Hi all! I want to tell you about a great pot-limit Omaha match between AmSoGood and BERRI SWEET that is going on right now. I consider them to be the two strongest HU PLO players in the world. I don't include myself in the top two, although I'm pretty close. We do not know their real names. They are playing PLO $50/$100, but with a crossbook, as BERRI SWEET mentioned in a thread on the 2+2 forum, so it's actually a $300/$600 limit game. In the same topic, viewers post interesting hands, with the help of which I will try to enter the minds of the players, evaluate their strategy, and perhaps, give a forecast regarding the outcome of the match. Its winner will be considered the best HU PLO player in the world until someone proves otherwise.
Let me tell you a little about the participants of the match. BERRI SWEET started with 6-max PLO, then switched to heads-up and played until he stopped getting action. Then he went to 8 games, also heads-up, and played mixes until he stopped getting action even in HORSE. After that, he moved to HU NLHE, where he achieved the same result – they stopped playing him. In general, a mysterious figure, an incredibly talented player from Sweden. I played heads-up Omaha with him eight or nine years ago. We only played a couple of sessions, I don't remember the details. Sometime after that, he began to be considered the final boss of Omaha. When I announced the Galfond Challenge, I really hoped that BERRI would not accept it. And he did not accept, but mainly because of the differences between our schedules – for some time we discussed the details of a possible match, but did not work out.
AmSoGood is a pure machine and is mostly known for being a one-on-one specialist, although I'm sure he's very strong in 6-max as well. Against him, I played more distance and I can say that he is exceptionally good.
The styles of these players are very different. BERRI tends to play exploitatively, the lines he chooses often raise questions, but this does not prevent him from winning. AmSoGood, in my opinion, executes the solver strategy more accurately than all regulars in HU PLO. During our fights, after some hands, I told myself that his game definitely could not be correct, but then I opened the solver and was convinced of the opposite. Either he works the most, or he remembers the information received best of all! Against me, he considers himself a favorite, I think that my chances are higher, but the results so far speak in his favor.
If I were asked to name the winner of the match, I would bet on BERRI. It speaks in his favor that he was able to become the best in several games at once. As an exploitative player, I appreciate his approach to poker. He plays in a strange way, but he always succeeds – so there is something in it. In general, I bet on BERRI, but I do not advise you to completely write off his opponent.
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to a lot of fun debriefing these great players!
(When commenting on hands, Phil doesn't know the players' cards until he sees them at showdown – GT.)
In the first hand, Amso was on the button with . He raises to $300, Berr raises to $900 with . Call.
On this board, I would check my entire range, let's see what Berri does. Well, at least he checks this hand. Amso checks next.
Berri bets $593, about a third of the pot. The bet size is designed to take advantage of Berri's overpair advantage. Amso raises to $3,000. Big raise, almost the pot. He claims he either slowplayed the flop or hit a set of tens. He could also have a strong draw.
Berri 3-bets $5,500 – almost the smallest possible reraise! Such unorthodox actions are quite typical of him. When our opponent raises our bet, he is representing trips or a full house. With a hand that can beat trips or fulls, we most often want to just call, primarily to protect overpairs from bluffs, but also because we don't lose value by calling since most of Villain's trips and boats will continue to bet on most rivers. So from the very beginning, we are faced with a very unusual line.
Amso calls. When he raises big and then calls, what can he have? The weakest hand is probably something like , with which he bluffed, and then did not believe in Berri's 3-bet. Trips or full house are more likely, as well as combo draws. Most of the hands bet the flop, so his draw most likely went on the turn, which is with or without a club, or, say, with the nut club. But more often than not, there will still be a strong made hand.
River ($12,800, effective stack $5,036):
Less than half of the pot remains behind. Berri checks. Ha ha! Well, I more or less managed to make Amso's range – it's clear what value he has and what possible bluffs. But I find it difficult to make Berri's range. What can he have? The line looks like he was bluffing but caught a queen, for example, with ; along the same line, it’s good to slow-play monsters like , because Amso will still push any and stronger, but can also bluff with a missed draw.
Amso shoves and Berri calls. That is, he has value at the showdown, let's see if it was a trap or if he caught the lady. Amso draws start from , though against such a weird line, I wouldn't be surprised if he checks back with some trips. His bluffs are pretty understandable too.
