PLO all the way
Over the last few months, about 80% of my time has been dedicated to poker. Sometimes it almost feels like too much, like all I do is play and sleep, play and sleep. I've been thinking about cutting back, but the games are so good I don't want to miss out.
Most of my playing time is devoted to PLO. I play live at casinos in Romania and at many of the EPT stops. I also spend plenty of time playing on PokerStars. PLO is my strongest game and the one I prefer to play. If I find a good no-limit hold'em game, I'll play no-limit. That's no problem. But in Europe they're playing a lot of PLO now. It seems like, in the last two years, many players have made the switch. I don't think you can easily find good no-limit games here anymore. Most of the games are PLO so that's what you have to play. And even when you can find no-limit games, the PLO games are usually much better.
I've spent a lot of time wondering why that is. I think it comes down to the fact that weaker players can play more hands in PLO. They can find easy reasons to put money in the pot. That makes the game more attractive for the weaker players. They're more active. They find more spots that look good.
I haven't played in a big no-limit game for two or three years now. Honestly, I haven't seen big no-limit games at live casinos in Romania for at least that long.
Of course, PLO is a higher-variance game than no-limit hold'em. Sometimes even when players play terribly, they win quite a bit of money. That's true in no-limit also, but not the extent that it is in PLO.
That means I've had to make some adjustments to the way I play. At first I was playing 10-20 and 25-50. But the swings at those stakes can be brutal. I quickly decided to step down to 3-6 and 5-10. I play smaller limits on a higher number of tables. More hands, more volume. It helps smooth out those big PLO swings.
You have to know how many tables you can handle at once though. Last year I probably was playing too many. At my maximum, I would play between 13 and 18 tables. You can miss a lot of good spots in PLO if you are playing that many tables. Now I've reduced it to eight tables. I think that's enough.
Even with such great games running though, I always need to be careful not to overdo it. I have a wife. I have a 4-year-old son. My wife understands that this is my job - or maybe she's used to it because we've been together for eight years - but I have to make sure I find time for them. The PLO games show no signs of vanishing any time soon.
Toni Judet is a member of Team PokerStars Pro