Increasing Expection Value of Big Hands in MTTs
As your stack gets short relative to the blinds late in MTTs you are faced with the pressure of "Blinding Out". Your successful deep stacks approach to playing hands will start to lose some expectation as the depth is no longer there for proper implied odds. With a deep stacks approach you are really letting the chips come to you vs. going out and getting them when you want or need them. All good MTT players will at some point in an MTT abandon the safer deep stacks approach and start fighting for pots late when the stacks get short, to avoid blinding out or attempt to build a stack for a late run. An extreme example is "push or fold" mode, where you will look at your hole cards and then either push all in or fold preflop as you don't have the chips to play any hand post flop anymore. Lets look at ATo as an example. Below is the chart for my cash game expectation value. I fold ATo preflop over 75% of the time. I lose a bit in the blinds, and win a small pot from time to time from a blind or when in position. Overall with a small chance at a decent pot, and almost no chance of getting stacked, I have a very small expectation of +0.10% for this hand.
But not so fast!
If Mr. Push or Fold Donkey is giving up Expectation Value, who gets it? The game is not played in a vacuum. MTTs are zero sum, chip-wise so somebody is picking up this expectation. Who?
The guy who wakes up with AA-JJ, AK, AQ late. These hands go up in expectation value late as the other players get desperate and there hand values go down. Think of it as a sliding scale with some hand value in the middle (not sure which one). The top hands pick up the most expectation value, and the bottom hands lose the most expectation values when MTTs get late and the pressure builds to fight. When the table M is low AA has its highest expectation possible, and T8s expectation starts to plummet.
So take some comfort in that the big hand you have been waiting so patiently for all MTT, will get paid off even better when you finally catch it. Busting before you got dealt it would not let you take advantage of this.
Labels: MTT Expectation Values