We look at the cards: Amso hit a very strong draw on the turn, and Berri just had top pair on the turn and two top pair on the river. Well, at least on the river Berri played logically and clearly. However, his click-reraise on the turn is puzzling. I have nothing more to say other than that his line worked.
Berri raises from the button , Amso 3-bets . Call.
Amso bets $1,078. A big bet with which he represents an overpair with a flush draw. Of course, c-bet ranges in 3-bet pots are always full of different hands... Berri calls.
Amso bets $1,500. I don't quite understand how to interpret this. It represents a weak draw. Maybe he hit a jack and doesn't want to check, but the hand is too weak to bet the pot. Finally, he might have the mega nuts and is just trying to get Berri to continue with as many hands on the river as possible.
River ($6,956, effective stack $6,521):
Amso checks the river. Berri goes all-in. We will obviously see a call, otherwise, the hand would not have made it into the selection. It is interesting to see what Amso checks river with: whether it was a trap, or he bluffed and caught a queen, or simply did not believe his opponent with a jack – a lot of different draws did not get there on the river. In a situation like this, many players in Berri's place will rebluff heavily because the draws haven't closed and it will be hard for Villain to find enough made hands to call, but there are also those who cut back on their bluffs a lot for fear they look completely unconvincing. These players, of course, act much more balanced.
So, Berri had a set of jacks. Another unorthodox line! Amso's line with this hand is more or less normal, although I honestly don't like the turn played by both. Amso has a great hand for a big bet. When we only have one pair ourselves, we shouldn't be upset if our opponent folds a weaker pair, but we still have great equity against a bunch of hands that will always call. Stacks aren't deep enough to freeze the action: Berri's strong combos can easily raise the turn with the idea of going all-in on almost any river. In general, I do not see the advantages of a small sizing.
Calling Berri on the turn confuses me. I never play like that. Solver doesn't either I think. How can you just call the turn with the nuts on such a dynamic board? These calls happen when the nuts are a straight, but never with sets. Amso bet-folds on the turn with some flush draws, don't want to give them a cheap river! To pay off this slowplay, we need to make sure that Amso bluffs very wide.
Have you noticed that I again doubt the sense of the Amso line to the solver solution? Let's check.
Yes of course. As usual, he knows more than me. Solver checks rarely but mixes big and small bets in roughly equal proportions. Each time, the Amso line, strange to me, turns out to be good and completely standard.
Is there a call on the turn with Berri's hand? With a heart flush draw, yes. And without?
Let's put it this way: barely... but only with the ace of hearts, which Berri didn't have.
Berri opens from the button with , Amso calls with .
Check. Continuation bet $448. Check-raise $1,500. Call.
For now, both can have a little bit of everything.
Turn ($3,600, $8,300 effective stack):
Amso checks, saying he had some kind of draw that didn't improve, either two pair or a set.
Berri bets $3,597, making it clear that he has a straight or, at worst, top set with some kind of redraw. Amso shoves – usually a straight or a set that decides the pot is already too big and it's time to get in. Berri calls.
Everything is standard for Berri. For Amso ... perhaps, too. I won't even check. He definitely doesn't want to bet the turn, so a check is fine. Well, against a big bet... If Berri is bluffing with any , stripping him of his equity by going all-in is a good idea. And if he is ahead, we have a lot of outs. As you can see, Amso's equity against Berri's straight is 37%. I like the game of both.
Rivers – and , chop.
Amso opens from the button with , Berri 3-bets with . Call.
Berri bets $360. Very small sizing, I myself play on paired boards like that. Amso calls.
Berri bets $830, a third of the pot. On many pair and three to a flush boards, you can also play a full-range check, because we have a lot of third-best combinations – overpairs that dream of reaching a showdown, and to help them, we defend by slowplaying the nuts. However, Berri prefers to bet. And it's interesting.
Amso raises to $2,800 and that's interesting too. A flush, even the nut flush, is not strong enough to raise. Maybe he raises the nut flush to check the next river and thus control the size of the pot? Well, it happens, but I don't think it's a good game. So Amso represents a full house. However, many times with a full house, he will slowplay to get another river bet from Berri.
And with what to raise? Even with you don't want to do it anyway! It turns out that Amso portrays strictly , with which it is not always worth raising, because the opponent very often does not have outs. So, I don't know about this raise. It's probably how they play, and in some cases, Amso will have the nuts, in some cases he will have an ace of diamonds with a pair or pocket or two pair.
Berri calls. This means he still has a turn value range minus a small number of weaker hands. Full houses, flushes, sometimes oddly played trips.
