005

Chip Sandwich
Phil Gordon
August 8, 2005

Sizing Up Your Opening Bet
Chris Ferguson
August 1, 2005

So You Wanna Go Pro
Rafe Furst
July 25, 2005

Not Playing By The Book
Phil Gordon
July 11, 2005

Playing Two or More Tables at Once
Erick Lindgren
July 4, 2005

How To Win At Tournament Poker, Part 2
Chris Ferguson
June 27, 2005

How To Win At Tournament Poker, Part 1
Chris Ferguson
June 20, 2005

Specialize At Your Peril
Howard Lederer
June 13, 2005

Common Mistakes
Phil Gordon
June 6, 2005

Don't Play a Big Pot Unless You Have a Big Hand
John Juanda
May 30, 2005

Ask And Ye Shall Receive Part II
Erick Lindgren
May 23, 2005

Ask And Ye Shall Receive Part 1
Erick Lindgren
May 16, 2005

Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Jennifer Harman
May 9, 2005

Keep Your Toolbox Well Stocked
Chris Ferguson
May 2, 2005

Why I Leave My Sunglasses And iPod At Home
Howard Lederer
April 25, 2005

In Pot Limit...
Clonie Gowen
April 11, 2005

The Script
Phil Gordon
April 4, 2005

Just A Few Things When Playing Razz
Jennifer Harman
March 28, 2005

A Way To Approximate The Odds
Clonie Gowen
March 21, 2005

Sit N Goes Made Easy
Howard Lederer
March 14, 2005

Dealer, Leave the Bets in Front of the Players.

Greg Mascio
July 18, 2005

It's a familiar refrain at the Omaha/8 table, when the betting is capped on the turn in a multi-way pot. In theory, this request is about saving time -- it's easier to divide the chips at the end of the hand when they're not in one monster pile at the center of the table. But the subtext is clear. "Give us the damn river already!"

It's often just one pot like this one that makes the difference at the end of the day between winner and loser, genius and live one. And playing these hands correctly goes a long way toward determining one's success in this sometimes volatile game.

Other than catching gin on the river, however, how does one go about getting out as cheaply as possible when beat, and maximizing profit when holding the nuts?

The first and most important thing, especially in Omaha/8, is knowing where you're at on every street. Many players will simply not throw a hand away even when they're sure they're beat in a big pot. They call it down just to find out what they were right about four bets ago.

A typical hand where you can get into trouble is flopping two pair with a hand like A-3-6-K. The flop comes A-3-J, with a flush draw you don't hold. You're first to act and fire a bet into the pot. It then gets raised, called, called and three-bet by the time it gets back to you. You very well could be drawing extremely thin at this point. If an Ace comes, it's likely you hold the second-best full house. If you catch a King on the turn, your two pair might be beat by the 10-Q-K wrap who called all those bets on the flop. If a 6 comes, you're still likely beat by Aces and Jacks, and all the made lows and flush draws are Freerolling on you.

Still, most unseasoned players call in this spot nearly 100 percent of the time. Why? One reason is because average-to-below-average players rarely ever make a bet and subsequently fold on the same street. I almost never see this. To be a winning player, especially in O/8, you have to be able to lay down your losers.

On the other hand, say that same A-3-J flop comes down and you hold A-2-4-5 with the nut flush draw. Yes, you have a monster. You're first to act and bet, and again it gets raised and three bet. This time you cap it. The turn comes a deuce. Now it's time to make extra bets.

With all the action that came behind you on the flop, you can be almost certain someone will bet if you check. You check, which puts the thought into the other player's mind that you may have been counterfeited, or at best are holding a set. After a bet and a few calls, now you are in position to make that check raise -- and you might not even lose some of the people drawing dead! Excuse No. 1 why a losing player calls when drawing dead? "The pot is too big."

If you had bet out on the turn when the deuce hit after capping it on the flop, any above-average player would most likely put you on your hand and you won't get any action. That same player may still call your check-raise, perhaps hoping to fill up on the end, but at least he will have to pay to get there.

There are a lot of large multi-way pots in O/8. It's easy to be tempted by the amount of money in the center of the table. But, like in most forms of poker, a hand that is usually strong heads-up or three handed simply doesn't carry the same weight in a multi-way pot against multiple draws. And in O/8, you might have to fend off five or six players, each holding four cards in their hand. It's just flat tough to make two pair on the flop hold up in that case.

Omaha-Eight-or-Better is all about holding the nuts or at least drawing to them. Its one reason why A-2 with two blanks -- like say 8-10 -- is such a dangerous hand. It gets played pre-flop almost every time, yet it rarely gets more than half the pot, and costs too much when the low that doesn't get there.

Hands that work together for both high and low, like A-2-Q-K or A-2-4-K (I'll take mine double suited, thanks) are key. "Nut-Nut" is a beautiful thing, especially at the end of a monster pot where the dealer has to do nothing with all those chips in front of everybody but push them to you.

Greg Mascio