Book Review: ‘Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha, Volume I’ By Jeff Hwang

‘Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha, Volume I: Small Ball and Short-Handed Play’ is Jeff Hwang’s follow up book to  ‘Pot-Limit Omaha Poker: The Big Play Strategy’, which was released in  December 2007.
At the time of its release Hwang conceded “no one — not even the biggest publisher of poker books in the business — thought that there was a market for PLO books.” Things have changed though with a growing interest in this poker variant which has become popular in Vegas card rooms and with online players from the low to high stakes levels.
In his new book Hwang clearly lays out for the reader advanced PLO strategy and theory, as well as providing tactics and strategies which will help the reader improve and succeed in what many experts believe will be the game of the future.
In this offering, the author assumes the reader’s basic understanding of the game and so progresses directly to advanced play, as is mentioned in the title. At over 500 pages, the book still manages to be a smooth and easy read which is a credit to Hwang’s ability to logically organise the concepts dealt with in the book and communicate them in a clear manner.
The book begins with the advanced play of ‘floating’, whereby you call with a lesser strength hand in order to bluff the pot from your opponent later. He then deals with the concepts of stack-to-pot ratio (SPR), deep stack leverage, positional advantage, the “pivot” card, value betting, bluffing, small ball” strategy, three-betting before the flop, and short-handed play.
One concept familiar to No Limit Hold’em players, which is less applicable in Omaha is “pre-flop initiative” and Hwang explains how in Omaha it not only fails to create fold equity for the opponents but is more likely to give extra value to continue with the hand. By extension the continuation bet is of lesser consideration in these situations.
Hwang has written a clear and concise guide to advanced Pot-Limit Omaha play and combined with numerous examples to highlight his points, his book will surely be considered a valuable contribution to this ever more popular game.

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