River ($8,120, effective stack $5,940):
Berri checks, Amso shoves, Berri calls.
Amso bluffed with without blockers. Good hand selection: We want Villain to have a flush that we can knock out, not a full house. On the other hand, I have doubts that he should raise the turn at all, this is still in question. But the line is quite logical.
Berri isn't going anywhere with the nuts.
By the way, remember that the size of bets and pots must be multiplied by six!
3bet pot, Amso raises , Berri 3-bets , call.
Berri bets $593. On this texture, I also had a small sizing, but then I switched to a strategy with slightly more rare stakes from $1,000 to $1,300. However, there is nothing terrible in small sizing either.
Berri bets the full pot. It is difficult to do hand reading – he can have too much of everything. Bottom of the value range – , , with a club.
River ($8,954, effective stack $5,572):
Berri checks. Amso goes all-in. He could represent a straight, or something like . As for Amso's bluffs, I don't think he's bluffing with a queen or better here, since Berri might have bluffs that he gave up on the river. Hands weaker than a queen and with a straight blocker may well go for a bluff.
Berri calls. Amso was bluffing with a ten and a straight blocker, which I think is a good bluff. I don’t want to have three clubs at once, but he doesn’t block and has an ace. Well, Berri set a trap with the nuts. His line on the flop is pretty standard, although you can check-call or check-raise with top set. Turn is understandable. River is a little questionable. Berri doesn't block a queen, which should encourage him to bet more often. Does not block the club – an argument for a check. Blocking two jacks – another argument for a check.
I prefer to shove in these spots and let Villain look for hands to call, but here Berri's strategy worked better. Interesting play!
Berri opens from the button and calls a 3-bet from .
Amso bets $360. Small sizing on a straight board... seems to me on this texture he should bet bigger. Berri calls.
Amso checks. Berri bets $1,887. A big bet that represents the nuts, a straight to a queen with a redraw or even no redraw to bet-fold. Amso calls.
River ($6,294, effective stack $6,853):
Amso checks. Berri bets the pot and gets called.
Ha ha, very unusual hand! I think we should fold the flop with this. He has no equity later on the turn. Okay, Berri is Berri. But I don't like this play. If you want to represent a straight, you can check the turn and bluff on the river along the way, getting the opportunity to represent other combinations on different rivers along the way. And so he puts too much money on the board with a lot of draws, having no equity. It's a little suicidal.
On the river, since we're there, a shove can be justified. It would be nice to have a flush blocker, but oh well. I think fold equity is decent without it. Amso calls with a flush that is too weak to lead (in general, he should often lead the river with flushes, but from a jack and stronger). He played this hand very well, and Berri played it very outside the box. Until now, his tricks worked, but here they turned against him.
During the match, Berri made a post on 2+2. Reader Moosegills responded with a dog collage.
Berri asked if the dog had a favorite hand in Omaha and promised to 3-bet it whenever possible. Luckily, Moosegills chose a decent enough K977ss, calling it "lucky dog". Soon came Berri's reply:
And, since in Omaha it is very rare that a hand comes by order, Berri suggested adding one more to the list of mandatory 3-bets for the entire match. Readers threw in A852ss, AT54r, AAAx, 2222, to which Berri replied that does not work, and the rest went into the range.
On April 13th, he wrote that these 3-bets still bring 100% wins.
Match schedule at the time:
That is, Berri was losing in the region of $420,000.
I don’t know why he decided to add these 3-bet combinations to himself – just for fun or to troll an opponent: they say, I will beat him somehow. Perhaps partly both, but readers on 2 + 2 are definitely delighted.
Let's get back to hands.
Berri raises and calls a 3-bet from .
Amso checks. Berri bets half the pot, gets plus the pot, and gets exposed. Berri has two pairs and better, Amso is something like or just naked .
Hmm, the hands they showed don't look trivial. If I were Berri, I'd call the flop and any turn... so it doesn't make much of a difference, okay. And what about Amso... Since he plays like that, it means that the line is approved by the solver, I have no doubt. In general, it is logical: he blocks top set and two top pair, has a lot of backdoors, but at the same time he has only one pair, and it can become difficult on many turns.
By the way! Since Amso has shown such a hand, I like shoving Berri a lot more. After all, if he just called, then on the turn it’s like Amso would calmly fold the cards. Like this!
The turn and river are twirled twice and divided.
