Thursday, August 18, 2005


Knowing The Odds And Where It Gets You

It's fun to laugh at people who don't know the most basic odds, but it is possible to take it to the other extreme. A poster on Gutshot today seemed particularly insistent that AKs was a favourite over 22. As a matter of fact, according to twodimes, it is if neither of the twos are the same suit as the AKs, but it isn't if one of them is (if you see what I mean). And I'm not even going to mention the other case I saw today. You'll know it when you see it.

At the end of the day though, if I started arguing with people at the table as to whether AK v AQ is a 73% or a 74% favourite, you might well inquire as to whether it makes any fucking difference, and further recommend that I might shut the hell up and get on with the game. And you'd be well in order. Does it really matter which of AKs and 22 is the 50.1% jolly ? After all, we never have exactly even money from the pot, and we never know exactly what two cards our opponent has (or at least I don't), at the point where we have to make a decision. The only reason I can think of why you might need to know is so that you can claim the high ground in the post-mortem. "I had you before the flop". Yes by 0.1%, you're the greatest.

Who had who before the flop, on the flop, on the turn, hell even on the river, is of no import once the dealing's done. Evaluate your own decisions on their own merits ; take note of your opponent's for future reference. Waste as much of your own time as you like trying to claim the high ground ; but please don't waste any of mine. You tak' the high road, I'll tak' the money, and I will be caked up afore ye.

I really think that we should give up, Andy, and just rub our hands with glee. Your comments here reflected my precise thoughts as I read this thread of garbage. And I nearly put in a comment, until I realized that there was no point.

Once again Fox was there first and Sklansky was there second. If a decision is marginal and occurs infrequently, don't worry about it. We're not putting people on the moon where every fifth decimal place is vital.

Worry about other things.

I think that my favourite comment in the thread (and the one that nearly, just nearly, pushed me into writing a comment) was when the guy said something like "what else can I do but push it all in when I think I am ahead"? Indeed, that question is so profound that I feel an entire article could be written about it.

Instead I was just going to suggest that the guy go and sit in a quiet room for an hour or two and try to think of situations where pushing it all in pre-flop when you are ahead might not be the right move.

But, why should I? Hell, I might come up against people who read what I wrote and actually took in what I was trying to say. Let the fuckers play like crap, I've decided. My coach is staying in the car park.

Have you seen the one just now where the guy who "knew he had AK" suddenly announces that his opponent "could have had an underpair or one overcard" ?

You're right, and I'm glad I haven't been drawn in to the thread. These eggs are making it up as they go along, and long may it continue.

As a wiser man said in a similar thread a short while ago "I must get down to Gutshot again" :-)

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