Friday, May 04, 2007

Hands? On Plan3t Gong Poker?? Ahh, More Sit and Go Bubble Strategy Discussion!

Not my usual thing to put individual hands here... but there are 2 good reasons! First one is amusing... well I thought so - but then again I had the Kings. The second one is not amusing (at all!!)... but it highlights many points about SNG Bubble Strategy that I regularly make here - it is not posted as a bad beat - more as a logic / Bubble Math excercise!

OK, Here is hand #1 - Early in a Poker Stars $27 Turbo

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t20 (8 handed)
BB (t1500)
UTG (t1490)
Hero (t1500)
MP1 (t1470)
MP2 (t1450)
CO (t1550)
Button (t1510)
SB (t3030)

Preflop: Hero is UTG+1 with Ks, Kc.

1 fold, Hero raises to t60, MP1 calls t60, 1 fold, CO calls t60, 2 folds, BB calls t40.

Pretty standard, my raising range is 3 or 4 BBs here, maybe the occasional 5X... get 3 callers which is not ideal so we are now looking for a favourable flop.

Flop: (t250) 7s, 9s, Kd (4 players)

Good news, we made trip Kings! Caution required though - co-ordinated flop with many draws, I need to bet a reasonable amount here, enough to get rid of the thin draws but to keep someone interested if they have a piece of this... pot is 250 - I bet 200 (actually not too unhappy to take it down right here in these situations)

BB checks, Hero bets t200, MP1 folds, CO folds, BB raises to t500, Hero raises to t1440, BB calls t940 (All-In).

Excellent - mini-reraised by the BB! What could he have? Trips? J10 of spades? AK with the Ace of spades? 68s? What does he think I have?? Well, AK is the obvious choice (as my raise was big enough to look like I wanted to end the hand right here...), my betting is also consistant with a pair between 9's and K's (JJ maybe??). Fine, he has 940 left and the pot is now 1000 chips - time for me to get the rest in assuming BB will call getting 2/1... I push - he calls and turns over 77 - happy days!!

Turn: (t3130) 7d (2 players, 1 all-in)

Oops - hit his 1 outer on the turn to make quad 7's...

River: (t3130) Kh (2 players, 1 all-in)

No Problemo - if this had been April that would have been that - but this is MAY!! I redraw my 1-outer to take the pot with KKKK!!

Final Pot: t3130

Well its all very nice to see 2 * 1 out draws hitting in the same hand. Alas it did me no good, I ended up bubbling this SNG in strange circumstances. Can not find the hand so this is from memory...

CO 3000 / Button 4000 / SB (thats me!) 3000 / BB 3500.

Blinds = 400/200 with 25 Ante

CO Folds, Button Folds, I look down at A7o and Shove - BB calls with... K2 of hearts!!

We can get the result out of the way first, that is not why I am analysing the hand, I lost when a 2 flopped and I did not improve... no problem, bad bubble play is why it is possible for thinking players to make money in SNGs - sometimes you just happen to be on the receiving end of a horrible call!

Assuming a $100 prize pool (it was really $250ish but numbers will be easier, also left out the blinds and situational factors).

My Equity = $23

Villans Equity = $25

Villans Equity if he calls and wins = $37

So our villan is betting his $25 to win $12 more - he is laying odds against himself of 2/1 by making the call. This call was thus mathematically correct if he was more than 67% likely to win a showdown vs my range and a mistake if less than 67%.

Of course, we know my holding - villan did not. So what range did he put me on? If he was a thinking player it would have been fairly wide right? After all, he knows that I know that he can not call without a great holding here... so we will try a few ranges and see what his chances were.

I push 30% - K2 has 41% winning chances

I push 50% - K2 has 44.7% winning chances

I push 100% - K2 has 53.2% winning chances

This is an interesting result - even if villan knew I ws pushing 100% of hands here he made a huge error by calling... an error that will cost him $$$ each time he makes it. To be honest I had given at least one walk to this guy - which should have narrowed my range to a minimum 70% in his eyes... ahh donkaments!

Now a 2nd question - if I had known villan would call with this hand then what could I have profitably pushed with??

The answer is that this becomes very close - A7o is still positive in terms of $ev but only just with villan on a 32% calling range.

To me this illustrates a vitally important point about SNG bubbles, you can not define your pushing range without an accurate assessment of your opponents calling range. Here I got the range wrong - assumed my call was +3 to 5%ish against his range when I really only had a marginally +$ev shove. Not sure I could have predicted it mind...

So, next time you are thinking about calling a shove on the bubble think about what equity you are risking against what your reward is.... then and only then compare your chances of winning a showdown against your opponents range. The $ will follow!

GL at the tables,



MrTynKyn said...

HI Mark:
Yesterday I have talked with a regular who take this strategy:
If a regular push he will call with any K or any A , and medium pairs off course. he knows that regs are pushing atc so he is almost every situation up in % of the battle hand .
But he lose a lot of equity with this play , this will become lees $ev.
Now , I know that he will call with this , so I adjust my push range to tighter up a bit. He reach some taking -ev situations , the fact im pushing him less , so this is +ev in the long term.
Im not taking spite calling , just doing some adjustments to the calling ranges.
What do you thing ?

Mark said...

You are right, I loosen my calling ranges against regulars too - but not too much!! Positive ev has to be the key consideration...

The only reason to make this move could be for meta-game reasons (to stop another regular pushing into you in other games).

In this example the guy was not a regular... and if he continues to spew equity like that it is very doubtful he ever will be!!!

Cheers, Mark