Amso opens from the button with , Berri calls with .
Amso c-bets to $448 and Berri check-raises to $1,344. Amso calls.
Berri bets a tiny $657, one-fifth of the pot... On the flop, he says he has a set, a wrap or with some redraw, don't think naked can raise frequently. But on the turn, I don't understand him anymore. What does he represent? ? No, this hand is in 3-bet... just rainbows. ? Yes, such a bet is either a monster or a strange bluff.
On the other hand, with this texture change, the player out of position should play with a reduced sizing. Maybe it's just a reduced sizing of Berri? I put a third, and he – one-fifth, why not. In 1/3 I will have both a set of tens and a set of kings. In general, I don't know if this is situational or default sizing, so I can't analyze the hand more precisely. But using 1/5 as a default seems like a strange idea to me.
Amso calls. He might have the nuts because Berri is playing weird, but you can usually call with and above, and even with .
River ($4,603, effective stack $8,595):
Berri checks. He might have a set or even a straight to a king he doesn't want to be raised with.
Amso bets $2,300. Depicts a street, of course.
Berri goes all-in, representing strictly . Amso calls.
Yes, we have a weak hand with one side and – with another. Very interesting draw! Berri's check-raise on the flop is probably over the top. I don't know how to comment on his turn sizing, we've already discussed it. All I can say is that overall he has a great hand to bet the turn.
I like calling Amso on the turn. When a small bet comes in, the nuts usually need to be raised, but the first hand you want to call is : In addition to the straight, we also block the highest card. Well played for Amso, and Berri's game I just can't appreciate. Even his check-raise on the river seems a bit odd to me. After all, he does not block a single pair! Amso will often have etc., with which he can call the bet, but he always checks next. Don't know. WITH or I would have liked the check better. But he checked and took the whole stack from his opponent, winning almost two pots.
Amso opens on the button , Berri calls .
Check – check.
Check. Amso bets $300. check raises to $1,497. Amso calls. Berri likely has trips plus, Amso has slowplays as well , and .
Berri bets the full pot and gets called.
Bluffing with an 8, a pocket pair, and a club against a full house on the flop. Um. Checking the flop from Amso seems unusual to me. As a rule, in order to slowplay such a full house, we also need to block the club, at least one. Still, on a c-bet on the flop, we get action from flush draws, trips, and underpairs between a five and a queen. Therefore, I don’t check such hands in position, and even with one club I usually bet, only with two clubs do I always slowplay.
Checking and check-raising Berri on the turn is very logical. He wants to knock out, for example, from a flush draw to a jack. Continue attacking on the river is also quite normal – the blocker on very important. I do not want to say that this is an absolutely standard line, but – it is really more or less standard. And Amso's strange check on the flop turned out to be surprisingly handy. I wonder if this is his default or an adjustment to the opponent.
Berri raises from the button , Amso 3-bets . Should call.
Amso bets a full pot. This is interesting because the texture is favorable for the player in position, although the difference is not too big. The 3bettor has a lot of naked overpairs that you want to play with small bets or checks. Still, he bets the pot. Berri calls.
River ($5,395, effective stack $10,688):
Almost everything gets there. Amso checks to show he has or . Berri bets the pot for a flush. Amso goes all-in, so you can play with an ace and probably a king flush, well, with blockers too. Berri calls all in, confirming that he definitely has a flush.
King Flush vs. Nine Flush. Good check-raise on the river; it feels thin, but in theory, it isn't. And I love how Amso used blockers . With other king flushes, it's more natural to bet on the river rather than check-raise, because straights can call but never bet for us. With two sevens, he blocks straights very strongly, so a check-raise wins in strength.
Berri's line is standard all the way to the end. Against a check-raise on the river, the decision is close, but I don't think he made a mistake.
Very interesting match! In general, my expectations were justified: I saw a lot of solver lines from Amso and some very unusual, but understandable plays with the exception of a hand like Well, I didn't understand it at all. I think the course of this match will be of interest to all Omaha fans and poker fans in general who like to follow the opposition of the best of the best.
July 2023 Run It Once Forum
Hi all! Berri recently announced that ASG had conceded the match. We can confidently proclaim Berri the undisputed king of online poker. He beat the best players in almost every format. Pure madness, especially when you consider that some of the hands he played, which we analyzed, looked rather strange on the surface – but, apparently, in order to understand them, one had to be very well versed in all the intricacies of the strategy of the participants in the match.