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Take the blinders off and find out what the "real" story is.
I have never been that into “Rabbit Hunting”. I also have played tilt free poker for close to two years now. Yes, I used to tilt. When I was a .50/1 NL grinder, I just could not make the move up to $1/2 NL for some reason. Every time I would try, I would get spanked with some beat, or just play bad and would go running back to my bread and butter .50/1 NL game. Because the pots were bigger at $1/2, and it was so important to me mentally that I beat this next level, it would tilt me. I was not quite there yet as a poker player. Decisions are what matter at the poker table. Results are not important after the correct decision has been made. Results are what tilt people the easiest, though I would imagine some of the better players tilt because of a bad decision.
Sometimes you need to do some crazy stuff at the end of MTTs when you are short and miles from the money. Stuff you would never do in a cash game. Stuff like playing a hand -EV on purpose, or inviting your opponent to take a +EV draw on purpose. I stress the value of EV in poker decisions probably more than anyone, so when I say it is OK to make what you know is a -EV play on purpose, that's a little weird coming from me. But it is right sometimes to do it. Its something that I have thought about for a while, but never mentioned it here. When it is late in an MTT and you are pretty desperate, a double up can become so important that you would take a 40/60 type situation on purpose to get it. That's not exactly what I am talking about, but at heart it is the same concept. When you are miles away from the money and desperate, your chances of cashing are so slim that tournament equity wise, a 40/60 for a double up can have a positive expectation. The double up gives you some chips to play with, and a chance at making a run, while folding away just gets you closer to elimination, and less chips lowering your tournament equity further.
Labels: -EV on purpose
It turns out smokkee can profit from his bad picks in the BFFB. Just talk his fiance into sharing some of her winnings as she runs right over us bloggers in this thing. Congrats to love_elf for besting a field of 31 and taking down week 3 of the Blogger Fantasy Football Battle. With the win she has taken over the lead in the season standings, and earned a seat in the Tournament of Champions. Pauly, lifesagrind, and BFFB newcomer Miami Don also won their individual contests this week in the battle. Complete results are shown below. We had a couple people with two entries this week. There is nothing against the site rules about this, but for BFFB purposes, only the first entry counts and all other entries will be disqualified from BFFB consideration. If I don't have you linked up yet, or know the link for someone I don't have, drop me a comment. Thanks for the big turnout this week, and we will be looking for even more next week.
So I went to the trouble to do a blind steal EV calculation using Game theory. It took several hours, and was not easy to do at all. Then Hoy drops the comment that he hears tons of people talking about game theory and optimal play, but he has yet to meet someone who plays optimally. So the conclusions that you draw from game theory (which are based on optimal play from everyone in the hand), are called into question. Hoy has a valid point here, but I would like to dig a bit deeper before surrendering. First of all when people say they use game theory at the poker table, most are pretty much full of shit. It took me hours to calculate a very simplified blind steal problem for even and small stacks. There is no way the Chris Ferguson or any of the "Math" players, can make a calculation like that on the fly for a simple hand, let alone a real life situation that is much more complicated. What they are really saying is that they understand game theory, have taken the time to analyze certain situations, and take advantage when those situations arise at the table. Since those situations are pretty rare, most of the "game theory" poker players, rarely actually use it at the table. But it can be used, and it can be right to use it.
The SB pushes in with his top 50% range and the BB calls with about a 32.5% range. You may ask how this is optimal if the SB's EV is negative for the hand. There are no solutions to this problem with a positive expectation value for the SB. He is out of position, and there are no dead antes to fight over this time. However, folding 100% of the SB hands will yield an expectation value of -$1. Any solution that is better than -$1 is more optimal. So now you are the SB, and have done the calculation so you push your top 50% of hands in a cash game when you are the SB and it folds to you, and you or the BB has a stack of about 10x the big blind. If the BB is playing optimally he will call with his top 32.5% of hands. But lets say that the BB is not playing optimally. If he calls down a higher percentage, or a lower percentage, the SBs expectation value increases. The BB must play optimally to limit the SBs EV. Any deviation hurts the BB and helps the SB. So in this case, you use the result from game theory even if you know the BB will not play optimally.
Now lets turn the tables, and you are the BB, but the SB is not playing optimally. You figure out that he really only pushes about 30% of his hands in this situation. It is now incorrect to call down with the top 32.5%. This will result in a lower EV, although your EV will already be higher due to the expanded number of walks the SB is giving you. You want to be calling with about 1/3 less hands than the SB is raising with (a result from game theory as well), so you now call down with your top 20% range, even though that is not the optimal game theory range. You have made an adjustment based on your opponent not playing optimally. This is not strange, as it is done all the time at the poker tables. You sense a blind is weak and will not call down optimally so you attack. Edges are found in this way at the poker table, and game theory can identify where some of those edges are.
Don't miss out on week 3 of the Blogger Fantasy Football Battle hosted by fantasysportslive.com
It is never to late to jump in and compete for the $500 minimum added, weekly cash prizes, and blogger bragging rights. The highest weekly fantasy score bonuses and tournament of champions entry can be won in any single week. Also the season is 17 weeks long, so it has really just begun. If you are unsure about this, ask one of the bloggers that has already played. The feedback from our user's is incredibly positive, and you will find out if you ask. You can even freeroll the first few fantasy contests with the bonus money on your initial deposit that is credited immediately. Use bonus code Blinders, or any other valid bonus code or web ad, for free cash with your first deposit. We should have 30+ in this week, and it is a ton of fun.
