SlotBOOM! The Protection Racket play is a very interesting and profitable short stack PLO strategy play. It is mentioned by Rolf Slotboom who wrote a short but very unusual cash game PLO Strategy book called Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha.
Any poker book title that has words like ‘secret’ in it I try to avoid like the Glory Hole at my local Public Convenience. But I have found Rolf Slotbooms PLO articles to be different to the normal PLO POV so decided I would stick it in on this occasion and if I got bitten by a ‘secret’ strategy book then I would be twice shy, unlike George Michael.
This PLO strategy book is now old, it was printed in 2006, and PLO cash games strategy and theory has moved on massively since then. But this play is timeless due to its short stack nature and the fact that others can not get out of the way by the time you have triggered the Stimulus Response from your unknowing Protection muscle.
The Protection Racket – Slot it in then BOOM
As much as it goes against the ideas of modern attacking poker this play – and the whole Rolf SlotBOOM short stack PLO strategy – works best on full ring cash tables. Like most people who prefer to actually play poker I normally avoid the full ring cash tables. Why do you only want to play against the nuts or 2nd nuts hands when and if any one does play? PLO is different though and if you like plenty of action it is the only real online gambling game left. Even on full ring tables.
You need a table where there is a bit of gambling going on. Medium sized pre flop raises will get 3 or 4 callers and every one else has much larger stacks than you. You need the threat that the others can stack each other.
You call any pre flop raise with a high value hand or good run down hand, as long as there is – or you think will be – a few callers. On the flop there should be enough money in the pot so you are basically all ins if you bet pot or have very little left that on the turn you have to be all ins.
If your hand has slotted in to the flop then BOOM, you pull the trigger and go all ins. The ‘pure’ Protection Racket play is to re raise the person who opens the betting on the flop but you can also shove it in first IF the pre flop raiser has not acted yet.
If you open the betting on the flop then your all ins or near all ins bet will either claim the pot or be of no stacking threat to any one else. This means people are more likely to call your relatively small bet and carry on playing the hand against each other. That is their plan but not what you intend to happen.
SlotBOOM suggests a very tight approach to starting hands but I have found you can loosen it on tables where you are guaranteed good pre flop action and people will call when they have draws or the best hand at the moment. If you play the looser version but pick the wrong table, a tight table, this play could end up costing you money instead of making you money.
The Protection Racket – Your Protector
The Protection Racket play comes form those larger stacks who are still in the pot but specifically one player, your unknowing Protector. This is normally the player who raised pre flop. On the flop someone else is meant to bet, one or two people call, then you re raise for your all ins. This normally triggers someone else to re re raise all ins and every one else folds.
You are now involved Heads Up in the Main Pot but it has at least 3 or 4 players money in it, which you can win all of it!
Of course this may mean you are against a hand that is normally really good but your hand only needs to be 30-40% favourite to win and long term you are in profit. With all the pre flop money in the pot – especially if you have 2 callers before you and your Protector goes BOOM – then you sometimes only need to be 20-25% favourite to win the hand to be +EV.
The sublime joy and profitability of this play is the fact that the other stacks protect the Main Pot for you without potentially threatening your stack, as its already in the middle.
Click on the links to purchase Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha (amazon.co.uk) or Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha (amazon.com).
The Protection Racket strategy example
Normally you can get triple your money but this example shows how it works with a few callers, how this play can be profitable long term and make you a #WINNING poker player.
I have called pre flop with A♣ 10♣ 10♠ 10♦ which is not a very good hand but the Ace is suited and there are enough people in the hand to give me VALUE VALUE VALUE if I do somehow slot into the flop. As someone has already raised, there are a couple of callers and I am in a late position its a perfect scenario for a bit of Protection Racketeering.
The flop is K♥ Q♣ 7♣ giving me the nuts flush draw and an inside straight draw. What is even better is that I now have extra blockers for the straight with my overload of 10′s, so if the Jack does come I am very unlikely to split the pot with the great unwashed.
I check the flop as the pre flop aggressor will hopefully have slotted into the hand enough or want to protect it by betting the pot. And my unknowing Protector does. One player calls, UTG+4 folds (thanks for your money) and the action gets to me. I re raise all ins which is only a gay re raise in reality so not very scary.
BB folds so thanks for your money and my Protector re raises the pot to make it a huge amount. The caller now folds, as its obvious to him that there are some good hands out there and it is now his whole stack at risk.
I am now Heads Up and the Protector can win no extra money for himself, we are playing only for the Main Pot. I have invested $839 and the pot is $2127. On the flop I am a 44% dog to win the hand.
The turn is the A♥ but the river is the mighty 2♣ to give me the nuts flush and I am #WINNING this hand but, more importantly, longer term i am also #WINNING.
|SB||Hero||Call $70||Check then re raises to $769||A♣ 10♣ 10♠ 10♦||$2127|
|BB||CheapDonator1||Call $70||Check then fold|
|UTG||Protector||Raise to $70||Bet $350 then re re raises to $3007||A♦ 9♦ Q♥ K♥||$0|
|UTG+3||ExpensiveDonator||Call $70||Call $350 then folds|