It seems like it's hard to mess up Fantasyland. After all, you see all your cards at once. Beyond avoiding
an obvious mis-set, are you acheiving highest situational hand strength and max value from your opponent(s)?
OFC Theory: The "Cannibals": Cards that merge draw and value ranges, adding to one row while simultaneously
subtracting from another.
OPEN FACE ODDS -- Pineapple Open Face Strategy -- Categories: Pineapple, Fantasyland, Beginner
Two Cent Tips: Pineapple Fantasyland
December 21, 2014 -- Poker pro and chess champion Jen Shahade recently won the TonyBet $10k High Roller Pineapple OFC tournament
held at the Prague World OFC Championships, and afterwards she talked about the importance of not making mistakes while in Fantasyland.
[Read Jen's comments and more about the event at the Pokernews article
It seems like it would be hard to play Fantasyland wrong, since you can see all your cards at once, often can see your opponent's first-five set,
and seemingly have very few decisions to make. Is this really the case? Pineapple OFC requires
constant attention and good decision-making, and
getting yourself into the right mode
of thinking can help you be profitable no matter what the situation.
To illustrate, let's look at this Fantasyland hand.
With only one flush, no trips for a full house or any straight, our hand is not a Fantasyland premium. However,
the villain's hand shows a very weak start in the back row, and we have blockers
to their making a straight or full house. We also have two of the middle-row Aces villain would need if they were to catch KK or JJ in front.
Putting the Ace-high flush in the back looks like a sure winner there, and with a 6644 two-pair middle and an A-high front,
a scoop plus royalties would yield 10 points. With the average Pineapple Fantasyland EV around 6-7 points, that is an acceptable outcome.
But is it possible to extract more value? A re-sort of the cards shows a 5-pair hand:
This feels like a weaker vertical set with the major exception that we can get AA up front.
AA in the front scores 9 points, which is nearly as much as quads in back and more than a middle-row flush.
With a scoop or opponent foul, we can expect 15 points, or about twice normal expected value.
With the villain showing extreme weakness in the back row, plus our blockers,
we should feel confident about the 5-pair set (meaning we only put two-pair in the back row).
With this decision made, it is time for a another small but potentially important decision. It's obvious the Aces will
go in front. But is it obvious how to set the remaining four pairs?
Should you set your back-row and middle-row pairs this way:
*OR* this way?
It may seem obvious (but may not if you aren't paying attenion) that 77 should go in the middle.
It will rarely matter what secondary pair the back-row JJ has, but it could
matter whether your middle-row top pair is 77 or 66.
When setting a five-pair hand, here is a rule of thumb for quick and optimal setting:
Front Row: TOP PAIR / top kicker
Middle Row: 3RD & 4TH PAIR / 2nd kicker
Back Row: 2ND & 5TH PAIR / 3rd kicker
A word on kickers: Two-pair kickers are less relevant as exact two-pair ties are extremely rare, but the front-row pair kicker IS
important. This is an area easy to ignore when you're in a hurry or not paying attention. Optimally you will want to
give your front-row pair your top loose kicker, especially when setting AA, KK or QQ (since your opponent will often
be trying for those pairs).
The final set looks like this:
And, as surmised, villain ended up very weak in the back and we got the scoop +6 plus the AA +9 royalty for a total
win of 15 points, a 50% value upgrade over the back-flush set.
Not making mistakes in Fantasyland is more involved than avoiding a mis-set of your hand.
The example above illustrates three decisions that were made to strengthen our hand situationally and
increase the chances of extracting max value
from the villain:
1) The overall
setting decision: back-row flush v. front-row AA
2) Paying attention to the pair pips, esp. in middle row
3) Setting the best kicker with the front-row pair.