I played my first brogger tourney in a few weeks and above is the result. This was also my first Dookie ever. I really need to find a way to play more poker. I should be in the riverchasers tomorrow night. How did I do it? I was pre-occupied with some other stuff early, so I only played my bigger hands for the first 1/2 hour which is a horrible idea in a turbo, but it happened to work for some reason. Then I had a few 40/60s go my way late. That's about it. Oh yeah, got to give a shout out to buddydank. This was my first time listening to BuddyDank radio, and it was great fun. His show kicks ass.
The ranking cap value seemed a bit generous in week 1, so we lowered it 10% to 900 pts for week 2. This in general should have lowered the fantasy scores, but some huge numbers were put up in week 2. Jek187 put up a score of 186.9 to beat 26 other runners for the week 2 title. The week 2 results and overall standings are shown below. The added prizes in the battle are for bloggers only. If you are linked up in the leaderboard you are good to go. Because our contests are public, and we have had overlays the first few weeks, we have had a few non-bloggers jump-in. Just like with the BBT we will factor them in for that weeks scoring, but no bonus prizes. The blogger battle contest will start switching to a 6 player, top 2 paid on the weekends to reduce the overlays, so get in during the week if you want the 10-player version. If for some reason, I don't have you linked up after a week or so, drop your link in the comments.
I have been working on solving the problem from my last post. I think Harrington used the term "structured hand analysis" in Volume 1 or 2. What it means is when he is confronted with interesting situations during his play, he will often spend a few hours afterwards doing the math to beat the problem to death, and see if he can find a way to play more optimally than before. That is essentually what I am trying to do here. In The Mathmatics of poker they did this for a bunch of very simple situations, and used differential equations and other advanced math to solve them. I don't think they even worked there way up to a problem this difficult where you are solving for the Button, SB, and BB with lots of possible results. I don't quite have the math skillz to extend the mathmatics of poker to a full-up blind steal/defend the blinds type problem. But, I can solve using a trial and error approach with pokestove.
In the upper left corner are the hand ranges that I am attempting to solve for. The ranges shown are just an initial guess, and are there as a placeholder for the calculations. Once you have all the players ranges determined, you can get the chances of each situation occurring. This is shown in the lower left corner. Seven possible situations exist for the problem, and you can see that the odds of all the situations sum to 1 (100%), so I did not leave anything out. On the lower right side is the pot equity for each player and each situation. If somebody folds this is obviously zero. If the other two players fold this is 100%. For the situations where there is more than one player all-in, you put the hand ranges into pokerstove, and it will tell you what the equity is for each player. What I am showing here are just guesses at the equity. I have not run anything through pokerstove yet. Lastly, in the lower middle, you can see the EV calculations for everyone involved. The formula for this is (chances of happening) x (Players pot equity) x (pot size - amount invested). The amount invested is 10k for any player that goes all-in. So you calculate the expectation values for all the players/situations and try to find the hand ranges that maximize this for all players. The total expectation value for the Button+SB+BB is $1000. This represents the dead antes from the players that folded to the button. This is not correct now, because I guessed at the pot equity values (guessed high). So you change someones range, run the new ranges through poker stove, and see what it does for everyones expectation value. When everyones expectation value is maximized you have your answer. I will post my answer on Monday.
If you are not in the blogger fantasy football battle at FSL get over there and sign-up. Deposit $100 with bonus code "Blinders", and you will get $20 free for two free trys in the battle. If you don't like it after that, withdraw your full $100 deposit. I thought you guys liked free money? We have already picked up a few more bloggers this week, and it is never to late to play.
I have been experimenting a bit lately with pokerstove. If you don't have it, it is free to download and is pretty useful. What it does is calculate odds/equity for hand range match-ups. For example if one player has a top 20% hand and the other has a top 40% hand, it will tell you how often the top 20% hand will win (no, its not twice as often). I used it to do a limp/call range calculation for a hand I had with Hoy a few posts back. That problem did not fully consider the BB in the hand. So I thought I would attempt a slightly more complicated calculation that considers the actions of the button, SB and BB completely. This is for the semi-common situation late in an MTT when it folds to the button or the SB and everyone has similar stacks that are pretty short relative to the BB. What range should the button be stealing with and what range should the blinds be defending with? Using game theory you can calculate it based on a few simplifying assumptions. I will will lean on pokerstove, and trial and error to nail down the ranges for everyone involved. If this is somewhat easy, I may try to throw the cut-off in as a follow up calc.
Making a huge laydown under pressure on the river can make the difference between winning and losing overall at poker. There are times when you have a very strong hand, but you just know that you are beat, and must make the laydown. I made a pretty big laydown a few weeks ago at 2/5NL at the Bellagio. I held the 2nd nutz and was facing an open bet and a reraise before I acted on the river. The Stone Cold Nutz was a Royal Flush. I made the laydown and was right.
Lifesagrind took down week one of the Blogger Fantasy Football Battle with an impressive fantasy score of 152.8. With the win he already has a seat in the Fantasy Tournament of Champions, and takes over first in the battle standings. He also has put up 152.8 as the score to beat so far for the $100 highest score bonus. It was a pretty wild Sunday with the late game lighting up the leaderboards and shaking things up big-time. No lead was really safe before the Giants/Cowboys game ended.
Marketing Postcard - Designed by Mookie
Blinders Ideal Range
Case #1 were the results for the A8+, 88+ range.